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Tracy Chapman
List Price: $11.98

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Product Description

One of the most striking debut albums ever released, this disc instantly established Chapman as a musical force, and with good reason. Immediacy, integrity of purpose, and unqualified artistry are apparent in nearly every song. And while "Fast Cars" remains Chapman's best-known work, "Talkin' Bout a Revolution" is that rarest breed: a song which is both topical and timeless. Any exploration into Chapman's work should begin with this at times stunning effort; it's a disc of remarkable uniformity and clarity that Chapman has yet to improve on. --Wayne Pernu

Customer Reviews:

  • Words can not express the brilliance of Tracy Chapman's work
    Wow... Tracy's strong, unique voice shows us what we can't always see, or choose not to. Tracy's song "Behind the Wall" which is sung acapella sends a chill through my body, and tears to my eyes. Chapman's music is uncomparable to work of others... talent, and truth seeps from her mouth, and delights my ears. I can't explain the true brilliance of this album, but deeply encourage you to purchase it....more info
  • Where Have All The Prophets Gone?
    Tracy Chapman's first album is a rare classic. Each song tells a story, and alot of subject matter is covered. Everything from love, heartbreak, politics, fascism, poverty, and spousal abuse. Wow, take a deep breathe. I like how each song tells a story, almost like a painting. The song "Talkin' 'Bout A Revolution" kicks off the album. This song reminds me how naive we all were in 80's, thinking this world would or could change for the better. Ending poverty sounds like an ideal concept but it's like fighting the powers that be, and actually things seem like they have gotten worse since 1988. The rich get richer and the poorer get poorer. The whole concept of this album that I think Tracy Chapman was trying to convey is hope. Trying to come from nothing and become something, anything. Build from the ground up. I dedicate "Mountains O' Things" to Oprah. When I heard the song recently it reminded me of her. Like the lyric "draggin' my furs on the ground". It really makes a clear statement of fascism and how we all are caught up in the rat race called life. The deep subject matter Tracy Chapman sings about is what makes her Tracy Chapman. It's pretty dark but she tells a story and makes it beautiful music....more info
  • A Master CD
    This is a master CD - must in every collection. In the same line of all the fine albums. If you don't have it- no need to read reviews - just get it. ...more info
  • Moving voice, moving concepts
    I absolutely love this CD and have for many years. Those who are unfamiliar with Tracy Chapman should probably begin with this album. It's such a wonderful album because it's poignant, when you're in that type of mood. But it's also music you can sing and dance to, when you're in that type of mood. Very versatile. I love Tracy Chapman!...more info
  • one of her best
    Tracy - OMG you are good! this is her first CD, I believe. I have them all, dam, I like this girl! revolution, fast car, ticket, for my lover... sigh... so much talent - why is she NOT given more airtime and more kudos? she is so stinkin' good. bluesy and deep, gotta listen to the words, and dance with your baby to Tracy. she's wonderful. ...more info
  • Love and Despair and Mao
    I found two different Tracy Chapmans on this debut. One is a melodic storyteller with a throaty and deep voiced folk delivery. Her songs of urban life are touching, grim and harsh (Fast Car, Baby Can I Hold You, For My Lover). 'Fast Car' is an updated version of Bruce Springsteen's 'Born To Run.' The song is inspiring but also heartbreaking: a tale of escape from a dead end life in the inner city. 'Baby Can I Hold You' sorrowfully covers the "guy takes advantage of the girl" relationship. Tracy is able to define love in the simplest of terms (For You): a focused ballad of a complicated subject. Her intimate songs of love and despair are tender and heartfelt.

    On the other side of the coin, there is the political Tracy (Talkin' Bout A Revolution, Across The Lines). She has either fixed her ideology somewhere between Lenin and Mao, or she's terribly naive. "Poor people are going to rise up and get their share and take what is theirs" from 'Talkin' Bout A Revolution.' Oh really. Not your typical "We've got to take care of the poor" liberal view - sounds closer to anarchy. This sort of Robin Hood foolishness may be suitable for college kids, not working adults. 'Why?' is another example of childish political gibberish: "Why are the missiles called peace keepers when they're aimed to kill?" Duh. Kuwait didn't have any peace keepers, and look at the fix they were in.

