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This Fire is Paula Cole's second album and was a commercial success. Writing and producing the album herself, she recorded all of it in roughly 2 weeks. According to the RIAA, the album has gone double platinum, selling over 2 million copies in United States[4] and peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard 200 chart.[5] According to the booklet, the album is dedicated to "the inner fire of all life. May our seeds of light open, brighten, and sow peace on earth".

This Fire
Cole on a swing set with fire around her
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 15, 1996 (1996-10-15)
ProducerPaula Cole
Paula Cole chronology
This Fire
Singles from This Fire
  1. "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?"
    Released: March 25, 1997
  2. "I Don't Want to Wait"
    Released: October 14, 1997
  3. "Me"
    Released: 1998
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[2]
Robert ChristgauC+[3]

Cole released three (official) singles from the album. The first, "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?", (1997) peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 (number 4 on the Adult Top 40). The single, "I Don't Want to Wait", (1997) peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was used as the theme song for the teen drama Dawson's Creek. The third and final single, "Me", was released in mid-1998 but did not track as well as Cole's prior two singles. The song, "Feelin' Love", was featured on the original motion picture soundtrack to the movie City of Angels.[6]

The album was a critical success and was nominated for seven awards at the 40th Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Best Pop Album, "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?" for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Cole was also nominated for Producer of the Year and Best New Artist, winning the latter.


Track listingEdit

All tracks written by Paula Cole.

2."Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?"4:26
3."Throwing Stones"3:47
6."Nietzsche's Eyes"5:31
7."Road to Dead"3:41
9."Feelin' Love"5:38
10."Hush, Hush, Hush"4:22
11."I Don't Want to Wait"5:19
Total length:50:50



  • Paula Cole – vocals, piano, juno, tube, Wurlitzer, harmonium, beat box, toy xylophone, didjeridu, clarinet
  • Jay Bellerose – drums, percussion
  • Peter Gabriel – vocals on "Hush, Hush, Hush"
  • Tony Levin – bass, Chapman stick
  • Greg Leisz – guitar, pedal and lap steel
  • Seamus Egan – Uilleann pipes, whistle
  • Gerry Leonard – guitar on "Carmen" and "Hush, Hush, Hush"
  • Wenyi Shih, Elizabeth Knowles, Judith Insell (violins) and Chase Morrison (cello) – strings on "Hush, Hush, Hush"
  • Seyi Sonuga – string arrangements
  • Kevin Killen – shimmer on "Hush, Hush, Hush"

Technical personnelEdit

  • Produced by: Paula Cole
  • Recorded and mixed by: Roger Mountenot
  • Recorded at the Magic Shop, NYC, assistant: Joe Warda
  • Mixed at Room With a View, NYC, assistant: Jack Hersca
  • "Hush, Hush, Hush" basic track recorded and co-produced by: Kevin Killen at Bearsville Studio, Bearsville, NY, assistant: Paul Marconi
  • Mastered by: Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, Portland, ME.
  • Art direction: Paula Cole
  • Photographs: Jodie Olson
  • Stock photographs: David Skernick, W.S. Edwards, P.E. Penn and D. Schiefelbein
  • Design: Dirk Walter