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Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman

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Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman

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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. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman

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1
Talkin' Bout a Revolution (LP Version) 00:02:41

Jack Holder, Electric Guitar, Organ - Tracy Chapman, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - LARRY KLEIN, Bass Guitar - David Kershenbaum, Producer - Denny Fongheiser, Drums, Percussion - Kevin W. Smith, Mixer, Engineer

1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States. 1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States.

2
Fast Car (LP Version) 00:04:56

Ed Black, Guitar - Tracy Chapman, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - LARRY KLEIN, Bass - David Kershenbaum, Producer - Denny Fongheiser, Drums - Kevin W. Smith, Mixer, Engineer

1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States. 1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States.

3
Across the Lines (LP Version) 00:03:24

Jack Holder, Dulcimer - Tracy Chapman, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - LARRY KLEIN, Bass - David Kershenbaum, Producer - Denny Fongheiser, Drums - Kevin W. Smith, Mixer, Engineer - Don Rubin, Executive Producer - Brian Koppelman, Executive Producer

1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States. 1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States.

4
Behind the Wall (LP Version) 00:01:48

Tracy Chapman, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - David Kershenbaum, Producer - Kevin W. Smith, Mixer, Engineer

1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States. 1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States.

5
Baby Can I Hold You (LP Version) 00:03:12

Jack Holder, Organ, Sitar - Tracy Chapman, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, MainArtist - LARRY KLEIN, Bass - Bob Marlette, Keyboards - David Kershenbaum, Producer - Denny Fongheiser, Drums, Percussion - Kevin W. Smith, Mixer, Engineer - David Laflamme, Electric Violin

1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States. 1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States.

6
Mountains O' Things (LP Version) 00:04:39

Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion - Tracy Chapman, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - STEVE Kaplan, Keyboards - Bob Marlette, Keyboards - David Kershenbaum, Producer - Kevin W. Smith, Mixer, Engineer

1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States. 1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States.

7
She's Got Her Ticket (LP Version) 00:03:54

Jack Holder, Electric Guitar, Organ - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion - Tracy Chapman, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - LARRY KLEIN, Bass - STEVE Kaplan, Keyboards - David Kershenbaum, Producer - Denny Fongheiser, Drums - Kevin W. Smith, Mixer, Engineer

1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States. 1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States.

8
Why? (LP Version) 00:02:05

Jack Holder, Electric Guitar, Organ - Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion - Tracy Chapman, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - LARRY KLEIN, Bass - David Kershenbaum, Producer - Denny Fongheiser, Drums, Percussion - Kevin W. Smith, Mixer, Engineer

1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States. 1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States.

9
For My Lover (LP Version) 00:03:10

Jack Holder, Dobro - Ed Black, Guitar - Tracy Chapman, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - LARRY KLEIN, Bass - STEVE Kaplan, Harmonica - David Kershenbaum, Producer - Denny Fongheiser, Drums - Kevin W. Smith, Mixer, Engineer

1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States. 1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States.

10
If Not Now... (LP Version) 00:03:01

Jack Holder, Piano - Tracy Chapman, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - LARRY KLEIN, Bass - David Kershenbaum, Producer - Denny Fongheiser, Drums, Percussion - Kevin W. Smith, Mixer, Engineer

1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States. 1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States.

11
For You (LP Version) 00:03:09

Tracy Chapman, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - David Kershenbaum, Producer - Kevin W. Smith, Mixer, Engineer

1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States. 1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA International for the world outside of the United States.

Album Description

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. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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