    Tracy's songs of relationships and love are tender and moving. But when she's in bed with Lenin and Mao, the result is naive and corny. Tracy, the next time you write about inner city politics, how about "poor people are going to rise up and go get a job."

    Technical note: The sound quality of this DDD recording is immaculate....more info

  • A 10-star debut CD deserves more than these measely 5 stars
    Is WOW a word you can use too much? I picked this CD up when Iheard "Fast Car" on "Entertainment Tonight" of allplaces. I was totally unprepared for this incredible CD. The beat, the guitar and Tracy's powerful voice are catchy and unforgettable. Each song tells a vivid story you can see in your mind. "Fast Car" is more than just a great melody, but you can totally picture yourself escaping life by taking a drive with a loved one... forgetting the troubles of the day and just enjoying the experience... leaving emotional baggage behind where it belongs. "Across the Lines" tells the story of how racial hatred is tearing this country apart one person at a time... "Behind the Wall" paints a vivid picture of domestic violence and what it was like before it was taken seriously as a crime. Probably the most memorable song (for me, anyway) is "Mountains O' Things" which is a parable set to music concerning the way we enslave ourselves to material objects and obsession with what we think to be success. If you like the deep meanings and sounds of 60's folk music, but with a rock back-beat and more sophisticated topics, this is more than just a treat. The lyrics are penetrating and profound... this is like a greatest hits CD and she just keeps coming out w/ more of them!...more info
  • Awesome
    I really enjoy listening to this CD. The radio doesn't play nearly enough Tracy Chapmans songs. I have only ever heard 2 played on the radio and I listen to a wide variety of music. I'd say that I definitely got my moneys worth. And as always the delivery time was excellent....more info
  • A stunning, fearless debut
    Tracy Chapman exploded onto the scene in 1988 with her debut single "Fast Cars." I was working in radio at the time, and recall when my Elektra rep told me she was going to send me something she knew I would love (she had a pretty good take on my personal taste). The CD single of "Fast Car" arrived, and it hit me like a sucker punch. The devastating lyric about social class and poverty entrapment was unlike anything on the radio at the time, and I knew it was something special. I am still proud to say that the station I worked for at the time was one of the very first to add the single to our playlist, and I had a platinum album of Tracy Chapman's debut in my office when the album hit number one.

    "Tracy Chapman" is one of those fantastic moments in popular music; when an artist emerges fully formed with a debut that is prescient and fearless. Chapman had both a husky voice and a strong sense of melody, and yet the social voice she invested into her songs stormed over the average easy-listening pop. Her vocal assault of "Behind The Wall" is stark and haunting, echoing the violence of the song's lyric. "Talking About A Revolution" went straight for a lyrical jugular, there was no passive resistance here.

    There was also a core of tenderness to be found here as well. "Baby Can I Hold You" was sentimental enough that Neil Diamond once recorded it. "If Not Now" is a plea to a lover to commit. And as a simple plea for peace amid the contradictions, "Why" is hard to beat. ("Why are the missiles called peace-keepers when they're aimed to kill?") Chapman also exudes confidence for the CD's 11 songs, enough that her notorious shyness is something you'd never guess at.

    "Tracy Chapman" re-zoned the playing field in 1988 and won Chapman a best new artist Grammy. It remains her best recording (even though all her albums have fine moments, this is the CD that every song is top-notch). The full digital recording was one of the first from the early days of the CD and still sounds incredible. All the way around, a classic album....more info
  • HUMAN DESPAIR AT ITS MOST BEAUTIFUL
    This has to be one of the most unique CDs in my collection. Every song is good and Tracy's Chapman's beautiful,down to earth voice greatly expresses them. This CD is probably best known for Fast Cars which is a good song,but in my opinion,not the best on here. That title would have to go to Talkin 'Bout a Revolution or Baby Can I Hold You Now. This album even has an acapella track called Behind the Wall which Tracy Chapman does an excellent job with. So why did I give it 4 stars? Every song is good(no need to skip tracks)but with the exception of maybe Talkin 'Bout a Revolution and Baby Can I Hold You Now,there aren't really any outstanding tracks. Yet,for any music-lover,you haven't experienced true musical expression until you've heard Tracy Chapman....more info
  • Hail Tracy
    Whatever happened to the true artists in music today?

