Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

9. Tracy ChapmanTracy Chapman

Well, there is a story to this. I have asked permission from my husband and I shall tell the tale. I used to be married to an Italian man and Ian was living with a girl in Rochdale. Ian and I let our guard down as friends and ended up having an affair with each other. We would ride around in Ian’s Ford Cortina just going to little guesthouses and hotels everywhere. We couldn’t go home – I’d fly back from Italy and we’d just get in the car and drive.

So, the Tracy Chapman album was what we would listen to all the time, when we first got together as a couple, driving around in a Cortina. It wasn’t exactly a ‘Fast Car’ but it was fast enough for me. And it was worth having an affair because our relationship has now been going for 26 years. So, I’m thinking it outweighs the first marriage.

At the time, I remember thinking that the album was new and fresh and, I know she’d probably hate me for saying this, but there were smatterings of Joan Armatrading, who I love. Joan must have been a huge influence on Tracy. It’s just a beautiful and sweet album; the songs are really heartfelt and that came across so well.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Will Young
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