Story of a Life: The Harry Chapin Box

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
More than most songwriters, Harry Chapin lived his songs. A filmmaker, a taxi driver, a father, an antihunger activist, Chapin brought keen observation to his gift for vivid, touching story songs. This three-disc collection is the first to span Chapin's entire career, from his days with the Chapin Brothers through his '70s chart successes and tragic end in 1981, when a car accident took his life. Rarities like the 1966 Chapin Brothers track "Someone Keeps Calling My Name" stand beside his famous 1974 hit "Cat's in the Cradle" and live tracks, completing a musical portrait of a quintessentially American storyteller. Bound as a 76-page hardcover book, the set includes ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
More than most songwriters, Harry Chapin lived his songs. A filmmaker, a taxi driver, a father, an antihunger activist, Chapin brought keen observation to his gift for vivid, touching story songs. This three-disc collection is the first to span Chapin's entire career, from his days with the Chapin Brothers through his '70s chart successes and tragic end in 1981, when a car accident took his life. Rarities like the 1966 Chapin Brothers track "Someone Keeps Calling My Name" stand beside his famous 1974 hit "Cat's in the Cradle" and live tracks, completing a musical portrait of a quintessentially American storyteller. Bound as a 76-page hardcover book, the set includes essays by Chapin's wife and a track-by-track commentary, written by Chapin's son Josh, on the 47 songs therein.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Harry Chapin was always a bit of a polarizing figure, attracting many dedicated fans but never earning much critical respect. Rhino's comprehensive three-disc box set Story of a Life doesn't really offer an opportunity for re-evaluation, nor does it even try to win over doubters. Instead, it tells a thorough history of Chapin's career, not missing a single hit or major song along the way. There are some rarities scattered throughout the set, mostly live tracks, but also the Chapin Brothers' 1966 single "Someone Keeps Calling My Name." However, the box shouldn't be seen as a treasure trove of unreleased material; instead, it's a journey through Chapin's career, providing an exhaustively detailed travelogue. Really, it contains too much material for anyone but the die-hard fan. But that's where Story of a Life is a success -- it's a loving tribute to Chapin, made with the cooperation of his estate and designed for his loving fans. It works quite well on that level, even if it's far too much for the average fan who just likes "Taxi" and "Cat's in the Cradle."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/19/1999
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • UPC: 081227587529
  • Catalog Number: 75875
  • Sales rank: 6,239

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Harry Chapin Primary Artist
Kris Kristofferson Background Vocals
The Dixie Hummingbirds Vocals
John Tropea Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Sitar
Rita Coolidge Background Vocals
The Cowsills Background Vocals
Pat Coil Piano
Don Grolnick Piano, Harpsichord, Electric Piano
Clair Marlo Synthesizer
Bob Smith Hand Clapping
Jim Chapin Drums
Tim Moore Piano
Billy Swan Background Vocals
Jim Keltner Drums
Victoria Conga
Tom Chapin Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Bobbye Hall Percussion
Dave Armstrong Harmonica
Ron Bacchiocchi Synthesizer, Clavinet, Hand Clapping
Ed Bednarski Clarinet
Gene Bianco Harp
George Bohannon Trombone
Tomi Lee Bradley Background Vocals
Buzz Brauner Tenor Saxophone, Alto Recorder
David Burgen Harmonica
Yvonne Cable Cello
Bobby Carlin Drums
Barbara Carr Background Vocals
Sandra Chalmers Background Vocals
Steve Chapin Organ, Synthesizer, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Recorder, Background Vocals
Jon Cobert Synthesizer, Piano
Carolyn Dennis Background Vocals
Harry DiVito Trombone
Ron Evanuik Cello
Chrissy Faith Background Vocals
Donna Fein Background Vocals
Cheryl Ferrio Hand Clapping
Howie Fields Percussion, Drums, Orchestra Bells
Chuck Findley Trumpet
Chuck Kirkpatrick Electric Guitar, Vocals
Steve Foreman Percussion
Jeanne French Background Vocals
Dennis Frick Bassoon
Paul Gabriel Hand Clapping
Steve Gadd Drums
Grant Geissman Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Marsh Lynn Goldberg Background Vocals
Muffy Hendrix Background Vocals
Neil Jason Bass, Bass Guitar
Arthur Jenkins Percussion
Bernie Keising Background Vocals
Jackie Kelso Baritone Saxophone
Jimmy Keyes Hand Clapping
David Kondziela Background Vocals
Art Krahulck Background Vocals
Russ Kunkel Percussion, Conga, Drums
Joe Lala Percussion
Bill Lanphier Bass
Paul Leka Piano, Celeste, Harpsichord, Keyboards, Clavinet
Mike Lewis Conductor
Barbara Lindquist Background Vocals
Guy Lumia Concert Master
Steve Madaio Trumpet
Theodore Marnel Background Vocals
Michael Masters Cello
Craig Mitchell Background Vocals
Nancy Newman Background Vocals
Andy Newmark Drums
Don Payne Bass
Frank Porto Accordion
John Quayle Background Vocals
Kathy Ramos Background Vocals
Steve Randall Background Vocals
Donna D. Reilly Background Vocals
Herbert Rhoad Vocals
Joe Russell Vocals
Buddy Salzman Drums
Allan Schwartzberg Drums
Frank Simms Background Vocals
George Simms Background Vocals
Ken Smith Flute, Mandolin, Hand Clapping
Tom Smith Hand Clapping
Mike Solomon Background Vocals, Hand Clapping
Irving Spice Concert Master
Scott Spray Hand Clapping
Bob Springer Percussion, Castanets, Chimes, Conga, Hand Clapping
Lou Volpe Guitar
Betsy Wager Background Vocals
Chris Waite Tambourine
Doug Walker Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Mandolin, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Slide Guitar, Slack Key Guitar
Dick Hyde Trombone
Harold Keinz Flute, English Horn, Oboe, Piccolo
Tim Scott Cello
Christopher Von Koschembahr Choir, Chorus
Todd Mulder Choir, Chorus
Sue White Background Vocals
Big John Wallace Bass, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Phil Forbes Drums
Jeff Gross Background Vocals, Hand Clapping
Jonathan Craven Choir, Chorus
George Kim Scholes Cello, Keyboards
Rob White Background Vocals, Human Whistle
Zizi Roberts Vocals
M.B. Gordy Percussion, Drums
Technical Credits
Clair Marlo Producer
Howard Albert Producer
Ron Albert Producer
Ron Bacchiocchi Engineer
Michael Barry Engineer
Hugh Brown Art Direction
Ken Caillat Engineer
Steve Chapin String Arrangements
Elliott Federman Mastering
Chuck Kirkpatrick Engineer
Jim Frank Engineer
Don Gehman Engineer
Bill Inglot Producer, Remastering
Fred Kewley Arranger, Musical Director
Paul Leka Arranger, Producer
Mike Lewis Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
Jack Malken Engineer
David McLees Producer
Bruce Morgan Engineer
Johnette Napolitano Composer
Chuck Plotkin Producer
Keith Walsh Producer
Hank Medress Producer
Jerry Newman Engineer
Peter Fornatale Producer
Mike Ragogna Producer
Elizabeth Pavone Editorial Coordinator
Norma Edwards Editorial Research
Maria Villar Art Direction
Andrew Garver Remastering
John James Stewart Engineer
Big John Wallace Arranger
Sandy Chapin Executive Producer
David Vanderheyden Engineer
Rob White Illustrations
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