Chaz Jankel

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Chaz Jankel
Jankel singing into a microphone onstage
Jankel performing live at The Water Rats, in 2011
Background information
Birth name Charles Jeremy Jankel
Also known as Chas Jankel
Born (1952-04-16) 16 April 1952 (age 64)
Origin Stanmore, London, England, United Kingdom
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • composer
  • multi-instrumentalist
  • record producer
  • music programmer
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • synthesizer
  • keyboards
  • percussion
Years active 1971–present
Associated acts

Charles Jeremy "Chaz" Jankel[2] (born 16 April 1952) is an English singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer.

Jankel's music career spans more than 40 years. He came to prominence in the late 1970s as the guitarist and keyboardist of the rock band Ian Dury and The Blockheads. With Dury, Jankel co-wrote some the band's best-known songs. In addition to his work with the Blockheads, Jankel has had a solo career which has included nine studio albums. He has a long list of credits as both a performer and as songwriter.

Early life[edit]

Charles Jeremy Jankel was born on 16 April 1952, in Stanmore, England. He started to learn to play the Spanish guitar at the age of 7 and then went on to study piano.[3] He attended Mill Hill School and became a fan of the American rock, funk, and soul band Sly and the Family Stone. Jankel's fondness for this style was later responsible for much of the funk influence on the Blockheads' music, and also influenced Jankel's solo career. As a student at Saint Martin's School of Art he played with a band called Byzantium from 1972 to 1973.[3]


In 1973, Chaz Jankel contributed a track titled "Let's Go" to Long John Baldry's album Good to Be Alive. He then joined the folk rock band Jonathan Kelly's Outside, and worked on their only album ...Waiting on You, released in early 1974.[4] Jankel first started working with Ian Dury as part of the pub rock band Kilburn and the High Roads in the early part of the 1970s. He went on to work with Dury on albums such as 1977's New Boots and Panties!! and Blockheads albums including the 1979 release Do It Yourself before leaving the band. In 1981, Jankel joined Dury again, without the Blockheads, for his second solo album Lord Upminster, which spawned the US Top 40 dance hit "Spasticus Autisticus."[5]

After leaving the Blockheads, Jankel pursued a solo career and issued four studio albums for A&M, including his 1980s self-titled debut and 1981's Chasanova/Questionnaire. This album contained the US dance hit "Glad to Know You", a collaboration with Dury, plus the MTV music video of its title track.[5] In 1981, Quincy Jones had a UK chart hit with a cover version of Jankel's "Ai No Corrida", which reached No. 14 in April of that year. The song was also covered by the Nylons, and Laura More with Uniting Nations. In 2005, the Uniting Nations' version peaked at No. 18 in the UK.[6]

Jankel hit No. 1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in 1982 with the triple A-side "Glad to Know You"/"3,000,000 Synths"/"Ai No Corrida". His single "Number One" went to No. 1 in the clubs in France and was used in the 1985 film Real Genius.[7] He went on to release and albums Chazablanca in 1983 and Looking at You in 1985.[5]

After living for several years in the US, Jankel returned to the UK and rejoined the Blockheads, working with Dury on their final two albums with him: Mr. Love Pants (1998) and Ten More Turnips from the Tip (2000).[8] After Dury's death in 2000, Jankel continued to perform and write with the Blockheads.

Jankel has several composer credits for films, including DOA (1988), which was co-directed by his sister Annabel Jankel, and K2. Jankel composed the majority of the music for the Dury biopic Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, in which he was portrayed by Tom Hughes. Jankel received a BAFTA nomination for the film's music.[9]

In 2010, Jankel released his first compilation album titled My Occupation – The Music of Chaz Jankel including "Ai No Corrida", "Glad to Know You" and "You're My Occupation". This album also contained "Get Myself Together" which was a lost B-side.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Jankel has a sister Annabelle. He met his wife Elaine O'Halloran on the set of the 1989 film The Rachel Papers where she was assistant editor.[11] The couple has a son Lewis Shay Jankel, a DJ, record producer, singer and songwriter who uses the stage name Shift K3Y.[12]


Solo albums[edit]

Year Title Label
1980 Chas Jankel A&M
1981 Chasanova/Questionnaire
1983 Chazablanca
1985 Looking at You
2001 Out of the Blue Chaz Jankel
2003 Zoom
2005 Experience
2008 A Bit on the Side
2010 The Submarine Has Surfaced


Year Title B-side Album
1974 "One Morning One Evening" "Let's Work It Together" Non-album single
1980 "Ai No Corrida" "Lenta Latina" Chas Jankel
1981 "Am I Honest With Myself Really?" [Promo-only] "Lenta Latina" Chas Jankel
1981 "109" "3,000,000 Synths" Chasanova/Questionnaire
1981 "Questionnaire" "Boy" Chasanova/Questionnaire
1981 "Glad to Know You" "3,000,000 Synths"/"Ai No Corrida" Chasanova/Questionnaire
1982 "Without You" "Rêve De Chèvre" Chazablanca
1983 "I Can Get Over It (If You Can Get Over Here)" "To Wou Lady Kong" Chazablanca
1985 "No. 1" "Tonight's the Night" Looking at You
1985 "Looking at You" "Little Eva" Looking at You
1986 "You're My Occupation" (Featuring Brenda Jones) "You're My Occupation (Dub Mix)" Non-album single
1988 "Nicaragua" "Manon Manon" Non-album single
2009 "I Come Alive" (Featuring Natalia Scott) "Give It Up (Yam Who? Remix)"/"Give It Up (Original Version)" Non-album single


  1. ^ "Chris Jankel". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 April 2009. 
  2. ^ "Works written by: JANKEL CHARLES JEREMY". ACE Title Search. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved 2 November 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Chaz Jankel". 2002. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Prato, Greg. "Chaz Jankel". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "Ai no corrida by Quncy Jones". Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  7. ^ Burns, Todd L. (4 July 2008). "Sooner or later: Chaz Jankel". Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  8. ^ "Ian Dury And The Blockheads 1977-2000". Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  9. ^ "Film Award winners in 2010". Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  10. ^ Chaz Jankel: My Occupation - The Music Of Chaz Jankel, retrieved 24 August 2016 
  11. ^ "Films". Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  12. ^ "Biography". Billboard. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]