Tuesday, November 1, 2011

261 Tracy Chapman- Nice Girl Does Well

Album: Tracy Chapman
Artist: Tracy Chapman
Year: 1988
Genre: Folk


  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
  8. Why?
  9. For My Lover
  10. If Not Now...
  11. For You

I love the idea of Tracy Chapman, I like her story and I really like her.

Chapman grew up in a poor family but had a mother who recognised her musical talent and encouraged it from an early age. She dedicated herself to singing and playing guitar and had a hit album that made her name and earnt her a fortune. And then she neatly and perfectly sidestepped the pitfalls the music industry puts in front of someone they've painted as an overnight success. She didn't fall into a haze of drug abuse, she avoided becoming a "trapped by their success" nostalgia act, she doesn't give interviews abusing those who went after her and she never sold out and let her music become an advertising jingle. She's made herself a happy career writing and playing music for people who want to hear what she plays while making guest appearances paying tribute to her heroes and performing charity concerts to raise awareness for causes she supports.

Chapman is someone who has a massive talent which she has taken full control of to forge her own career and to help others. In every respect she's the perfect role model for young girls (and boys) everywhere. Wouldn't the world be a much better place if she replaced the bleached-blonde talentless nobodies on the covers of magazines all over the world? Instead of obsessing over the drug habits, failed relationships or attention-seeking shenanigans of the attractive but vacuous we could have Tracy Chapman on our newstands. I'd smile inside if I passed a display of glossy magazines with "Chapman plays charity concert for new chairty" on the cover instead of "Kim shows off her new man!" headlines which make me die a little more inside every time I see them.

Tracy Chapman's debut album is a great listen but possibly eclipsed by Collection, a Greatest hits release which has the best moments from this album and other great tracks besides.

Chapman had a wonderful voice, a lot of songwriting talent, a beautiful soul and lives a wonderful and genuine life- the world is a better place for her existence and would be even better if more people knew it.

Highlight: Fast Car.
Lowlight: If not now

Influenced by: Joni Mitchell
Influenced: I'm not sure but I'm pleased that she's out there influencing someone.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "Some liberals feel that music is just another place to be a drag. (And these remarks are coming from a massive liberal!) I don't subscribe to that hogwash. 10,000 maniacs, Midnight Oil and Tracy Chapman are the bottom of the barrell; a very humorless barrell."

-Ouch. There's a lot of vitriol directed at Chapman's politics over on Amazon.

So if you had a fast car would you play Tracy Chapman in it or drive away as quick as you can? Let me know below.

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