"Following Light In The Attic’s acclaimed reissues of British singer,
songwriter and hugely talented psych, folk and rock guitarist Michael
Chapman’s seminal albums Fully Qualified Survivor and Rainmaker, comes 1971’s Wrecked Again,
his final for EMI’s seminal stoner imprint Harvest, home to Kevin Ayers
and Syd Barrett. Like other artists in the stable, Chapman’s music
contains a drugged-out feel, sublime guitar playing and intense lyrics,
yet Chapman’s career was not a pet project. Buried in EMI’s release
schedule and afforded no promotional budget, Wrecked Again is his lost classic.
Recorded at the noted Rockfield Studio, a residential complex-cum-working farm in Wales, Wrecked Again explores
orchestration via Paul Buckmaster (Miles Davis, David Bowie) and The
London Symphony Orchestra and production courtesy of Gus Dudgeon (Elton
John, Bonzo Dog Band), but also explores a new sound influenced by
Memphis soul. With a blend of electric and acoustic instruments, Chapman
is found where he feels most comfortable: in-between folk and rock,
contrasting soft with edgy.
Wrecked Again was made at a turbulent time in Chapman’s
life. Still struggling for money despite being four albums into his
career, the sessions were marred by arguments over his pay. Unloved as
it was by his label, the album did little to rectify the situation.
Afterwards, Chapman and bassist Rick Kemp – later of Steeleye Span – set
off on their first tour of the USA. Chapman
was stoney broke – initially refused a visa as a result – and received
no money. And that was the least of his troubles.
By the third week, manager Andrew King had quit the country, and Kemp
had run off with a woman in a green Mustang. Audiences couldn’t
understand Chapman’s thick Yorkshire accent or British phrases, not
least when he coughed on stage and told them, “these French fags are
killing my throat”. After being mugged in New York, Chapman gave up
– before even reaching the West Coast. There had been highs, such as
being asked to perform at King Curtis’s funeral alongside the likes of
Ray Charles, but the experience scarred the singer-songwriter. Back in
the UK, he told his partner, Andru Chapman, “If that’s the big time then
fuck it – I don’t want it.”
Chapman did, of course, go on to record more than 30 albums and tour extensively, but Wrecked Again
was a pivotal moment in his career; the tipping point between his
earlier, folkier material and his later, rockier output on Deram." - LITA
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 04 September, 2013.