Today we turn the spotlight upon a singer/songwriter from Brooklyn, New York, Harry Chapin and his debut album on Elektra Records.
Chapin had released an album with his brothers Tom and Steve that wasn't a success. But after a residency at The Village Gate in Greenwich Village where his brothers headlined and Harry was the opening act two record labels Columbia and Elektra began a bidding war to sign Harry Chapin. Columbia had triumphed a few times previously against Elektra but they lost out on this battle as Chapin went with Elektra because they offered a better potential for a more personal attention to the artist's work. Jac Holzman was able to secure Chapin for what at the time was the largest recording contract in history for a new artist.
Along with the prospective 9 album deal Chapin had written into the contract that he not be charged for studio time. This no doubt saved him a heap of money over the years.
The debut album had a surprising hit single in Taxi, that over time became one of his signature songs. It reached #24 and that was despite its length of almost seven minutes which meant it wasn't played on the radio much at all.
If folks are unaware of Taxi they might certainly know his first Top 40 hit (on both sides of the pond) W·O·L·D (released in December 1973 and a hit in 1974) and his October 1974 US #1 (only #53 in the UK) song Cat's in the Cradle (a song that Ugly Kid Joe also had a hit with in 1993. US Chart #6 and UK #7)
Heads & Tales - Harry Chapin
Produced by Jac Holzman
Released 11th March 1972
US Chart #60
Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!