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Greatest Stories Live [Live]

Harry ChapinAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

Price: $11.06 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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MP3 Music, 14 Songs, 2009 $11.49  
Audio CD, Live, 1990 $11.06  
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Greatest Stories Live + Gold Medal Collection + Jim Croce Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002GYZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,497 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Dreams Go By
2. W.O.L.D.
3. Saturday Morning
4. I Wanna Learn A Love Song
5. Mr. Tanner
6. A Better Place To Be
7. Let Time Go Lightly
8. Cats In The Cradle
9. Taxi
10. Circle
11. 30,000 Pounds Of Bananas
12. The Shortest Story

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

"Stories" is the operative word here. The late Harry Chapin penned tales that touched a chord in listeners regardless of their age, background, or truth be told, regardless even of the type of music they normally listened to. Chapin always came across as a tough guy with a heart of gold, a brainy type who wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty--much like the protagonist of "Taxi" (a terrific rendition of which is contained herein). In addition to radio staples like "Cat's in the Cradle," the 1976 recording also sheds light on slightly lesser-known pieces like "Circle" and "Mr. Tanner." Chapin's affable manner shines through the entire album, giving it a disarming quality that's not always present on the studio versions. --David Sprague

Product Description

Certified Multi-Platinum (2 times) by the RIAA. (8/01)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
What can I say that hasn't already been said? I bought my first copy of this album in 1977 after a buddy in high school recommended it. From that day forward I have been a complete Harry Chapin addict. I have worn out 3 vinyl copies, 2 tapes and fortunately my CD is lasting. It's a special place I can go to when I play this album and I wouldn't want to be without it.
Harry was a special guy. Flawed like the rest of us and he knew it and accepted it. Idealistic but with an awareness of the cruelty of the world. Taught me that the greatest risk isn't looking foolish for trying something that I might not be good at...but that the greatest risk might be getting old and realizing that I never did what I really wanted.
I was 17 years old in 1978 when I saw Harry perform live. My uncle was a musician who had become a local celebrity in upstate NY and who had performed in the studio with a number of well known acts. He mentioned to me that he knew Harry and I should be sure to hang out after the concert because he would talk to each and every fan and loved to mix. Sure enough, after the show (which was amazing...I still remember the guy running up from the crowd, putting his arm around Harry so his friend could take a picture...Harry stopped singing and just started laughing and commenting "I wish I had what you must have smoked"), Harry came out to talk with everyone and sign autographs. Put his hand on my shoulder as he walked in and he stopped and talked to me for quite a while...and when I mentioned my uncle he just laughed out loud and said, "Hell yes, I know him, he was our first lead guitar player back in the days of the Chapin brothers...". What a moment for a 17 year old kid in front of a bunch of buddies.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
There were not many things much better in this world than Harry Chapin in concert, and this 1976 album completely captures the feel good atmosphere of such events. Both of Harry's greatest epic story songs are here, "Taxi" and "A Better Place to Be," along with his two hit singles (because they were short enough for radio play), "Cats in the Cradle" and "W*O*L*D" (which is gleefully adapted to the local radio station). Big John Wallace adds his unique vocals not only to "Taxi" but also the exquisite "Mr. Tanner." As added treats both of Harry's brothers have their own songs, Tom's "Saturday Morning" and Stephen's "Let Time Go Lightly." The evening concludes with Harry's traditional finale "Circle" and then offers as an encore "30,000 Pounds of Bananas," with all of the various endings that Harry considered at one time or another while writing the song.
For those who feel for some unexplainable reason that they only need to have one Harry Chapin album in their CD collection, "Greatest Stories Live" would be my recommendation for that single disc. The man came alive while performing, so there is no better album for remembering Harry where he belongs, on stage, playing and singing his songs until his voice gave out. Given his tragic death, the blurred photograph of Harry on the album cover seems especially poignant. When first released on CD two of the three studio songs on the album, "Love Is Just Another Word" and "She Is Always Seventeen," were cut due to time restrictions. The latter is especially missed and will hopefully be included in the near future.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My best album March 12, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I bought this album in 1976 and have worn it out (it has been replaced twice). I also have the cassette and CD. It is the first CD I'll put on for friends that ask me about purchasing new music. I also was fortunate enough to see Harry Chapin in concert, it was a really great show. If you are a fan of John Denver, Dan Fogleberg and Jim Croce you will really enjoy this CD. W.O.L.D, Mr. Tanner, Taxi, A Better Place to Be, and Cirle, are songs you will be singing along with very soon.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Did I write that?" asks Harry Chapin April 1, 2003
Format:Audio CD
"Christ, it sounds like the theme from Godfather II!"
Chapin makes this comment after signalling his band to a halt during the intro to the opener "Dreams Go By", because of a banjo solo in that part, played vibrato mandolin style. A dead giveaway right from the start of how this live set is going to feature his often humorous approach to the material. This is also reflected later on in the set in this version of the song "30,000 Pounds Of Bananas", in which Chapin makes a departure just before the last verse, relating his trials and tribulations in coming up with that particular verse. But Chapin was always more than a comedian with a guitar--his material was mostly heartfelt and often as sentimental as anything the younger Billy Joel ever wrote. Quite at odds with the rules of pop music, Chapin came across more affable than charismatic. In that brief period of musical history, you didn't have to be a babe magnet to be a star. Today people think of the "Singer Songwriter Era" as an aberration. After all, pop music is supposed to be about sex or anger, right? Or if there's a "folkie" dimension to it as in the case of artists like Chapin, a sociology or poli-sci aspect. Or if you don't have any of that, you have to be like Joni Mitchell and be versatile in style and/ or one hell of a player. Harry wasn't any of those things. His guitar style was basic accompanist, his songs were more prosaic than poetic. Their arrangements were pretty much predictable. His voice was limited in range and tonal color (just like the man himself says of "Mr. Tanner", a song also present here). He didn't have the melodramatic, almost operatic delivery of Texan contemporary Shawn Phillips.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry
Harry Chapin's Greatest Stories Live is a fantastic album. Every song is a new story, great to sing along with.
Published 2 months ago by JEAN GILREIN
4.0 out of 5 stars It's his best!
I have had the pleasure of seeing Harry Chapin in concert and this is as good as it get's. The only thing that would make this better is to be on DVD.
Published 3 months ago by Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars I Told Harry It Sucked
Where to begin with perhaps, America's greatest story teller...who is better? An amazing array of his greatest and best. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Adm. Arthur LeDock, Ret. GSN
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must For Your Collection
No one writes about heartbreak better than Harry Chapin. If you only know him from "Cat's In The Cradle", well, there are other BETTER songs than that on this album,high... Read more
Published 3 months ago by West Texas St0ner
5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch folk music
If you love songs that tell stories, this CD is for you. Harry Chapin is in rare form with this concert. Read more
Published 3 months ago by David A. Rundquist
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Chapin Live
The best recorded work of the late Harry Chapin ever produced. If you enjoy a great story-teller, musician, songwriter and great humanitarian- then give this a listen. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Wendy A Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Better Place to be!
Grew up on this album. Know every word to every song. His talent of telling a story in his songs has never been surpassed.
Published 6 months ago by Ezmerelda
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Chapin Greatest Stories Live
I bought my aunt the Harry Chapin Greatest Stories Live CD and she absolutely loves it. She's a huge fan. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Tracy
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Stories Live
This is great to have to learn that Harry wrote song from places and thing in his life had happen
Published 7 months ago by Robert Montgomery
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT ALBUMN!!
This is the best Harry Chapin album EVER!! We've had it in vinyl, cassette and this is our second CD. Our favorite.
Published 8 months ago by Nanette Higney
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