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New Beginning (Tracy Chapman album)

New Beginning is the fourth album by singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman, released in 1995 (see 1995 in music). According to Nielsen Soundscan, it is her biggest-selling recording since 1991, with 3.8 million copies sold,[6] and according to the RIAA, it has shipped five million copies in the United States.

New Beginning
Tracy Chapman - New Beginning.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 14, 1995
GenreFolk, blues
ProducerTracy Chapman, Don Gehman
Tracy Chapman chronology
Matters of the Heart
New Beginning
Telling Stories
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]
Entertainment WeeklyB[2]
Robert Christgau(B-)[3]
Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[5]

The album's sound consists of Chapman's trademark acoustic folk-rock sound and is mainly made up of slow low-key tunes and a few upbeat tracks. One notable exception is the hit "Give Me One Reason", which is a blues piece. Most tracks on the album have backup singers, which was very rare in Chapman's earlier works.

The album is notable for the impressive lengths of its songs. Aside from the single "Give Me One Reason", all songs are at least 4:56. The song "Unsung Psalm" was originally written and recorded for this album, but didn't make it. It was later on her 2000 album Telling Stories as the sixth track out of eleven.

According to Billboard Magazine, the "New Beginning" single was the first multi-session disc to have a sticker printed on the back of the packaging detailing system requirements to play the multi-media footage.

The use of a didgeridoo in the “New Beginnings“ track was a source of controversy. Chapman was taught to play at the Didgeridoo University in Alice Springs [7]however the use of a didgeridoo by women is taboo in many aboriginal nations[8].


Track listingEdit

All songs written by Tracy Chapman.

  1. "Heaven's Here on Earth" – 5:23
  2. "New Beginning" – 5:33
  3. "Smoke and Ashes" – 6:39
  4. "Cold Feet" – 5:40
  5. "At This Point in My Life" – 5:09
  6. "The Promise" – 5:28
  7. "The Rape of the World" – 7:07
  8. "Tell It Like It Is" – 6:08
  9. "Give Me One Reason" – 4:31
  10. "Remember the Tinman" – 5:45
  11. "I'm Ready" – 4:56
  12. "Save a Place for Me" (hidden track)


  • Tracy Chapman – organ, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, lead vocals, background vocals
  • Rock Deadrick – percussion, drums, background vocals
  • Lili Haydn – violin
  • Steve Ferrone – drums
  • Adam Levy – electric guitar, background vocals
  • Eric Rigler – tin whistle, Uilleann pipes
  • Scott Roewe – didgeridoo
  • Glenys Rogers – percussion, background vocals
  • John Philip Shenale – keyboards
  • Andy Stoller – bass guitar, background vocals, tamboura
  • Cameron Stone – cello
  • John Thomas – piano


  • Producers: Tracy Chapman, Don Gehman
  • Engineer: Don Gehman
  • Assistant engineers: John Ewing, Jr., Kevin Scott, Doug Trantow
  • Mixing: Don Gehman
  • Mastering: Eddy Schreyer
  • Production coordination: Diane Medak
  • Art direction: Lee Cantelon
  • Design: Lee Cantelon
  • Graphic layout: Lavonne Murlowski
  • Photography: Christine Alicino



Year Chart Position
1995 The Billboard 200 4[citation needed]
1995 Swedish Album Chart 46[citation needed]

SinglesBillboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1996 "Give Me One Reason" Adult Contemporary 3[citation needed]
1996 "Give Me One Reason" Adult Top 40 1[citation needed]
1996 "Give Me One Reason" Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 35[citation needed]
1996 "Give Me One Reason" The Billboard Hot 100 3[citation needed]
1996 "Give Me One Reason" Top 40 Mainstream 2[citation needed]
1997 "Give Me One Reason" Top 40 Adult Recurrents 1[citation needed]


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[9] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[10] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[11] 7× Platinum 700,000^
Germany (BVMI)[12] Gold 250,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[13] Platinum 15,000^
United States (RIAA)[14] 5× Platinum 5,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


Grammy Awards

Year Winner Category
1996 "Give Me One Reason" Best Rock Song[citation needed]


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William (1995-11-14). "Allmusic review". Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  2. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  3. ^ "Robert Christgau review". Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  4. ^ Rolling Stone Album Guide review
  5. ^ "Rolling Stone review". 2008-07-26. Archived from the original on 2008-07-26. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  6. ^ "Ask Billboard: Mariah Carey, Tracy Chapman, Jeff Bates". 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  7. ^ "Learning to Play the Didgeridoo". Retrieved 2019-06-16.
  8. ^ "The ongoing debate about women playing didgeridoo: how a musical icon can become an instrument of remembering and forgetting" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-06-16.
  9. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia’s Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 54.
  10. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Tracy Chapman – New Beginning" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved October 15, 2012. Enter Tracy Chapman in the field Interpret. Enter New Beginning in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen. 
  11. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Tracy Chapman – New Beginning". Music Canada. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
  12. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Tracy Chapman; 'New Beginning')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
  13. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Tracy Chapman – New Beginning". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
  14. ^ "American album certifications – Tracy Chapman – New Beginning". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved October 15, 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.