ARTIST: Harry Chapin
TITLE: Heads & Tales
YEAR RELEASED: 1972
CHART ACTION: #60
SINGLES: Taxi (#24)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Singer songwriter fans know this record…
LINEUP: Harry Chapin, Steve Chapin, Russ Kunkel, Ronald Palmer, Tim Scott, John Wallace
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Poignant singer-songwriter’s debut shows his penchant for deconstructing bad relationships, albeit in a sometimes long-winded way.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Harry Chapin is known and remembered fondly for the most part, though some rock critics didn’t like him, his target audience loved and respected him.
He was a very detailed songwriter, sometimes to his detriment, but he really made his songs into novels. Taxi, the hit from this album even as it clocked over 6 ½ minutes, demonstrates this more than any other song on this collection. It’s the highlight of the album, because even at its length it doesn’t meander.
The rest of the cuts are decent as well. If you like singer-songwriter confessionals, this IS one of the best albums. I can take them in small doses, but that’s a personal thing. I can appreciate the songwriting here.
I’d like to say something about the musicianship on this album. The band Chapin assembled, accented by Russ Kunkel on drums, is excellent and Jac Holzman’s production is pert near perfect for the songs.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Harry’s recording career started with an album made with his brothers Tom and Steve called Chapin Music!
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A-: Some cuts meander too long, but the music is great and Taxi is a classic of the genre.