ARTIST: Harry Chapin
TITLE: Sniper and Other Love Songs
YEAR RELEASED: 1972
CHART ACTION: #160
SINGLES: Sniper, Sunday Morning Sunshine (#75)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: A Better Place to Be is more known on a live album.
LINEUP: Harry Chapin, John Wallace, Tim Scott, Ron Palmer, Steve Chapin, Russ Kunkel
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A grandiose telling of the Charles Whitman saga stands out, in many ways, with another collection of love laments.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The song “Sniper” is an almost 10-minute saga of Charles Whitman – using artistic liberty and the actual facts of the incident. Reading the Wiki entry of that is hard enough. Somehow Chapin pulls it off, but it does get a bit grandiose and over-the-top at times.
The other songs seem a bit of a letdown from his first album. Well played, nicely sung, but many of them don’t quite carry the emotional heft.
“Sniper” really just takes the wind out of the whole thing though. I’m either going to play that cut by itself, or play the others and skip it.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Circle” was a hit for the New Seekers.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: It’s repackaged with Heads and Tails with some outtakes.
GRADE: B-: This is a case where one song sticks out and emotionally, for me at least, overshadows the others and the flow of the album is flawed.