Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman

4.8 8
by Tracy Chapman
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Tracy Chapman's left-field hit, "Fast Car," catapulted this earnest and enigmatic folkie from Boston coffeehouses to MTV and rock arenas. In short order, she went from opening concerts for labelmates 10,000 Maniacs to coheadlining stadium shows with Bruce Springsteen and Peter Gabriel on the Amnesty International world tour. Her rapid success was stunning and

Overview

Tracy Chapman's left-field hit, "Fast Car," catapulted this earnest and enigmatic folkie from Boston coffeehouses to MTV and rock arenas. In short order, she went from opening concerts for labelmates 10,000 Maniacs to coheadlining stadium shows with Bruce Springsteen and Peter Gabriel on the Amnesty International world tour. Her rapid success was stunning and short-lived, but both her signature song and debut album are as fresh and moving as when first released. On "Fast Car," Chapman spins a sad escapist tale with a striking matter-of-factness and a hint of longing; the arrangement is equally spare but soars at just the right moments, as the gloss in David Kershenbaum's production adds to the song's power. That's the formula for most of TRACY CHAPMAN, and it makes for a riveting experience. The sad thing about these tunes -- which deal with the marginalized, the victimized, the abused, and the relentlessly hopeful -- is that, ten years on, songs like "Behind the Wall," "Mountains o' Things," and "Why?" are often more relevant. Chapman herself has retreated from stardom, but her songs remain stirring, stinging, and important.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Arriving with little fanfare in the spring of 1988, Tracy Chapman's eponymous debut album became one of the key records of the Bush era, providing a touchstone for the entire PC movement while reviving the singer/songwriter tradition. And Tracy Chapman is firmly within the classic singer/songwriter tradition, sounding for all the world as if it was recorded in the early '70s -- that is, if all you paid attention to were the sonics, since Chapman's songs are clearly a result of the Reagan revolution. Even the love songs and laments are underscored by a realized vision of trickle-down modern life -- listen to the lyrical details of "Fast Car" for proof. Chapman's impassioned liberal activism and emotional resonance enlivens her music, breathing life into her songs even when the production is a little bit too clean. Still, the juxtaposition of contemporary themes and classic production precisely is what makes the album distinctive -- it brings the traditions into the present. At the time, it revitalized traditional folk ideals of social activism and the like, kick starting the PC revolution in the process, but if those were its only merits, Tracy Chapman would sound dated. The record continues to sound fresh because Chapman's writing is so keenly observed and her strong, gutsy singing makes each song sound intimate and immediate.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/1990
Label:
Elektra / Wea
UPC:
0075596077422
catalogNumber:
60774
Rank:
6784

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tracy Chapman   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
David LaFlamme   Electric Violin
Ed Black   Steel Guitar
Paulinho Da Costa   Percussion
Denny Fongheiser   Percussion,Drums
Jack Holder   Organ,Dulcimer,Dobro,Piano,Electric Guitar,Hammond Organ,Sitar
Larry Klein   Bass
Bob Marlette   Keyboards
Steve Kaplan   Harmonica,Keyboards

Technical Credits

Tracy Chapman   Composer,Contributor
David LaFlamme   Contributor
Ed Black   Contributor
Paulinho Da Costa   Contributor
Denny Fongheiser   Contributor
Jack Holder   Contributor
David Kershenbaum   Producer
Larry Klein   Contributor
Bob Marlette   Contributor
Don Rubin   Executive Producer
Kevin Smith   Engineer
Steve Kaplan   Contributor
Carol Bobolts   Art Direction
Brian Koppelman   Executive Producer

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Tracy Chapman 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the very first album I bought, I was 10 yrs. old and I had never heard anything like it before. This album not only influenced my worldview, it heightened my consciousness, helped me to define myself, and helped me to see MY place in the world. Now, almost twelve yrs. later, the songs still stir up the same emotions as they did when I first listened to them. And her songs today are as relevant as they were ten yrs. ago, unfortunately, but hopefully they will help to impact others as they did me. I owe Ms. Chapman a great debt of gratitude.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this album is best album ever i have heard in my life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A WONDERFUL ALBUM FOR ONE OF THE MOST TALENTED SONG WRITERS IN THE MUSIC INDUSTERY!ITS JUST A SHAME THAT SHE HAS NOT GOT THE RECOGNITION THAT SHE RIGHTY DESERVES!INSTEAD TALENTLESS BOY BAND SUCH AS BOYZONE GET THE CREDIT FOR SUCH A SUBLIME RECORD LIKE 'BABY CAN I HOLD YOU' A TRUE ALBUM FROM A TRUE TALENTED ARTIST!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This woman sings the first 25 years of my life. I also grew up too close to downtown in a major city. She nails it, nothing but the facts put to music. No statements, no agenda--just how it was and how it felt. Tracy Chapman is her own woman and a true musician. I love this album.
JohnQ More than 1 year ago
Tracy Chapman's debut album is a gentle rage of beauty that is a nearly perfect summation of the entire history of R&B, Soul, Folk and Rock. I've had this album since its release and every listen brings me back to a sense of awe. This is certainly an album worthy of being named among the best ever. And I do love it when they have the courtesy of putting the Lyrics in the booklet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago