#315Albums is a list of 315 albums that appear on both the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, as well as the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die book, edited by Robert Dimery. At its best, it is a representation of some of the greatest music ever released; at its worst, it is a journey through the history of music that the majority see as important, influential, and/or relevant. If nothing else, these albums are worth experiencing at least once to get a better understanding of music, which is why we are working to complete all #315Albums.

No. 012

“Somehow, this young folk singer caught everyone’s ear in the hair-metal late Eighties. Chapman had spent time strumming her acoustic guitar for spare change on the streets around Boston, and her gritty voice and storytelling made ‘Fast Car’ hit home.”

Artist: Tracy Chapman
Album: Tracy Chapman
Released: 1988
Label: Elektra Records
Rolling Stones Ranking: 263

This album demands your attention. These songs are raw, powerful, and emotional. They feel like they were written by someone working a go-nowhere 9-5 job that is begging for some change in the world around her. As incredible as “Fast Car” is, “Behind the Wall” steals the entire album. Chapman goes completely a cappella, and absolutely blew me away. I was nearly emotional by the end of it, which is saying something from such a short song. This self-titled debut is nothing short of a masterpiece. I will definitely be seeking out more of her music. I am really interested to see how her lyrics mature throughout her career. This album is so much more than “Fast Car”, and you owe it to yourself to give it a listen.

Cinefessions’ #315Albums Rating: 87%

Image and quote courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine.