Tracy Chapman is the self-titled debut album by singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman, released on April 5, 1988 by Elektra Records. The album was recorded all in Hollywood, California. In 1987, Chapman was discovered by fellow Tufts University student Brian Koppelman. He offered to show her talent to his father, who owned a successful publishing company, however she did not consider. However, after multiple performances, Koppelman found a demo tape of her singing her single "Talkin' Bout a Revolution", where he took it to radio stations, and was eventually signed to Elektra Records.
Through the production of the album, many producers turned down Chapman as they did not favor her musical direction. However, David Kershenbaum wanted to produce the studio album and songs, as he has always wanted to record acoustic music. The album was recorded all in Hollywood, California within only eight weeks of recording. Most of the writing is based on political and social causes.
Tracy Chapman was critically acclaimed from basically all music critics, praising the simplicity, Chapman's vocal ability and the lyrical content. Critics also noted that because of Chapman's recording and writing back in the 80's era, critics said it has benefited off other mainstream artists. They also noticed the political and social lyrical content. Tracy Chapman received commercial success in most countries it charted in. The album peaked in the top spot in countries including Austria, New Zealand, Switzerland, Denmark and the United Kingdom. The album also peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200, and was certified 6x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with sales exceeding over six million copies in the United States alone.
Three singles were released from the album, with the most commercial successful single being "Fast Car". The song was performed at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute, which made it rise inside the top ten on the US Billboard Hot 100 and also charted in countries including Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, United Kingdom and other European countries.
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