Tracy Chapman Album is by Tracy Chapman, the American singer-songwriter. The album was released on the 5th of April 1988 under the record label Elektra, part of the Warner Music Group.
Written by Tracy Chapman, it was produced by David Kershenbaum, the American record producer and record company executive. The award-winning producer has worked with a variety of recording artists including Duran Duran, Joe Jackson, Bryan Adams, Supertramp, Cat Stevens and Tori Amos.
The Tracy Chapman album was recorded over eight weeks at Powertrax studios, Hollywood, California.
The eleven tracks featured are based around social and political causes. During the recording sessions, Tracy Chapman maintained artistic control, making sure the integrity of her songs continued throughout the album’s recording.
Her debut received positive reviews in the music press. AllMusic‘s Stephen Thomas Erlewine awarded the album five stars out of five. For a retrospective review, he wrote that the singer’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. “Adding that “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. “
A user review for Sputnik music dated 27th of July 2014, LepreCon commented that Tracy Chapman’s debut was “Simple yet utterly effective and hard-hitting. “Adding that the album was “socially-conscious effort that evokes the political zeitgeist of 1970s America but remains relevant even today. “
The Tracy Chapman album has become one of the biggest selling albums of all time. Two weeks after release, it sold one million copies worldwide, and to date has notched up twenty million copies globally.
Additionally, it is one of the first albums by a female recording artist to sell over ten million copies worldwide.
The album has been certified Diamond in France, 7x Platinum in the United Kingdom and Australia with 6x Platinum in the United States.
In Hong Kong, New Zealand and the Netherlands, it has been awarded Platinum status with 9x Gold in Germany.
The lead single, “Fast Car “, was released on the 6th of April 1988. The folk-pop track, which has elements of soft rock, is about a poor woman escaping poverty.
The single charted well in many countries. In the Netherlands, Belgium ( Flanders ), Ireland and Canada, it topped the charts.
In the United States, the single peaked at number six on the 27th of August 1988 and spent twenty-one weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Other Billboard chart positions were seven on the Adult Contemporary and nineteen on the Mainstream Rock Chart.
In the United Kingdom, “Fast Car “entered the UK Singles Chart on the 4th of June 1988 and reached number four. It spent six weeks in the Top Ten and forty-seven weeks in the Top 100.
Elsewhere, the song made the Top Twenty in the Netherlands and Sweden with a chart position of twenty-one in New Zealand.
The Tracy Chapman album became a commercial success for the singer. In the United States, the album topped the chart on the 27th of August 1988 and spent sixty-one weeks on the Billboard 200.
In the United Kingdom, the album entered the UK Albums Chart on the 21st of May 1988 at Number One, spending three weeks at the top. It spent sixteen weeks in the Top Ten and 292 weeks in the Top 100.
The album also topped the charts in the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Switzerland and New Zealand.
In Australia, Tracy Chapman’s debut reached number two, with the album peaking at twenty-seven in France and twenty-eight in Belgium ( Flanders ).
About Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman was born on the 30th of March 1964 in Cleveland, Ohio, United States.
She was raised by her mother, who bought her a ukulele using the little money she had. At the age of eight, Tracy Chapman started playing the guitar and writing songs.
After attending high school, she went on to study at Wooster School in Connecticut. Tracy Chapman then attended Tufts University in Somerville, a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. She graduated with a BA degree in Anthropology and African studies.
Brian Koppelman, another student from the university, saw her performing. He brought her to the attention of Charles Koppelman, his father and owner of SBK Publishing.
Tracy Chapman signed a recording contract in 1986. Later in 1987, after her graduation, he helped her to sign with Elektra Records.
The singer has four Platinum albums, two of which have been certified multi-Platinum. She also has two Gold Disc albums.
To date, Tracy Chapman’s Album releases are eight studio, two compilations. She has also released twenty-two singles.
As a multi-award-winning recording artist, Tracy Chapman has won many awards including four Grammys, one Billboard Music, one American Music, three Brits, one IFPI Platinum Europe Music and one Danish Music.
Tracy Chapman Album Track Listing:
1. Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution
2. Fast Car
3. Across the Lines
4. Behind the Wall
5. Baby Can I Hold You
6. Mountains o’ Things
7. She’s Got Her Ticket
9. For My Lover
10. If Not Now…
11. For You