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'Broadcast One' - Dandelion Radio's 1st compilation album

For July we have 9 new shows - including some election specials from Gareth

Artist Info

Michael Chapman

Powered by Audioscrobbler™Michael Chapman (born in Leeds on 24 January 1941; died 10 September 2021) was a highly regarded English singer-songwriter and a virtuoso guitarist. Originally playing guitar with jazz bands, he became well known in the folk clubs of the late 1960s as well as on the 'progressive' music scene.

With a back catalogue boasting such gems as 'Rainmaker' and 'Fully Qualified Survivor' (featuring Mick Ronson, Rick Kemp, and others), it remains a mystery to all why he wasn't afforded more mainstream recognition. With his often quirky songs and vocal style sometimes eerily reminiscent of David Bowie, one can only assume that Chapman's hardy reluctance to bow to the commercial pressures of his record companies served only to afford him scant recognition from the record-buying public. With a muse falling somewhere between Kevin Ayers and Warren Zevon, Chapman was a folk-rock, psychedelic-jazz troubadour.

Chapman first appeared on the London and Cornwall folk music circuits in 1967, including the Piper's Folk Club in Penzance, alongside John Martyn and Roy Harper. His first album was "Rainmaker" in 1969.

His 1970 second album, "Fully Qualified Survivor", again produced by Gus Dudgeon with lush strings arranged by Paul Buckmaster, received much critical acclaim from the likes of BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, and featured his best-known track, "Postcards of Scarborough".

After a tour of the United States with Rick Kemp, Chapman signed to Decca's subsidiary, Deram, recording an increasingly rockier set of albums. Championed by Charles Shaar Murray and John Peel, he continued to have a high profile, being a lively draw on the college circuit in the UK and across mainland Europe.

1977 saw the end of Chapman's Decca deal, and the beginning of an association with Criminal Records in 1978; both record labels released versions of The Man Who Hated Mornings. He continued to gig and record consistently, varying styles and sounds, sometimes working with a full group, more often working with Rick Kemp alone.

The 1980s 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 1990s 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, and still attracting high praise, if not great sales.

The 21st century saw Chapman exploring his guitar player roots and releasing instrumental albums alongside his song-based sets. Americana and Words Fail Me feature soundscapes that recalled travels in America, and featured a dexterity and inventiveness on the guitar equal to the classic Harvest and Decca periods.

A tribute album titled Oh Michael, Look What You've Done: Friends Play Michael Chapman was released in 2012 on Tompkins Square Records. It includes contributions from Lucinda Williams, Maddy Prior, William Tyler, Hiss Golden Messenger and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore.

In 2016, Chapman celebrated fifty years as a professional musician. Towards the end of his life he still played professionally and regularly toured in the UK, Europe and US.
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Artist biography from last.fm

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