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Michael Chapman

Rainmaker

Light In The Attic

LITA079CD

LP Black $18
CD $12
  • Gorgeously remastered from the original master tapes
  • CD contains 3 previously unreleased tracks PLUS 3 rarities
  • LP remains a faithful reproduction of the original album tracks
  • 180-gram wax housed in a deluxe Stoughton gatefold “tip-on” jacket
  • Both CD and LP feature new liner notes by Byron Coley and unseen rare archive photos, gig flyers and more

Description

On the heels of last year’s reissue of Michael Chapman’s 1970 classic album Fully Qualified Survivor (LITA 060), comes his 1969 debut Rainmaker (originally released on the seminal Harvest label).

On the heels of last year’s reissue of Michael Chapman’s 1970 classic album Fully Qualified Survivor (LITA 060), comes his 1969 debut Rainmaker (originally released on the seminal Harvest label).
Like the ‘FQS’ album, Rainmaker is a psychedelic-guitar-folk delight. The album kicks off with one of Chapman’s best known songs “It Didn’t Work Out” – which features a stellar cast of legendary English musicians of the era; Guitarist “Clem” Clempson was in the prog-band Bakerloo (soon after playing with Chapman he’d join jazz-rockers Colosseum and then Humble Pie) Drummer Aynsley Dunbar (his resume includes John Mayall, Eric Burdon, David Bowie, Frank Zappa and Lou Reed), bassist Alex Dmochowski (long time Dunbar comrade) were both in Dunbar’s Retaliation. Organ player Norman Haines was in Locomotive (another obscure, but legendary progressive English band of the day).

A true stylist in his own right, Chapman holds a middle line between John Martyn and Bert Jansch with the provocative electric rock of Martyn juxtaposed against the traditional folk so wonderfully espoused by Jansch. Another highlight is Chapman’s lyrical/vocal style, which would appeal to fans of Roy Harper. Along for the ride on other songs are acoustic bassist Danny Thompson (Pentangle, John Martyn, Nick Drake) and electric bass player Rick Kemp (later to join Steeleye Span). All of the proceedings were produced by Gus Dudgeon who also did Chapman’s “FQS” album as well as David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” single – and a ton of the early work of Elton John.

We’ve reproduced the gatefold jacket in its exact original form (including a deluxe Stoughton-“tip-on” jacket), while the CD version includes 6 rare bonus tracks from the Rainmaker sessions, including 3 previously unreleased songs never heard else-where! And if that wasn’t enough, journalist Byron Coley penned 5,000 words of new liner notes taken from a fresh Chapman interview detailing the recording sessions. All packaged with many unseen photos of the era.

Artist Bio

Michael Chapman

Playing a blend of atmospheric and autobiographical material, he established a reputation for intensity and innovation. Signed to EMI’s Harvest label he recorded a quartet of classic albums. LPs like Rainmaker and Wrecked Again defined the melancholic observer role Michael was to make his own, mixing intricate guitar instrumentals with a full band sound.

The influential album Fully Qualified Survivor, featuring the lead guitar of Mick Ronson (of David Bowie fame) and Rick (Steeleye Span) Kemp’s bass, was John Peel’s favorite album of 1970. Survivor featured the Chapman ‘hit’, “Postcards of Scarborough”, a characteristically tenderly sour song recounting the feelings of nostalgia and regret.

After the release of Wrecked Again, Chapman parted company with Harvest, choosing to sign to Decca’s subsidiary Deram, where he altered course somewhat, adding electric guitar and harder rhythms to his work. Several albums were released on Deram during the early to mid 1970’s including one produced by Memphis legend Don Nix.

Recording for numerous smaller record labels, and playing the folk and club circuits, the 1980’s was a quieter time for Chapman. He continued to make recordings that straddled musical genres and pushed his guitar playing to the fore, but had neither the profile nor sales of the previous decade.

The late 1990’s onwards represented a period of continued rebirth for Chapman. He embraced the ‘elder statesman’ role and enjoyed critical acclaim for albums like Navigation, Dreaming Out Loud and Still Making Rain (a wry pun title that looked back to his debut album). With the 1997 release of Dreaming Out Loud, Chapman was releasing albums at the rate of one every two years, while attracting high praise from the likes of Thurston Moore and Supergrass.

A decade later and Chapman is still going strong, having just toured United States in 2011.

Preview Tracklist

  • 1 It Didn't Work Out
  • 2 Rainmaker
  • 3 You Say
  • 4 Thank You PK 1944
  • 5 No-One Left To Care
  • 6 Small Stones
  • 7 Not So Much A Garden More Like A Maze
  • 8 No Song To Sing
  • 9 One Time Thing
  • 10 Sunday Morning
  • 11 Goodbye To Monday Night
  • 12 If I Bring You Roses
  • 13 Among The Trees
  • 14 Sleepy
  • 15 On My Way Again
  • 16 Mozart Lives Upstairs
  • 17 Bert Jansch Meets Frankenstein (Take 2)