Michael Chapman (born 24 January 1941, Yorkshire, England) is a highly regarded English singer-songwriter and a worthy guitar player. With a back catalogue boasting such gems as 'Rainmaker' and 'Fully Qualified Survivor' (featuring Mick Ronson, Rick Kemp, and others), it's a mystery to all why he hasn't been afforded more mainstream recognition. With his often quirky songs and vocal style sometimes eerily reminiscent of David Bowie...
With a back catalogue boasting such gems as 'Rainmaker' and 'Fully Qualified Survivor' (featuring Mick Ronson, Rick Kemp, and others), it's a mystery to all why he hasn't been 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 is a folk-rock, psychedelic jazz troubadour. A quality artist both then and now.
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 new 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.