Comprehensive Mary Chapin Carpenter Discography

Page 1: Albums by Mary Chapin Carpenter

Go to:
Compilation albums
Various Artist collections
Guest Appearances
Singles & EPs
Promotional Items

News and Updates:

January 14, 2014 - Updated to include information about MCC's newest album, Songs from the Movie, along with a couple of recent various-artist compilations featuring non-album tracks by MCC.

May 25, 2012 - Updated with info about MCC's new album, Ashes and Roses

These are Mary Chapin Carpenter's full-length albums of original material. For listings of compilations of previously-released material, appearances on collections of various artists, or appearances on albums by other artists, click on the appropriate link above.

This page last updated on 7/14/2010

Hometown Girl (1987)
Original LP cover:
CBS/Columbia Records,
BFC 40758

CD cover:
CBS/Columbia Records,
CK 40758
01. A Lot Like Me
02. Other Streets And Other Towns
03. Hometown Girl
04. Downtown Train
05. Family Hands
06. A Road Is Just A Road
07. Come On Home
08. Waltz
09. Just Because
10. Heroes And Heroines

MCC's first album is basically her demo tape -- John Jennings had produced it for her and she was shopping it around to record labels. CBS Records heard it, signed her to a contract, and released the album pretty much as-is, with only the addition of one new song ("Come on Home").

Although the record and the CD had different covers, the music on both is identical. The record also had an inner sleeve containing musician credits and lyrics, while the CD does not have that information. The 2007 budget-priced re-release of the CD has the original LP cover.

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State of the Heart (1989)
CBS/Columbia Records,
CK 44228
01. How Do
02. Something Of A Dreamer
03. Never Had It So Good
04. Read My Lips
05. This Shirt
06. Quittin' Time
07. Down In Mary's Land
08. Goodbye Again
09. Too Tired
10. Slow Country Dance
11. It Don't Bring You
MCC's second album was her first "major-label" production. It sounds slicker than Hometown Girl, but the style of songwriting remains similar. State of the Heart also received more promotion, and sold a lot more copies than her first album.

A couple of the songs here, "This Shirt" and "Quittin' Time," remain all-time favorites and are still performed live quite frequently. MCC actually wrote "This Shirt" in 1987, but it wasn't recorded until after Hometown Girl was released.

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Shooting Straight in the Dark (1990)
CBS/Columbia Records,
CK 46077
01. Going Out Tonight
02. Right Now
03. More Things Change
04. When She's Gone
05. Middle Ground
06. Can't Take Love For Granted
07. Down At The Twist and Shout
08. Halley Came To Jackson
09. What You Didn't Say
10. You Win Again
11. Moon and St. Christopher
MCC's third album propelled her to country music superstardom. "Down at the Twist and Shout" (with a guest appearance from the Cajun group Beausoleil) won MCC her first Grammy award for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female.

"Halley Came to Jackson" is based on an event from the life of writer Eudora Welty. A children's book based on the song was published in 1998, with illustrations by Dan Andreasen. The book is unfortunately out-of-print, but used copies should be available.

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Come On Come On (1992)
Sony Music/Columbia
Records, CK 48881
01. The Hard Way
02. He Thinks He'll Keep Her
03. Rhythm Of The Blues
04. I Feel Lucky
05. The Bug
06. Not Too Much To Ask (duet with Joe Diffie)
07. Passionate Kisses
08. Only A Dream
09. I Am A Town
10. Walking Through Fire
11. I Take My Chances
12. Come On Come On
If Shooting Straight in the Dark made MCC a superstar, then Come On Come On made her a legend. The songwriting, production and performances come together to produce a truly great album. MCC won Best Country Performance, Female, Grammy awards two years in a row for this one -- in 1992 for "I Feel Lucky" and in 1993 for "Passionate Kisses."

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Stones in the Road (1994)
Sony Music/Columbia
Records, CK 64327
01. Why Walk When You Can Fly
02. House Of Cards
03. Stones In The Road
04. A Keeper For Every Flame
05. Tender When I Want To Be
06. Shut Up And Kiss Me
07. The Last Word
08. The End Of My Pirate Days
09. John Doe No. 24
10. Jubilee
11. Outside Looking In
12. Where Time Stands Still
13. This Is Love
Moving into the realm of sheer perfection, Stones in the Road takes the listener on a profound and moving journey. The album begins and ends with a solo piano playing the "Why Walk When You Can Fly" theme, perfectly bookending this widely-varied collection of songs.

