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Personnel: Tracy Chapman (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, percussion); Jack Holder (guitar, dobro, electric sitar, hammered dulcimer, Hammond organ); Ed Black (guitar); David LaFlamme (electric violin); Steve Kaplan, Bob Marlette (keyboards); Larry Klein (bass); Denny Fongheiser (drums, percussion); Paulinho Da Costa (percussion).
Recorded at Powertrax, Hollywood, California.
Personnel: Tracy Chapman (vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion); Jack Holder (electric guitar, dobro, dulcimer, sitar, piano, organ); Ed Black (steel guitar); David LaFlamme (electric violin); Steve Kaplan (harmonica, keyboards); Bob Marlette (keyboards); Denny Fongheiser (drums, percussion); Paulinho Da Costa (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Kevin Smith .
Recording information: Powertrax, Hollywood, CA.
Photographer: Matt Mahurin.
Unknown Contributor Roles: David LaFlamme; Denny Fongheiser; Ed Black; Jack Holder; Larry Klein; Paulinho Da Costa; Tracy Chapman; Bob Marlette; Steve Kaplan.
Tracy Chapman exploded out of the Boston folk scene in the late eighties, carrying the acoustic guitar-playing singer/songwriter mantle to a more political and socially conscious level than had recently been achieved. Her deep alto and throttled vocal delivery, combined with attentively scrutinized social scenarios presented in a simple, accessible manner, rocketed Tracy to the top of the charts and into the Grammy record books. Instrumentally crisp and minimal, TRACY CHAPMAN is a compelling statement from the no-holds-barred black singer/songwriter, stealing the focus away from the popular folk mafia.
Chapman expresses a heretofore unmined black, feminist, disenfranchised point of view--from the helpless-but-hopeful underclass of the smash hit "Fast Car," to the defiant politicos of "Talkin' 'Bout A Revolution." In regards to other issues, Tracy responds to Suzanne Vega's "Luka" with her own a capella song about domestic violence, "Behind The Wall"; and the percussive "Mountains O' Things" is about material wealth. But TRACY CHAPMAN is not all social politics; there are several rapturously tender love songs included as well.
There are many strong influences to be heard in Tracy's voice, particularly Joan Armatrading (on "Baby Can I Hold You") and Odetta. Infused with those powerful roots, Chapman dramatically changed the commercial stakes of folk music by blending a catchy, acoustic backdrop to her social rhetoric, and delivering her manifestos in a unique, commanding voice that seemed like a beacon in a sea of mediocrity.

  • Released: 10/25/1990
  • Format: CD
  • Genre: Pop