    with Ashley Simpson and Boybands it seems that the heart and essance is going more and more.
    it's great to retreate to a album which is heartfull, genuine and stil and always be a clessic.
    alot of people put down Tracy Chapman because people think that she sounds like a man. this is also where comercial music is making it's rise. not al music has to have a catcht tune with a skinny bimbo flaunting herself to sell albums. It's the heart of the music and lyrics.
    People instantly groan at the sound of her voice.
    To those peole take note of er lyrics and tru;y understand where she is going with her songs and you likeevery one of her fans will realise that she is one of a kind. ...more info
  • Tracy Chapman Has a Powerful Message!
    This compilation of songs is powerful - both lyrically and musically. Tracy sings of some of life's most serious and challenging issues and causes one to pause and consider becoming more involved. Her eloquence and haunting voice last long after the music has ended. I have owned this CD for years and it is still among the Top Ten I would take with me to a desert island. It is a necessity in my musical life. Listen to it once, then listen again - she will win you over and you will want to start a REVOLUTION!...more info
  • One of the best albums of the eighties
    I got the LP version of this album as a Christmas present in 1988. I immediately fell in love with it. She sings about issues such as unemployment and poverty which were rampant during the Reagan years ("Talkin about a Revolution", "Fast Car"). But she offered hope that things would get better as we approached the 90s, which they did. "Mountains O Things" was about the materialsim of the 80s. Other issues she covers are racism ("Across the Lines") and domestic abuse ("Behind the Wall"). Even though this album is almost 20 years old it does not sound dated, as the messages are just as relavent today as they were in 1988.

    I bought the CD version in 1992 and I never get tired of listening to it. All of the songs are good but my favorite ones are "Talking about a Revolution", "Fast Car", "Baby Can I Hold You", "Mountains of Things", "Why" and "For My Lover".

    ...more info
  • Ghetto Charm
    I originally bought this CD back in the 80s, and while living near South-Central LA, found the songs to be honest, sensitive and a bit sad that there is so much truth in the words. It's one of my favorite CDs. Hopefully someday we can look back and say that things are much different now....more info
  • Awesome!
    She won Grammy for an awesome song "Fast Car" from this album. Check wikipedia for the background on this song - generational poverty...more info
  • Mind-blowing album from a genius songwriter
    Tracy Chapman's self-titled debut album is as confessional as it is striking. It's nothing innovative or new, you'll hear plenty of the songwriters of old, but you'll also hear a voice that with enough attention will captivate the listener.

    This album made her a household album and quite simply exploded. She was a sensxation all on the basis of one song "Fast Car". But Tracy's music has just so much more depth than the commentarial lyrics of "Fast Car".

    Firstly she is a superb guitarist, simple yet captivating, her style is nostalgic of Baez and Mitchell. Secondly her voice, fusing elements of Nina Simone, Joan Armatrading and Natalie Merchant, it entertains throughout.

    This was on eof the albums that kickstarted the female rock movement of the early to mid 90's. Even though Chapman doesn't try anything new, she pulls off her deliberate simplicity well. This album is more upfront and with experimentation would lose some of its allure.

    There are an array of stylistic songs on offer here evrything from the alt-country/melodic rock of "For My Lover" to the a'cappella "Behind The Wall". This is so much more than just a simple pop record.

    Her subsequent albums have failed to mtach the hype of her initial fame (save "New Beginning"), this shows an artist who is as honest as they are humbling. ...more info
  • Very good, solid album
    Tracy Chapman really amazes here. She does some great work and she is a talented singer as well as songwriter. There is nothing pretentious or boring about her; she simply sings the songs she wants other to hear and they are wonderful. It is easy listening with a bit of a light tempo pop background,but she manages to keep one's interest the whole way through. My favorite songs are fast car, talkin about a revolution, and for my lover. It is not perfect, but it is definetly a great album to give a chance and listen to. It is certainly better than anything out there today, there is no manufactured music, just simple and light. Bravo! ...more info