The album itself won a Grammy for Best Country Album, and the song "Shut Up and Kiss Me" also won MCC a Grammy for Best Country Performance, Female. Interestingly, this album is less "country" than her prior four albums, and it is the first album in which all the songs were written by her.

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A Place in the World (1996)
Sony Music/Columbia
Records, CK 67501
01. Keeping The Faith
02. Hero In Your Hometown
03. I Can See It Now
04. I Want To Be Your Girlfriend
05. Let Me Into Your Heart
06. What If We Went To Italy
07. That's Real
08. Ideas Are Like Stars
09. Naked To The Eye
10. Sudden Gift Of Fate
11. The Better To Dream Of You
12. A Place In The World
MCC followed up the huge success of Stones in the Road with this somewhat weak album in 1996. She admits that the production of this album was rushed (due to pressure from the record label), and therefore wasn't what she would have liked to have had released, and it shows.

That's not to say that there aren't some excellent songs on it -- there are a few gems here. I particularly like "Naked to the Eye" and "A Place in the World." "I Want to Be Your Girlfriend" is truly fun, too, in a 1960's bubblegum sort of way. But overall it doesn't doesn't hold together as the coherent work of art that the previous album was.

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Time * Sex * Love * (2001)
Sony Music/Columbia
Records, CK 85176

Sony Music/Columbia
Records, CS 85176
01. Whenever You're Ready
02. Simple Life
03. Swept Away
04. Slave to the Beauty
05. Maybe World
06. What Was It Like
07. King of Love
08. This is Me Leaving You
09. Someone Else's Prayer
10. The Dreaming Road
11. Alone But Not Lonely
12. The Long Way Home
13. In the Name of Love
14. Late For Your Life
Bonus Track: Going Home
After a five-year wait, MCC returned to the scene with her first new studio album of the 21st Century. And what an album it is!

The title is short for: "Time Is the Great Gift; Sex Is the Great Equalizer; Love Is the Great Mystery." This big title hints at the grand scale of this album -- the ideas are big, and the production is big. It was recorded in London at Air Studios (where the Beatles recorded Rubber Soul, and (for the first time in her career) it was co-produced by someone other than John Jennings (it was co-produced by Blake Chancey).

This album is held back from brilliance by getting a little bogged down in the middle; there are a few too many "downer" songs in there. But where it shines, it glows like the sun. "Whenever You're Ready" and "Slave to the Beauty" rank among MCC's best songs, and "The Long Way Home" and "Late for Your Life" are classic MCC. Many people have commented that the bonus track is the best one on the album: "Going Home" sounds like a jam session, and is fun and raw and closes the album perfectly.

This album was originally released on CD, and a few months later a multichannel SACD version was released. The SACD contains a 5.1-channel mix in addition to a high-resolution stereo mix, but it is only playable on SACD-compatible equipment (it is not a hybrid disc). If you have SACD-compatible equipment, I would highly recommend the SACD version of the album, although there isn't anything on it that you don't find on the regular CD version.

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Between Here and Gone (2004)
Sony Music/Columbia
Records, CK 86619

Sony Music/Columbia
Records, CK 92428 (with bonus CD)

Sony Music/Columbia
Records, CK 92429 (with bonus DVD)

01. What Would You Say To Me
02. Luna's Gone
03. My Heaven
04. Goodnight America
05. Between Here and Gone
06. One Small Heart
07. Beautiful Racket
08. Girls Like Me
09. River
10. Grand Central Station
11. Shelter of Storms
12. Elysium
After a slightly shorter interlude (only three years this time), MCC is back with an even better album than Time * Sex * Love *. Between Here and Gone tightens up the pacing a little better than its predecessor, and contains a slew of perfectly-crafted songs. Melodic, profound, fun, moving and downright breathtaking are words that come to mind to describe the songs on this album.

For the MCC fanatic, this CD is available in three different forms. The regular CD is available everywhere, with the twelve tracks listed to the left.

Available exclusively at Barnes & Noble stores is a version which contains a bonus audio disc. This disc contains three live recordings, recorded on the Singer/Songwriter tour of 2003, and features backing vocals by Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin and Dar Williams. These tracks are:
I Still Miss Someone
This Shirt
Late For Your Life

Available exclusively at Borders stores is a version with a bonus DVD. The DVD contains music videos for:
Down at the Twist and Shout
I Feel Lucky
Shut Up and Kiss Me
The Better to Dream of You
Almost Home

Both the Barnes & Noble and Borders editions are limited edition releases, and may be out-of-print by now, but you should check at your local store for availability.
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Buy the bonus CD version from a third-party seller:
(You may want to check with the seller to make sure you're getting the version you want.)

