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Sniper & Other Love Songs

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Audio CD, June 18, 2002
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 18, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Wounded Bird Records
  • ASIN: B000068TN3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,497 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sunday Morning Sunshine
2. Sniper
3. And The Baby Never Cries
4. Burning Herself
5. Barefoot Lady
6. Better Place To Be
7. Circle
8. Woman Child
9. Winter Song

Editorial Reviews

Harry Chapin was a folk-rock balladeer extraordinaire who tragically died in an auto accident in 1981. He issued many albums throughout the 80's but surprisingly Sniper & Other Love Songs was never issued on CD, until now. Chapin fans have been campaignin

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
That's if those really apply.
"Woman Child" is a frank look at a very young woman in over her head, from the perspective of the older man who put her there.
David A. Bede
A must buy for anyone who appreciates the story-songs of Mr. Chapin.
Stewart Axelrad

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By R. L. MILLER on December 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
During the time he was still with us, the rock'n'roll crowd sneered that he didn't have the proper rock "attitude". The folkies felt he was too philosophical and didn't stick to the standard ballad form enough. Fortunately the bona fide folk purists weren't listening anymore because original material had been "in" for folksingers for years, or we'd have heard "where's Jimmy Crack Corn?" ad nauseam. The audience who listened to Carole King and Carly Simon wanted to hear love ballads and Harry wasn't enough of a Neil Diamond clone for their tastes. The Singer/ Songwriter fans complained that his lyrics were too prosaic, too matter-of-fact. But Harry overcame the "sophomore jinx" by giving us more "pay attention, Jack" material than on his "Heads & Tales" debut. From the start, we got some very listenable material. "Sunday Morning Sunshine" is a joyful your-love-gives-my-life-meaning song. Then the album abruptly shifts to the raging epic title song, the tale of Charles Whitman of Texas Tower fame. Given the times this song was written during, Chapin can be forgiven his attempt to understand this monster who didn't realize that the universe underwrites no insurance against hurt feelings to any of us--instead Whitman threw the most fearsome temper tantrum a human being can throw: mass murder. Listen to the lyrics--every slight mentioned has happened to all of us, but the difference is that the rest of us do like the old saying: "get a life". Then the album moves to a song of a lonely musician who finds love in the arms of an abandoned single mom whose "Baby Never Cries". Then to "Burning Herself", the helpless thoughts of a man in love with a woman who's into self-mutilation and he can't think of a thing he can do to help her, and as such he's letting her down.Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David A. Bede on November 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
At long last, someone has done some serious digging into the far reaches of the late, great Harry Chapin's catalog. I'm glad to see it happen and I hope it continues with the remainder of his work, but I can't say this collection quite qualifies for buried-treasure status. Of course, other hardcore Chapin fans won't need me to tell them it's worth the expense to finally hear the long-lost half of the fabled Double Album That Wasn't. (Elektra balked at letting Chapin follow the success of "Taxi" with a 2 LP set, hence the lost tracks unearthed here.) On the other hand, if you only own "Greatest Stories Live" or "The Gold Medal Collection" and are thinking about a second purchase, this probably isn't your best choice until you become more familiar with Chapin's work as a whole.

Chapin's first solo album, "Heads and Tales," has always been my favorite, with its beautiful melodies and passionate lyrics about isolation and lost love. (That admittedly vague description literally fits every song on the album.) This collection includes "Heads and Tales" in its entirety, with the unfortunate exception of the opening track, "Could You Put Your Light On, Please?" Only an alternate version of that is included here, featuring a poppier, acoustic opening which segues into the original version towards the end of the song. It's an interesting variation, but it just isn't as good as the beautiful original, which could easily have fit on the disc along with the rest of the album. That omission is, in my opinion, the biggest strike against this edition.

"Sniper and Other Love Songs" is quite a bit less accessible than its predecessor, which might be why it was one of the last Chapin albums to be reissued on CD. But the repeated listenings it takes to enjoy the album are well worth it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By aaron neubauer on December 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I have waited for 10 years for sniper and other love songs to be released on cd. The album is very dark, typified by "Sniper", and "Woman Child". The album features the Chapin anthem "Circle" and Harry's favorites song that he wrote "A Better Place" to be. Over all a very good album. aaron neubauer
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bruce P. Barten on January 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Steve Chapin plays piano for his brother Harry Chapin on the album "Sniper and Other Love Songs" released in 1972. With Tim Scott on cello, Ron Palmer on lead guitar, John Wallace on electric bass, and Harry Chapin with his own guitar, the group always has plenty of irons in the fire to add to the astounding lyrics of Harry Chapin. The first song brags about having "a pocket full of stories that I just had to tell." On the dramatic side, this album is named for a song called "Sniper" that is 9 minutes and 50 seconds long, ("Seven A.M., the day is beginning, so much to do and so little time") that tells a story which starts with a tower on a campus. By the middle of the song, the main character is spewing out "Are you listening to me? Are you listening to me? Am I?" as the bullets fly. "Not much of a joiner" was the explanation people gave for his idiosyncrasies.

The song "Circle" has a 1971 copyright, and the "let's go 'round one more time" theme is just right for a career in music. The best song with a "Sshh, I know just how you feel" line is "Better Place to Be," which takes 7 minutes and thirty-five seconds to answer the question:

Where the hell you been hiding,

and why do you look so down?

The long story keeps turning into a chorus when it gets to:

If you want me to come with you

then that's alright with me

'cause I know I'm going nowhere

and anywhere's a better place to be.
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