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You Can Hear Chevy Chase Cover Clapton, Beatles

Chevy Chase, 'Chevy Chase'
Arista Records

After he left ‘Saturday Night Live‘ but before he cemented his status as one of the most bankable comedy stars of the ’80s, Chevy Chase tried his hand at being a solo recording artist — and if this post marks your introduction to his 1980 self-titled album, you can probably figure out why you’ve never heard it before.

Released by Arista Records and marketed as a musical comedy album, ‘Chevy Chase’ is a bit of an odd duck even by the admittedly rather loose standards of the early ’80s comedy recording — for most of the record, Chase seems to be throwing things at the wall, not really to see if they stick, but just for the fun of hearing them bounce. The nine-song track listing includes a number of would-be laffers that are either obviously unwise (‘Rapper’s Plight,’ Chase’s take on ‘Rapper’s Delight’) or simply odd (a parody of Randy Newman’s ‘Short People’). And then there’s the really weird stuff, like Chase singing the Beatles‘ ‘Let It Be’ in chipmunk voices, or his version of Eric Clapton‘s cover of Bob Marley’s ‘I Shot the Sheriff,’ or his Barry White pastiche ‘Never Never Gonna Sing for You.’ The overall effect is…disconcerting, to say the least.

Like a lot of the vanity celebrity recordings of the era, ‘Chevy Chase’ actually has a solid musical pedigree — befitting its star’s past as a drummer and jazz percussionist, it was co-produced by West Coast jazz legend Tom Scott, and Chase fronted the ‘SNL’ band during a guest hosting spot that found him performing the ‘Chevy Chase’ cut ‘Sixteen Tons.’ None of it prevented the album from sinking into obscurity, but thanks to the folks at Archive.org, you can now listen to the whole thing from the comfort of your browser. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

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