The Calling (2007)
Zoe Records

01. The Calling
02. We're All Right
03. Twilight
04. It Must Have Happened
05. On and On It Goes
06. Your Life Story
07. Houston
08. Leaving Song
09. On With the Song
10. Closer and Closer Apart
11. Here I Am
12. Why Shouldn't We
13. Bright Morning Star
This is MCC's first album on a new label, Zoe Records. While it is a move away from her major label, stylistically it sounds much like Between Here and Gone. Powerful, intelligent, both humorous and moving, this album continues her 21st-century move away from radio-friendly country music toward intellectual, thought-provocing folky-singer-songwriter music.

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Come Darkness, Come Light: Twelve Songs of Christmas (2008)
Zoe Records,

01. Once In Royal David's City
02. Hot Buttered Rum
03. Still, Still, Still
04. On a Quiet Christmas Morn
05. Come Darkness, Come Light
06. Christmas Time In the City
07. Candlelight Carol
08. The Longest Night of the Year
09. Thanksgiving Song
10. Bells Are Ringing
11. Christmas Carol
12. Children, Go Where I Send Thee
MCC's first holiday album is designed to be a non-traditional Christmas album, made up of original songs, songs by other contemporary singer-songwriters, and less-often-recorded traditional songs.

MCC's original songs are: "Come Darkness, Come Light," "Christmastime In the City," "The Longest Night of the Year," "Thanksgiving Song," "Bells are Ringing" and "Christmas Carol." Tommy Thompson wrote "Hot Buttered Rum," Robin and Linda Williams wrote "On a Quiet Christmas Morn," and John Rutter wrote "Candlelight Carol." The remaining songs fall into the category of "traditional" Christmas music.

While most MCC fans will recognize the titles "Christmas Time In the City" and "Bells Are Ringing," these are new, more acoustic versions of the songs, not the original versions released a number of years ago. "Christmas Time in the City" has several changes in the lyrics as well.

Also, there's a bonus track available from the iTunes store. You can download "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" there as an individual track or with the entire album.

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The Age of Miracles (2010)
Zoe Records,

01. We Traveled So Far
02. Zephyr
03. I Put My Ring Back On
04. Holding Up the Sky
05. 4 June 1989
06. I Was a Bird
07. Mrs. Hemingway
08. I Have a Need for Solitude
09. What You Look For
10. Iceland
11. The Age of Miracles
12. The Way I Feel

13. All the Sad Songs (bonus track on Barnes & Noble CD edition)
13. The Edge of the World (bonus track on Amazon MP3 edition)
13. This Is Home (bonus track on iTunes edition)
The Age of Miracles is a studio album of all-new material. The standard version of the album contains 12 tracks, but the Barnes & Noble, Amazon MP3 and iTunes editions of the album each contain a different bonus track not found elsewhere. Unfortunately, the bonus tracks cannot be downloaded individually - you have to purchase the complete album in order to get the bonus tracks...

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Buy the B&N version from a third-party seller:

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The Ashes and Roses (2012)
Zoe Records,

01. Transcendental Reunion
02. What to Keep and What to Throw Away
03. The Swords We Carried
04. Another Home
05. Chasing What's Already Gone
06. Learning the World
07. I Tried Going West
08. Don't Need Much to Be Happy
09. Soul Companion
10. Old Love
11. New Years Day
12. Fading Away
13. Jericho

14. The One Who's Not Enough (bonus track on Barnes & Noble CD edition)
This album consists of all-new material. As has been the case with previous albums, there's a Barnes & Noble exclusive edition with a bonus track.

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Songs from the Movie (2014)
Zoe Records,

01. On and On It Goes
02. I Am a Town
03. Between Here and Gone
04. Ideas Are Like Stars
05. The Dreaming Road
06. Only a Dream
07. Come On Come On
08. Mrs. Hemingway
09. Where Time Stands Still
10. Goodnight America
MCC's newest studio album is a collection of newly-recorded versions of various songs with full orchestral accompaniment. Contrary to what the title of the album might indicate, it is not a compilation of songs from movie soundtracks, but rather reimaginings of her own songs, drawing inspiration from great orchestral film scores and songs from motion pictures. All of the songs on this album are new versions of songs she has released before -- not reworkings or remixes of old songs, but rather entirely new recordings.

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Go to:
Compilation albums
Various Artist collections
Guest Appearances
Singles & EPs
Promotional Items

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