Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 04/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Gold Medal Collection" is a loving tribute to the memory of Harry Chapin and not just a traditional Greathest Hits album. You will find almost all of your favorite Harry Chapin songs included on this two-disc set--"Taxi," "Cat's in the Cradle," "A Better Place to Be," "W*O*L*D," "Mr. Tanner," "Corey's Coming," "The Rock"--along with Harry talking about Thanksgiving Hunger Drives, Commitment and Pete Seger, Calluses, Performing and his Grandfather, all of which serve to remind us of the man behind the music. Before there was Bob Geldoff or Band-Aid, there was Harry Chapin raising money in his concerts for hunger relief. In terms of what is new and different on this album, there are several live versions of songs, which serve to remind us how much Harry enjoyed playing for his audiences, and "Sniper" from his first album, which has yet to be released on CD. The first disc ends with "There Only Was One Choice," his longest song from "Dance Band on the Titanic," which certainly takes on an added significance given the whole of Harry's life and the tragedy of his untimely death. The collection ends with a poignant live version of his traditional encore piece, "Circle," with Harry promising to be out to talk to the fans and to see them again some time soon. Even if you have the rest of Harry's albums, this one is still a most worthy addition to your collection. If for some reason you do not own a Harry Chapin album, this is the one you want. Then you will understand why we all miss him so much."
The ultimate Harry Chapin album/cd.
Lawrance M. Bernabo | 07/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having been a fan of Harry's since "Taxi" first hit the airwaves, I had waited a long time for a collection of all of his wonderful songs. While the "Gold Medal Colection" misses a few, it does capture Harry at his best. The classic story in "Taxi" moved me to become enthralled with Harry's work many years ago and I am still happy to say that even nearly 20 years after his passing I am still discovering the depth of his talent as a musician and his beauty as a human being. Every father of a teenage girl should be required to listen to "Tangled Up Puppet", because it is truly a life lesson in raising a daughter. I must have listened to it 20 times straight and with tears streaming down my face acknowledged that Harry new EXACTLY how I felt. He touched a chord in me that immediately made me share this song with my daughter, age 15. We cried and hugged as we listened, both realizing that Harry's song captured our relationship to a tee. It was a very moving moment for me, one that I will always remember. I wish Harry was here to thank for it. Now and then I sing a verse or two of that song and my daughter and I exchange that knowing look. Harry Chapin may never have been as famous as many, but his work had a quality of life that very few songwriters ever experience. I would highly recommend this cd and any other Harry Chapin work to anyone looking for compassion, understanding, laughter or just plain entertainment."
Brilliant stuff, with some fluff throw in...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 02/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love Harry. I have since I first heard "Taxi" back around 1972. I have owned or heard just about everything he left us. This is a good overview of his work, with most of his best songs. Some chatter included does not hold up on repeated listenings and could have been dispensed with. This is the only Chapin I have on CD, but I have kept my vinyls and cassettes. All fans of Harry have a different original album favorite, it seems, and all of Harry's albums have a couple of soul-searing classics and at least two or three numbers that don't impress at all. One of my favorite Chapin releases has not made it to CD yet. "Sequel" came out on the Boardwalk label and not only includes that wonderful follow-up to "Taxi", but also has "Remember When the Music." It deserves a CD release. Is anyone listening who can make that happen? Harry, we know you were not perfect, and neither was any single record you put out...but you were a damn good man and artist, and we have missed you terribly. No one has emerged to fill your spot in our culture, and we suffer for it. Jackson Browne has tried, and come close...but no one has produced another "Taxi" or "Cat's in the Cradle" yet. This two-disc set is worth owning if you don't already have these songs in playable condition. Harry Chapin often erred musically on the side of excess, but when he nailed it, he nailed it good. In addition to the songs I've already named, listen to "Old College Avenue"; "I Wanna Learn a Love Song"; "Flowers Are Red"; "She Sings Songs Without "Words"; "Story of a Life"; "W*O*L*D*"; "Mr. Tanner"; "Corey's Coming"; and "Circle". This man put his soul into his lyrics and performances, and exposed it to all who would listen. I thank God I have had his songs in my life."
A must have for any music lover
Bill Fraulino | The Sunshine State | 12/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having been a fan of this entertaining and talented story teller since my first exposure to Chapin's music, I purchased the CD with great anticipation. Once again, Harry exceeded my expectations and further solidified my love for his messages and his music. I had never heard "Corey's Coming" prior to this and after listening to it the first time, I found myself hitting the repeat button, time and time again. The lyrics coupled with the emotion in his voice sent shivers down my spine. Harry did it again, finding a way to draw you into his story as opposed to just listening to a song. The entire CD package is just another example of how wrong people are when they say the Good Lord took Harry from us too soon. I just think God wanted him performing Center Stage-in person, for him. God Bless, Harry-you will live forever in our hearts"
The best collection for the $$
Brian | Ohio, United States | 01/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had a birthday option once-cash, or CDs. I only really knew "Taxi" and "Cat's in the Cradle" from some records, but I wanted them on CD. I wasn't sure I wanted to spend the money on a 2 disc set just for 2 songs. I sort of knew some of the others like "WOLD" and "A Better Place To Be" (a fantastic song, despite that one review), but not that much. So I opted to pass on the cash and got some CDs and made sure that this was the first one I grabbed. I loved almost everything on it right away. I was sad not to see "30,000 lbs of Bananas", but other than that there were no disappointments. The spoken tracks with exerpts from speeches and interviews are amazing. "My Grandfather" is probably my favorite. "Sniper" seriously distrubed me for a while until I realized what a brilliant composition it is. Even "There Only Was One Choice" is on here which is a pretty incredible song but so long that you'd think it'd be left off.For me though, "Circle" is tough to listen to. It is one of the live tracks on the collection and in the middle he talks of his causes and how he'll be in the lobby to meet everyone and "kiss all the pretty ladies" then adds "sorry guys, maybe next year". You see, he died shortly after that performance so there was no "next year". The whole speech is incredibly passionate about his causes and all of the things that he was working for so to think that we lost him shortly after reminds us of what a sudden and tragic loss this was."