Stranger In The Room

Album: Fully Qualified Survivor (1970)
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Songfacts®:

  • Running to around 5 minutes 37 seconds, "Stranger In The Room" is yet another track for an album that has class written right through the middle. It contains some fine lead guitar by David Bowie guitarist/Ian Hunter collaborator Mick Ronson, as well as a thudding bass. The silly girlish giggling is the master stroke which completes the picture painted by Chapman of a man invited to a meeting, a party, or more likely an orgy by a young woman where they and especially he partake of an illicit substance as a prelude to something more physical. Then, suddenly, he is a stranger in the room, and everyone is laughing at him. Although he does not appear to have revealed the inspiration for this track, it is quite likely it is based on personal experience.

    Before he became a professional troubadour, Chapman was a tutor at Bolton College, Lancashire where he taught art and photography at the height of the hippy era. One can imagine him invited to an evening with one of his female students or perhaps someone who hung around the College. He is the odd one out, dressed in a suit, as college tutors did in the 1960s, and sits down on the floor with the others where his clothes become ruffled, and suddenly they are all laughing at him.

    Whether or not this is the case, this is a place we have all been at some time, while for some people, being the stranger in the room is the story of their lives, as in the Anthony Newley song, "The Joker." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

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