It is so hard to face the expectations of your post-masterpiece album. Not that I know anything about it, I just heard about it.
An so, in the 1971 Window album, his third release, you can’t help but feeling a slight disappointment. Where’s the brilliant production of Survivor? Where are the strings? Where’s Mick Ronson and the sweaty crunchy Les Paul?
Well, they are not here. But what you CAN find here, is a relaxed, laid back Chapman, with his acoustic guitar again as the dominant instrument and nine beautiful songs. Of course, again, the singing is a killer with its weary, closed mouth phrasing and the guitar playing is haunting – but the album as a whole is ‘smaller’.
The reason for that is rather strange. The album was supposed to be a quick follow up for Survival, and was recorded between tour dates. As told in the BGO reissue of this album, Chapman recorded demo versions on his acoustic guitar, to be later recorded with an electric guitar when he’s back from his tour. Upon his return, he found out that EMI had pressed 20k copies from these unfinished recordings – and were ready to ship it to the stores.
Chapman, in return, tried to convince the audience in his live shows, not to buy the album. Kids, don’t sign in major labels.
The opening track, a 6:30 minutes of a Survivor-like rock song – Lady On The Rocks, may hint of a rock album. It’s not.
Even the second track Last Lady Song is rockish, but the remaining of the album is much more stripped down and ease.
This album contains one of Chapman’s all time classics – Among The Trees, and also some beautiful ballads like A Scholarly Man and the touching In The Valley.
Altogether, Window is an album that enjoyed the success of its former album, but it earns his respect for all good reasons – the songs and became a Chapman essential thanks to that little factor.