Album: You Hold The Key

CD cover picture AC Success May Be Key For Beth Nielsen Chapman
Billboard, September 18th, 1993

NEW YORK-Beth Nielsen Chapman has at least one important message to convey on "You Hold The Key", her second Reprise/Warner Bros. collection: She is not a country music artist.

Perhaps it is her Nashville home base, or maybe it is the fact that she has written numerous hits for some of country music's top guns, including Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson, and Alabama. But even after climbing into the top 10 on Billboard's Hot Adult Contemporary Singles Chart three times with cuts from her eponymous 1990 set, she finds that some people are still confused.

"That comes mostly from people who do not take a moment to listen to the actual music that I'm recording", she says. Those who do listen closely to "You Hold The Key" will feel more compelled to raise comparisons to such Chapman influences as Carole King and Carly Simon. Recorded in New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville, with a brief stopover at London's framed Abbey road studio, the album is a melange of soft pop rhythms and intelligent lyrics that explore various of the hear. Chapman's delicate alto is complemented by veteran rock seesion players such as drummer Russ Kunkel and bassist Bob Glaub, and guests Paul Carrack, the London Chamber Orchestra, and the London Trinity Boys Choir.

Beth "As exciting as the recording process was, it was also kind of unnerving" , she say. "Writing songs, you have complete control. You do your demo, and it's enclosed in this very tiny world on a four-track. Taking your music into a situation with producers and musicians, you have to open up and alllow their ideas to bring (the song) to an-other place. Suddenly, it's more of a sharing thing, which can be hard if you're feeling overly protective of a song".

Now that the tunes are in place, the promotion staff at reprise and Warner Bros. is ready to build upon Chapman's solid foundation at AC radio. "The moment you were mine", the set's first single, has just been shipped, and early programmer respons has been positive, according to the label.

"Beth made a lot of wonderful friends the last time around", notes Dino Barbis, VP at prommotion at Warner Bros. "We were able to sell roughly a quarter of a million albums, solely on the basis of AC radio support. We had no videos, and she did not tour. It was on the strength of the music, and Beth's accessibility as an artist and as a personality".

On Oct. 1, Chapman will begin a tour with Dan Fogelberg that should keep her on the road until the end of the year. "I'm really looking forward to getting out there and playing", she says. "The idea of touring with Dan is very exciting".

In tyhe meantime, Barbis say's plans rase afoot to build a bridge for Chapman between AC and top 40 radio. "We think the next single will be the one that starts that process", he says. "You have to do it gradually. Beth is the kind of artist who requires and deserves long-term label commitment".

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