ARTIST: Michael Chapman
YEAR RELEASED: 1969
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: It Didn’t Work Out
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: No, sadly, no.
LINEUP: Michael Chapman, Clem Clempson, Richie Dharma, Alex Dmochowski, Aynsley Dunbar, Rick Kemp, Norman Hayes, Barry Morgan, Danny Thompson
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: An album that found a home in the UK folk revival and with the progressive movement, but straddling those two idioms left it and him a cult artist.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Many tracks on this debut from Michael Chapman are acoustic guitar solos, but don’t let that fool you into thinking those are mellow or this is a record for acoustic guitar junkies. Chapman lets out a fury on his acoustic 6-and-12 strings where they’re not just mellow asides; they’re full on statements.
He’s also at home creating electric songs as well. The opener “It Didn’t Work Out” definitely could have been an FM radio hit had it been released here in the US, and his straddling of both electric and acoustic worlds helped him book shows in both the folk and progressive scenes. His voice, a moody baritone, fits his material, and his lyrics show inventiveness as well.
Chapman, and this album, are one reason I started this project. I had no idea this gentleman existed, and now, this is on one of my lists as an almost essential album.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: He was an art photography teacher before his recording career.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, some single mixes and alternates.
GRADE A+: One of the gems I’ve found doing this project.