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Baby Can I Hold You (Tracy Chapman)

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Baby Can I Hold You (Tracy Chapman)

Tracy Chapman Quotes:

“Songwriting is a very mysterious process. It feels like creating something from nothing. It's something I don't feel like I really control.”

“We have more media than ever and more technology in our lives. It's supposed to help us communicate, but it has the opposite effect of isolating us.”

“With other people, you're always swapping music. Somebody is always listening to something you've never heard. It's a great way to hear all sorts of new things.”

 

Baby Can I Hold You

Tracy Chapman was born March 30, 1964 in Cleveland, Ohio. Raised in a working class neighborhood Chapman learned how to play guitar as a child, and began to write her own songs shortly afterward. Following high school, she won a minority placement scholarship and decided to attend Tufts University, where she studied anthropology and African studies. While at Tufts, she became fascinated with folk-rock and singer/songwriters, and began performing her own songs at coffeehouses.

 

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Tracy Chapman

 

Before graduation, she caught the attention of Elektra Records, which hired music industry veteran David Kershenbaum to produce her first record. “People really wanted what she had, and they weren’t getting it,” said Kershenbaum, who previously had worked with Joe Jackson, Joan Baez, and Cat Stevens, among other artists. “She got there at the right moment with stuff that was good.”

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David Kershenbaum & Tracy Chapman

 

It was during the height of the era of fast-buck capitalism, at a 1988 televised concert celebrating Nelson Mandela's 70th birthday, that Tracy Chapman came out of nowhere and enthralled the world with her songs about social injustice. Just her, an acoustic guitar and a hushed Wembley Stadium.

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Tracy Chapman at Wembley Stadium

 

So meeting the protest singer in the exclusive surroundings of a five-star west London hotel suite feels more than a little incongruous. She shuffles into the room, coddling her stinking cold with a chunky red scarf, and blinks out at the magnificent view of Hyde Park. She looks reassuringly unchanged - all long dreadlocks and slouchy clothes. There is still a mighty roll to her cheekbones, and the lurgy has done nothing to cloud her gentle, wise eyes.

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Baby Can I Hold You

 

Back in 1988, Tracy Chapman's eponymous debut album became one of the key records of the Bush era, providing a touchstone for the entire PC movement while reviving the singer/songwriter tradition. Her first album, which included the singles “Talkin' 'bout a Revolution”, “Fast Car” and “Baby Can I Hold You,” went on to be a No 1 hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman, album

 

And Tracy Chapman is firmly within the classic singer/songwriter tradition, sounding for all the world as if it was recorded in the early '70s -- that is, if all you paid attention to were the sonics, since Chapman's songs are clearly a result of the Reagan revolution. Even the love songs and laments are underscored by a realized vision of trickle-down modern life -- listen to the lyrical details of "Fast Car" for proof. Chapman's impassioned liberal activism and emotional resonance enlivens her music, breathing life into her songs even when the production is a little bit too clean.

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Tracy Chapman

 

Album sales shot through the roof following this one appearance and she went on to sell over 10 million copies and win three Grammy awards. Tracks like ‘Fast Car’ and ‘Baby Can I Hold You’ became instant radio favourites.

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Tracy Chapman - Baby Can I Hold You

 

"Baby Can I Hold You" reached the top fifty in the United States, unlike its predecessor, "Talkin' 'bout a Revolution", but it failed to become Chapman's second top forty hit, peaking at #48. It did, however, give her a second chart entry on the US Adult Contemporary charts, peaking at #19 in early 1989.

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Tracy Chapman

 

Neil Diamond recorded the song for his 1989 album, “The Best Years of Our Lives” and became the first of many artists to cover the song. In 1997, the Irish boy band Boyzone released a cover of "Baby Can I Hold You". The single, like "Picture of You" before it, peaked at #2 on the official UK singles chart and stayed in the top 75 for fourteen weeks. The song was the 26th best selling single of 1997 in the United Kingdom.

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Neil Diamond - Baby Can I Hold You

 

In 2005, Boyzone frontman Ronan Keating released his own cover of "Baby Can I Hold You" as the third and final single from his greatest hits compilation, 10 Years of Hits. It became the second song that he originally recorded with Boyzone to be re-released for his own solo career. In the United Kingdom, the single was only released via digital download and thus it failed to chart. In Germany, the single received a full-scale release and peaked at #42 on the German Singles Chart.

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Ronan Keating - Baby Can I Hold You

 

Chapman subsequently re-recorded the song as a duet with Luciano Pavarotti for the CD “Pavarotti and Friends for Cambodia and Tibet.” And it was re-released as a single in promotion of the hits package Collection which reached #3 in the United Kingdom in 2001.

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Luciano Pavarotti & Tracy Chapman

 

Baby Can I Hold You lyrics


Sorry
Is all that you can't say
Years gone by and still
Words don't come easily
Like sorry like sorry

Forgive me
Is all that you can't say
Years gone by and still
Words don't come easily
Like forgive me forgive me

But you can say baby
Baby can I hold you tonight
Maybe if I told you the right words
At the right time you'd be mine

I love you
Is all that you can say
Years gone by and still
Words don't come easily
Like I love you I love you

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Baby Can I Hold You

 

 

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