How a lost musical hard disk in 1988 boosted Tracy Chapman’s career

I saw her at Wembley at an Amnesty International bash, sure that was '88 too. Peter Gabriel, Sting, Springteen headlining and it’s still her performance that I remember, making that stadium seem like an intimate little venue.

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How cool is that!

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I clearly remember when, shortly after she became really famous, the comedian George Wallace had a mean, nasty routine about her looks. It was just nasty and unnecessary.

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shocked philip j fry GIF

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I saw her open for 10,000 Maniacs at the Vic Theater in Chicago. I had no idea who she was and I don’t believe many others in the audience did so either. Natalie Merchant came out and introduced her, which I think may have helped. Regardless, Tracy came out and started to sing. It didn’t take much time for her to captivate the audience. She seemed a bit shy and after one song someone yelled out “Say something, Tracy”. She leaned into the microphone as though she would say something, but just smiled and started the next song.

I did a quick search on her opening for 10,000 Maniacs before I replied found this Spin interview.

The next day I went out to my usual record / CD store but they didn’t have her album. I went home and started calling around. Either they hadn’t had the album or they had a copy but someone else had already come in and bought it. Took me about a week to get a copy. Great album.


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