Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Similarly Requested CDs
Music was Harry Chapin's life AND his livelihood
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Short Stories" was the third album of story songs produced by Harry Chapin in 1973 and because of his hit single "W.O.L.D." the album made it up to #61 on the Billboard album chart, which was just a notch below what his debut album "Heads & Tales" did because of what is considered his signature song, "Taxi." His fourth album, "Verities & Balderdash" would make it all the way to #4 because of his biggest hit, "Cats in the Cradle." This history lesson on the relative sales success of Harry Chapin's albums is an example of irony because all of Harry's fans know that his most memorable songs were too long to end up on the radio, a fact underscored by "Taxi."
So when I listen to "Short Stories" again and remember how Harry Chapin got me through my first semester of college by allowing me to wallow in my depression over my love life (or lack thereof), the song that stands out for me is "Mr. Tanner." Now, I know that this classic Harry Chapin song featuring the vocals of big John Wallace is not really a love song in the sense that it is about a man and a woman, but it is about the love of a man for something. Besides, "O Holy Night" is one of my favorite Christmas songs and I like the way it is incorporated into the song. More on target when it comes to melancholy songs would be "Mail Order Annie," the story of a mail order bride who is a lonely man's hope for happiness.
The title song provides a context for Chapin's story songs, and while there are only a few gems on this album, "Short Stories" proved that Harry was writing about more serious subjects than other balladeers at that same time (e.g., James Taylor, Cat Stevens). The key things is that with Harry the songs are about desperation without being depressing (at least, not as depressing as your own life), which is why we always care about the characters he signs about, whether it is the nomad disc jockey, the sad woman they call "Easy," or the dry cleaner who signs softly to himself as he sorts through the clothes. The gift of Harry Chapin was that he could move us with his simple, sad songs, which is part of the reason why he is so sorely missed by so many of us."
foundpoem | 07/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I didn't even realize this had been released on CD until I just came across it. I've got my old vinyl album with which I sat in my room for hours when I was young, and played over and over and over. Since CD's, this was the one the went unreleased. Many of the songs can be found on the Gold Medal Collection, which is a truly wonderful double-CD (highly recommended), but a couple of songs are missing on it from Short Stories, and the songs from Short Stories, and this album, are easily his best.Heartbreaking, sad, funny, personal, real, and each song is a short story. The music is folk; his voice, and the lyrics, are clear. Oh - buy it! What a great person and artist.... and a terrible, early, loss -- his life was too short of a story indeed. He was a great humanitarian who put his money where his mouth and heart were."
Great Album -- One of His Best
Steven K. Szmutko | EWING, NJ USA | 09/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first Harry Chapin album I ever listened to, back in the days when I was doing college radio. Although the vinyl LP has long been worn out, I still popped it on the turntable now and then.
Fortunately the album has finally been released on CD and it sounds excellent. In addition to the Single "W.O.L.D.", the CD contains Harry's all time greats including three of my favorites, "Mail Order Annie," "Mr. Tanner," and "Old College Avenue."
This is an unforgettable album. There are a few more unreleased albums still to be released (Harry's second live album "Legends of the Lost and Found"). Hopefully they will follow.