Harry Chapin – Greatest Stories Live (1976)

FrontCover1.JPGGreatest Stories Live is the first live album by the American singer/songwriter Harry Chapin, recorded over three nights at three California venues, and released in 1976. Certain elements had to be re-recorded in the studio due to technical problems with the live recordings. The original LP release featured three new studio tracks, two of which (“She Is Always Seventeen” and “Love Is Just Another Word”) were excluded from the CD release. “A Better Place to Be” was released as a single, and did manage to crack the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The album is popular for its extended cut of “30,000 Pounds of Bananas”, infamous for Chapin’s recounting of his brothers’ remarks after hearing the original ending: “Harry…it sucks.” The quote became so popular with Harry Chapin fans that concert shirts were sold with the quotation on it. (by wikipedia)


Recorded in November 1975, Greatest Stories Live showcases the legendary live performance styles of acoustic troubadour and noted activist Harry Chapin. Recorded over three nights on-stage in California, the double-LP set features all the hits as well as a few notable album cuts that put the musician’s musical and personal skills out on the line for all to see. There are the obvious inclusions of touching hits, like “W*O*L*D,” “Taxi,” and of course the father-son anthem “Cats in the Cradle.” “Mr. Tanner” and the heartfelt “I Wanna Learn a Love Song” also come across great in the live environment, a setting that was clearly the singer/songwriter’s forte. Chapin has a fantastic rapport with the audience throughout the set, and it comes through with incredible results on his humorous banter before and during the rousing and set-highlighting “30,000 Pounds of Bananas,” a great track about Scranton, PA, and a runaway fruit truck. Sure it may sound a little hokey, but Chapin is a true showman and the fun he has on-stage transfers directly into the joy of listening to the record. A fine musician and individual, Chapin’s Greatest Stories Live comes close to living up to its name and is a fitting document of a man whose boundless joy and insight shined through in his music. (by Peter J. D’Angelo)


Ed Bednarski (carinet)
Ron Bacchiocchi (snthesizer, percussion, clavinet)
Harry Chapin (uhtar, vocals)
Stephen Chapin (ynthesizer, piano, vocals)
Tom Chapin (guitar, banjo, vocals)
Howie Fields (drums)
Paul Leka -(piano, clavinet)
Michael Masters (cello)
Tim Moore (piano)
Ronald Palmer (guitar, vocals)
Don Payne (bass)
Tim Scott (cello)
Ken Smith (percussion)
Bob Springer (percussion)
Allan Schwartzberg (drums)
John Tropea (guitar)
Doug Walker (bass, guitar, vocals)
Doug Walker (bass, guitar, vocals)
John Wallace (bass, vocals)
ackground vocals:
Christine Faith – Cheryl Ferrio – David Kondziela – Mark Mundy – Kathy Ramos – Frank Simms – George Simms – Betsy Wager – Sue White 


01. Dreams Go By (H.Chapin) 4.54
02. W·O·L·D (H.Chapin) 5.01
03. Saturday Morning (T.Chapin) 3.05
04. I Wanna Learn A Love Song (H.Chapin) 5.04
05. Mr. Tanner (H.Chapin) 5.17
06. A Better Place To Be (Chapin) 9.58
07. Let Time Go Lightly (S.Chapin) 4.56
08. Cat´s In The Craddle (H.Chapin) 4.04
09. Taxi (H.Chapin) 6.52
10. Circle (H.Chapin) 7.21
11. 30,000 Pounds of Bananas (H.Chapin) 11.27
12. The Shortest Story (Studio track) (H.Chapin) 2.25


Two different Labels

Harry Chapin (December 7, 1942 – July 16, 1981)

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