Telling Stories

Telling Stories is the fifth album by American singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman, released in 2000 (see 2000 in music). It was her first album in over four years, and her first since Crossroads to be produced or co-produced by David Kershenbaum. A special 2 CD tour edition of this album was also released in May 2000, supporting the tour going on at the time. The album is composed of contemporary rock songs in the first half, and folk songs in the second half. The song "Unsung Psalm" was originally written for her previous album, New Beginning, but it didn't make it onto the album.

The record marked a return to shorter songs for Tracy, seeing as on New Beginning all of them had been very long.

Telling Stories
A blurred photograph of a sign reading "TELLING STORIES"
Studio album by Tracy Chapman
Released February 14, 2000[1]
Recorded 1999
Genre Adult Contemporary, Folk
Length 42:09
Label Elektra
Producer Tracy Chapman, David Kershenbaum
Tracy Chapman chronology
New Beginning
Telling Stories
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars [2]
Robert Christgau(dud) [3]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars [4]
Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[5]

Track listing

All songs written by Tracy Chapman.

1."Telling Stories"3:57
2."Less Than Strangers"3:19
3."Speak the Word"4:12
4."It's OK"4:00
5."Wedding Song"4:36
6."Unsung Psalm"4:19
7."Nothing Yet"3:21
8."Paper and Ink"4:52
10."The Only One"3:08
11."First Try"3:31
Tour Edition Bonus CD
1."Three Little Birds" (Live)3:27
2."House of the Rising Sun" (Live)2:02
3."Mountains O' Things" (Live)5:06
4."Behind the Wall" (Live)2:09
5."Baby Can I Hold You"3:13


Additional musicians
Technical personnel
  • Duane Baron – engineering, mixing
  • Tim Hailand – artwork
  • Jeri Heiden – design
  • John Heiden – design
  • Renata Kanclerz – production coordination
  • David Kershenbaum – mixing, production
  • Martie Kolbl – production coordination
  • Curt Kroeger – assistant engineering
  • Iki Levy – drum programming
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Herb Ritts – portraits
  • Roger Sommers – assistant engineering


Chart (2000) Peak
The Billboard 200 33
Billboard Top Internet Albums 5
Swedish Albums Chart 16


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
France (SNEP)[6] 2× Gold 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[7] Gold 150,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[8] Gold 7,500^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[9] Gold 25,000^
United States (RIAA)[10] Gold 500,000^

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

Year Single Chart Position
2000 "Telling Stories" Billboard Adult Top 40 8
Billboard Bubbling Under The Hot 100 8


  1. ^ "Tracy Chapman – Telling Stories (Album)". Retrieved 2012-12-14.
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Telling Stories at AllMusic
  3. ^ "Robert Christgau review". Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  4. ^ Rolling Stone review Archived July 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Rolling Stone Album Guide review
  6. ^ "French album certifications – Tracy Chapman – Telling Stories" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
  7. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Tracy Chapman; 'Telling Stories')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
  8. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Tracy Chapman – Telling Stories". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
  9. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Tracy Chapman; 'Telling Stories')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
  10. ^ "American album certifications – Tracy Chapman – Telling Stories". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved October 15, 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

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