Chunky, Novi & Ernie

Band members               Related acts

- Chunky (aka Lauren Woods, aka Ilene Rappaport) --

  vocals, keyboards

- Ernie Eremita -- bass, backing vocals

- Novi Novgo (aka Ilene Novog -- viola, keyboards, 

  backing vocals



Rebecca and the Sunnybrook Farmers

- Freeway Philharmonic (Novi Novgo)

- Lauren Woods (solo efforts)





Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Chunky, Novi & Ernie

Company: Reprise

Catalog: MS-2148

Year: 1974

Country/State: New York, New York

Grade (cover/record): NM / NM

Comments: still sealed; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4870

Price: $40.00



If you can overlook what may be 1973's worst cover art, "Chunky, Novi & Ernie" is actually a pretty interesting artifact.


The trio composed of singer/keyboardist Chunky (aka Ilene Rappaport, aka Lauren Woods), bassist Ernie Eremita and multi-instrumentalist Ilene 'Novi' Novgo had all been members of the obscure Rebecca and the Sunnybrook Farmers who recorded an entertaining late 1960s album for Musicor (see separate entry).  (The trio's post-Rebecca LP was actually dedicated to former Rebecca singer/guitarist Mickey Kapner and vocalist Ki-Ki.)


Following Rebecca's collapse, the trio continued their musical collaboration, somehow gaining a mentor in the form of Frank Zappa (who at one time wanted Novgo to join his touring band).  With Zappa's support the trio scored a contract with Reprise Records (coincidently Zappa's label at the time).  Co-produced by Ted Templeman and John Cale (talk about a weird team), 1974's "Chunky, Novi & Ernie" proved an unexpectedly cool album.  Largely penned by Chunky, a couple of tracks like the opener 'Underground' were surprisingly rock oriented (quite a pleasant surprise given the eclectic instrumental line-up).  Not to give you the impression this was radio-friendly top-40.  Material like 'Chicago Fog Lift', 'Antique' and 'Fruits And Vegetables' was tuneful, but in a weird, orchestrated fashion that would have fit someone like Kate Bush.  On reflection the comparison with Bush is actually quite good - check out 'Atlantic Liner' and 'America / Chicago' if you doubt the comparison.  Elsewhere drummer Richie Hayward and numerous members of The Mothers of Invention provided support.  Zappa himself made a cameo providing backing vocals on 'Rosalie'.


"Chunky, Novi & Ernie" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Underground   (Ilene Rappaort aka Chunky) - 2:55
2.) Rosalie   (Ilene Rappaort aka Chunky) - 2:58
3.) Chicago Fog Lift   (Ilene Rappaort aka Chunky) - 4:06 
4.) Antique   (Ilene Rappaort aka Chunky) - 3:00
5.) Fruits And Vegetables   (Ilene Rappaort aka Chunky) - 5:09


(side 2)
Lola And The Boys   (Ilene Rappaort aka Chunky) - 3:06
2.) Italian Sea
   (Ilene Rappaort aka Chunky) - 4:07
3.) Atlantic Liner
   (Ilene Rappaort aka Chunky) - 3:42
4.) Rennaissance
   (Ilene Rappaort aka Chunky) - 6:19
5.) America / Chicago
   (Ilene Rappaort aka Chunky - Ernie - Novi) - 4:51