Fully Qualified SurvivorAlbum |
A UK folk-rock four-alarmer.
When the names of great British folk-rock troubadours of the late '60s early '70s get thrown around, Michael Chapman is too seldom thrown in alongside John Martyn, Roy Harper, Nick Drake and the rest. There's no question that Chapman was every inch a peer of the aforementioned artists, and his first two albums, 1969's Rainmaker and the following year's Fully Qualified Survivor are both cult classics of U.K. singer/songwriterdom. The latter in particular is probably Chapman's finest moment, and yet it took 41 years for the album to receive a U.S. release via reissue specialists Light in the Attic. Better late than never, as it's a folk-rock four-alarmer fully the equal of contemporaneous releases like Harper's Flat Baroque And Berserk. Chapman had already begun to establish himself as a first-rate fingerpicker a la Bert Jansch or Wizz Jones, but here, he focuses more on the songwriting, and adds some additional colors via a band that includes a pre-Bowie Mick Ronson on guitar and future Steeleye Span bassist Rick Kemp. The songs themselves are startlingly good, with the pace being set by opening track "Aviator," a moody, ruminative, nine-and-a-half-minute Dylanesque epic that stands as simply one of the finest, most moving pieces to emerge from the era.
|Fully Qualified Survivor and UK Folk-Rock|