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Dance Band on the Titanic

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All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Who would have figured, listening to the heart-on-his-sleeve sensibilities of Heads & Tales in 1972, that Harry Chapin would or could ever generate a wry, sly, sardonic double-LP single CD album like this? The diversity of this album is its strong point, the core of the record made up of straightforward, serious songs, most notably "We Grew up a Little Bit" and the gorgeous ballads "Mismatch" arguably Chapin's prettiest song and "I Do It for You, Jane" of which the latter could have been a smash done countrypolitan style in Nashville, and there's one lean vignette into traditional music "Bluesman". But those are surrounded by some of the most bittersweet work of his ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Who would have figured, listening to the heart-on-his-sleeve sensibilities of Heads & Tales in 1972, that Harry Chapin would or could ever generate a wry, sly, sardonic double-LP single CD album like this? The diversity of this album is its strong point, the core of the record made up of straightforward, serious songs, most notably "We Grew up a Little Bit" and the gorgeous ballads "Mismatch" arguably Chapin's prettiest song and "I Do It for You, Jane" of which the latter could have been a smash done countrypolitan style in Nashville, and there's one lean vignette into traditional music "Bluesman". But those are surrounded by some of the most bittersweet work of his career, including the title track, "Mercenaries," and "Manhood," not to mention the satirical, phantasmagoric "There Only Was One Choice," a 14-minute conceptual piece that conflates a bitter, sardonic look at the music business and the history of the United States, all looping back to the opener, "Dance Band on the Titanic." The whole album is dazzling in its range, from full-blown orchestrated numbers to solo acoustic-style tracks, and moods running from wide-eyed innocence to seething anger and frustration, all of it interesting and 95 percent of it highly entertaining as well. As with most of Chapin's work -- but perhaps more so throughout this album -- one gets the sense of an artist who desperately needed to break out of the boundaries of recording, onto a larger canvas; on this record, the music is so effective that he nearly made it, without ever actually breaking out to another format.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/29/1993
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • UPC: 075596054928
  • Catalog Number: 60549

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Harry Chapin Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Elliott Randall Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
Victoria Conductor, Conga
Tom Chapin Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Guitar, Vocals
Buzz Brauner Tenor Saxophone
Barbara Carr Vocals
Stephen Chapin Keyboards, Vocals
Steve Chapin Piano, Vocals
Harry DeVito Trombone
Harry DiVito Trombone
Howie Fields Drums
Steve Gadd Drums
Marsh Lynn Goldberg Vocals
Neil Jason Bass, Bass Guitar
Arthur Jenkins Percussion
Bernie Keising Bass, Vocals
Art Krahulck Vocals
Barbara Lindquist Vocals
Guy Lumia Concert Master
Theodore Marnel Vocals
Craig Mitchell Vocals
Nancy Newman Vocals
Ronald Palmer Guitar, Vocals
John Quayle Vocals
Steve Randall Vocals
Donna D. Reilly Vocals
Kim Scholes Cello
Mike Solomon Vocals
Chris Waite Percussion, Tambourine
Doug Walker Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Tim Scott Cello
Art Krahulek Vocals
Big John Wallace Bass, Bass Guitar, Vocals
Jeff Gross Vocals
Technical Credits
Stephen Chapin Arranger, Producer
Steve Chapin Producer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Jack Malken Engineer
Tony Lane Art Direction
Gus Skinas Programming
Michael Burke Illustrations
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