In My Tribe
was 10,000 Maniacs' second (and best) album and the record that made the band collegiate favorites and singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant a star. Producer Peter Asher's rich balance of acoustic and electric instruments gave muscle to the group's folk-rock. "Hey Jack Kerouac" found Merchant musing on the literary beats of the 1950s, but the song's musical hook was the rich bed of rhythm guitars laid atop the solid drums. "Don't Talk" offered a similarly propulsive rock sound, with lyrics that advised troubled lovers to keep it to themselves. R.E.M.
singer Michael Stipe offered hipster credibility by guesting on "A Campfire Song," while a cover of Cat Stevens
's "Peace Train" offered listeners a familiar port of entry. However, when Muslim convert Stevens announced his support of Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini's call for the execution of Satanic Verses
author Salman Rushdie, the band rereleased the album without "Peace Train." --John Milward
Certified at 2 million units by the RIAA. (3/01)