In My Tribe is an album by the American alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs. Released on July 27, 1987 by Elektra Records, it was their second major-label album and their first to achieve large-scale success. John Lombardo, Natalie Merchant's songwriting partner on previous albums, had left the band in 1986, and In My Tribe saw Merchant begin to collaborate with the other members of the band, most notably with Rob Buck.

In My Tribe
Standard CD artwork
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 27, 1987
RecordedMarch–April 1987
StudioThe Complex, Los Angeles
ProducerPeter Asher
10,000 Maniacs chronology
The Wishing Chair
In My Tribe
Blind Man's Zoo
Singles from In My Tribe
  1. "Don't Talk"
    Released: 1987
  2. "Peace Train"
    Released: 1987
  3. "Like the Weather"
    Released: January 1988
  4. "What's the Matter Here"
    Released: 1988


In 1989, the band's recording of Cat Stevens' "Peace Train" was removed from the U.S. CD and cassette versions of the album, after comments made by Stevens (by then a Muslim convert, known as Yusuf Islam) that were perceived to be supportive of the fatwa on Salman Rushdie. The song remained on copies released outside the United States. It was later included on the band's 2-CD compilation Campfire Songs: The Popular, Obscure and Unknown Recordings, released on January 24, 2004 by Elektra/Asylum/Rhino Records.


The front cover of the CD edition is a black-and-white photograph of children with bows and arrows in an archery class,[1][2] a theme used by record[3][better source needed] and cassette editions with different covers.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [4]
Los Angeles Times    [5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [6]
Spin Alternative Record Guide8/10[7]
The Village VoiceB−[8]

In a contemporary review, Rolling Stone's J. D. Considine wrote that "with In My Tribe, the group has finally come into maturity. It isn't simply that the songs are richer and more resonant this time around; the band itself seems to have grown."[9] In 1989, Rolling Stone ranked the album number sixty-five on their list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s, summing it up as "a poetic, heartfelt message about social concerns such as alcoholism, child abuse and illiteracy."[10] Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times largely praised the album, in particular Peter Asher's production, which he felt made the band "more forceful and accessible" and brought Merchant's vocals to the foreground. While he also felt the band were recycling musical ideas from departed guitarist John Lombardo, he stated that "the advances in Merchant's singing and lyrics—both are more intimate and assured—help offset the problems of over-familiarity."[5] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice was critical of Merchant's "nasal art-folk drawl", but added that "by deprivatizing her metaphors, she actually says something about illiteracy, today's army, and cruelty to children."[8]

In a retrospective review, AllMusic reviewer Chris Woodstra wrote that "the album proves powerful not for the ideas [...] but rather for the graceful execution and pure listenability."[4]

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Natalie Merchant, except where noted.

Side one
  1. "What's the Matter Here?" (Robert Buck, Merchant) – 4:51
  2. "Hey Jack Kerouac" (Buck, Merchant) – 3:26
  3. "Like the Weather" – 3:56
  4. "Cherry Tree" (Buck, Merchant) – 3:13
  5. "The Painted Desert" (Jerome Augustyniak, Merchant) – 3:39
  6. "Don't Talk" (Dennis Drew, Merchant) – 5:04
Side two
  1. "Peace Train" (Cat Stevens) – 3:26
    Omitted from later U.S. CD releases
  2. "Gun Shy" – 4:11
  3. "My Sister Rose" (Augustyniak, Merchant) – 3:12
  4. "A Campfire Song" – 3:15
  5. "City of Angels" (Buck, Merchant) – 4:17
  6. "Verdi Cries" – 4:27


10,000 Maniacs
Additional musicians

  • Peter Asher – producer
  • David Campbell – string arrangement on "Verdi Cries"
  • George Massenburg – engineer, mixing
  • Frank Wolf – mixing
  • Sharon Rice – additional engineering
  • Shep Lonsdale – assistant engineer
  • Duane Seykora – assistant engineer
  • Mike Reese – mastering
  • Doug Sax – mastering
  • Edd Kolakowski – production assistant
  • Kosh – design, art direction
  • Todd Eberle – portraits of menfolk
  • Kris Nielson – portrait of Natalie




Year Single Chart Position
1988 "Like the Weather" Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 37
1988 "Like the Weather" Billboard Hot 100 68
1988 "What's the Matter Here?" Billboard Hot 100 80
1988 "What's the Matter Here?" Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 9


Organization Level Date
RIAA – U.S. Gold 7 July 1988
RIAA – U.S. Platinum 10 August 1989
RIAA – U.S. Double Platinum 10 February 1998


  1. ^ Bechtelon, Craig (September 28, 2011). "Returning to In My Tribe: 10,000 Maniacs' Best Record". Popstache. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  2. ^ "The Star-Democrat from Easton, Maryland on February 2, 2001 · Page 9".
  3. ^ "In My Tribe Vinyl Lp Record". Amazon.
  4. ^ a b Woodstra, Chris. "In My Tribe – 10,000 Maniacs". AllMusic. Retrieved April 15, 2006.
  5. ^ a b Hilburn, Robert (July 26, 1987). "10,000 Maniacs = One Inspired Band". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 6, 2002.
  6. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "10,000 Maniacs". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 807. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  7. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  8. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (September 29, 1987). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
  9. ^ Considine, J. D. (October 22, 1987). "10,000 Maniacs: In My Tribe". Rolling Stone. No. 511. Archived from the original on December 17, 2008. Retrieved February 5, 2004.
  10. ^ "100 Best Albums of the Eighties — 65. 10,000 Maniacs, 'In My Tribe'". Rolling Stone. November 16, 1989. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  11. ^ "10000 Maniacs Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  12. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1988". Billboard. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  13. ^ In My Tribe – 10,000 Maniacs > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles at AllMusic. Retrieved November 30, 2004.