March 11, 2010

Chas Jankel - More Than Just Sex, Drugs & Rock & Roll

Chas Jankel

Chas Jankel

Known for his collaborations with Ian Dury in British funk and new wave music, Chas Jankel is a keyboardist, guitar player, and songwriter. Born in Stanmore England, Jankel began his career in the 1970's joining Ian Dury's pub rock band Kilburn & the High Roads. The group disbanded in 1975, but Jankel and Dury continued to work together releasing the critically lauded single "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll." Following this single's release Chaz and Dury recorded the album New Boots & Panties!!, and subsequently formed the group The Blockheads. While working with The Blockheads Jankel would contribute to the hit singles "Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick" and "Clever Trevor."

In 1980 Jankel left The Blockheads to pursue a solo career. The song "Ali No Corrida," released on Jankel's debut album, was covered by Quincy Jones and became a worldwide hit, earning Jones a Grammy. While working under theA&Mlabel, Jenkel released the albums Chasanova, Questionaire, Chazblance and Looking at You in the first half the 1980's. His 1982 single "Glad to Know You" hit number one on the Hot Dance Music Club Play chart. As a solo artist Jankel would continue to work with Dury, contributing to the album Lord Upminster, which contained the U.S Top 40 dance hit "Spasticus Autisticus."

After a long break in recording activity, Jankel has recently been collaborating with a number of new and established artists, composing film scores, and is preparing to release a new album. Jankel composed the musical score for the Ian Dury Biopic Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll. Directed by Mat Whitecross and starring Andy Serkis the film was released on January 8th 2010 in the UK. In recognition of his work on the film he was nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Music. This was not his first experience working in the film industry; he composed scores for the films K2, The Rachel Papers,and War Pary. Jankel has also been collaborating with Robbie Williams and the singer songwriter China Soul. Collaborating with Williams on his 2009 album Reality Killed the Video Star he helped co write the song "Do You Mind." With China Soul, daughter of Starsky and Hutch actor David Soul, Jankel co-wrote and co-produced her debut album Secrets and Words. Going forward Jankel is preparing to release a solo album titled The Submarine Has Surfaced on his own CJ Records label in mid April. The album is the result of Jankel sketching and writing out ideas in his studio in Muswell Hill, North London over the past couple years. Contributing to the album are several new artists from the UK dance underground including Natakia Scott, Chris Difford, and current vocal lead for the Blockheads, Steven Tart.