Me? I'm Flying In My Taxi, Taking Tips & Getting Stoned!
Barron Laycock | Temple, New Hampshire United States | 07/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was raining hard in `Frisco... I remember driving in the rain in the early seventies listening to Harry Chapin's fateful stories on the radio and marveling at his talents and the powerful life lessons he sang about in "Taxi". I also remember driving in the rain ten or so years later and hearing he had been killed in a traffic accident in the eighties, and recall the public reaction to his loss. We were all sad and stunned. No one breathed more life and pathos into the lyrics and delivery of a song then Harry Chapin, and this is the album that launched him onto a unique, memorable and unfortunately truncated career. It is all here, the wry and wistful "Could You Put Your Lights On, Please", "Greyhound", and "Sometime, Somewhere Wife", and one of my personal favorites, "An Any Old Kind Of Day". Of course, "Taxi" is here, too, and I often listen to this album and wonder what might have been if Harry Chapin hadn't died so young, what other beautiful songs he night have written for us to help guide us through our lives with eyes more opened, arms more outstretched toward each other, and hearts more open and compassionate to all those around us. Sure, it's been a long time now that Harry Chapin is gone, but I can still listen and remember. Enjoy!"
Heads & Tales? This is the Taxi Album
Robert Rhode | Yankton, SD United States | 08/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let's see. It must've been the summer of '72. I was 19 and so very grown up and in love when one night one of my roommates called from the living room, "C'mere you've got to hear this guy." By the time I got untangled from the sheets and out in front of the TV Harry and his band were doing the final verses of Taxi on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.I was entranced, enthralled and determined to hear more of this genius' work. By the next night I had scoured the entire city looking for a copy of that record. It was a little difficult because my roommates and I had missed the name of the singer as well as the title of his song.Totally bummed I sat down to that evening's Tonight Show knowing it could never compare to the previous one. But wait! What was Johnny saying? Something about never having done this before, how the program had been deluged with telegrams and phone calls, so for the first time in the show's history they were bringing a singer back for a following night encore. "It was raining hard in 'Frisco..." My god that's the song! There was Harry once again doing Taxi. Within twelve hours I owned my first copy of Heads & Tales. It's getting on to thirty years now and I've never been without one.His best album? I don't know. Harry seemed to be growing older and maturing as I was. Fatherhood through the eyes of Living Room Suite, maturity done in Sequel. It seemed for a while that every new album reflected the changes that we all went through. Hearing about Harry donating half his salary to world hunger.... And then one day in the early eighties hearing about a crash in a VW. The day the music really died. And for most of us it all started with "Taxi""
#1 in my "mellow moods" collection
David A. Bede | Singapore | 12/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Picture this...late at night, alone in your room after a very long day with no time to yourself, glass of wine and mindless novel in hand...what completes the picture? If you're like me, the answer is an album of pensive, thoughtful music. For my money, Heads and Tales is among the very best in that genre.As you probably know if you're reading this, Harry Chapin led an incredibly noble life and died tragically; this bittersweet combination has become associated with most of his work for me. The great thing about this, his first solo album, is that it's a partial exception: the earnestness and sincerity are there, in his super-expressive voice and heartfelt lyrics, but Chapin sounds far more relaxed - and concerned with his own surroundings - than at any other point in his career. There isn't an overbearing moment on this entire album, something I'm not sure I can say about any of his other studio works.Only two of Chapin's trademark marathon "story-songs" are present here, including the best-known one, "Taxi". (The other, "Dogtown", is as close as this record comes to being overblown, but it tackles a taboo that would make Lou Reed blush. That's all I'll say about that one!) But the spirit of the storyteller is everywhere here, and the stories Chapin tackles are universal. If you've ever had a lonely night in strange surroundings, you'll see yourself in the portraits he paints in "Everybody's Lonely" or "Any Old Kind of Day," while "Could You Put Your Light on Please?" is easily one of the most articulate break-up songs ever written. Sometimes I wonder if any of Chapin's many critics have even listened to some of these songs; it's hard to believe they have! The really remarkable thing about this album is that there isn't a lot of diversity in terms of subject matter, yet each song is different enough in its point of view (not to mention Chapin's knack for sweet melodies) that the listener never gets bored. Regardless of what you think of Chapin in general, Heads and Tales is top notch in the realm of early '70s mellow. Next time you're in one of those pensive late-night moves, put this on and escape. As the man himself says, "There'll be time enough for thinking come tomorrow.""
The first and the best.
David A. Bede | 12/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Remember how DJ's would ask, 'Where were you the first time you heard this?.' Well, I can remember the first time I heard 'Taxi'. I was, as it should be, driving in the rain. Not in a taxi, and not in San Francisco, but the song moved me and still does. Almost everyone has had an encounter with a past love, so like so many of Chapin's songs it touches deeply. I still listen to the songs often and I've had the album (now replaced by a cd) since a week after that rainy night so long ago. I highly recommend it."
The haunting "Taxi" and a listen to the early Harry Chapin
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 10/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While this 1972 album does contain the exquisite "Taxi," that is really the only above average Harry Chapin song to be found on "Heads and Tales." Even though this is an early effort, you will find the core elements that would be developed so wonderfully in later albums: the lengthy story songs ("Dogtown"), the focus on the downs of relationships ("Sometime, Somewhere Wife"), the angst of human existence ("Everybody's Lonely") and the self-awareness of the singer-songwriter ("Same Sad Singer"). Of course it was "Taxi" that brought Harry to the attention of the public despite its 6:44 length, with its simple guitar, haunting cello, and falsetto solo by Big John Wallace, telling the story of a chance meeting several years between two old lovers. However, since Taxi is to be found on a couple of other CDs, this particular one is primarily going to be of interest to the devote Harry Chapin fan, which, come to think of it, is really the only type out there."