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Released: July 15, 1997

Rating: 3.408 (average of 9 ratings)

Genre: adult alternative rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Building a Mystery
  2. I Love You
  3. Sweet Surrender
  4. Adia
  5. Do What You Have to Do
  6. Witness
  7. Angel
  8. Black & White
  9. Full of Grace
  10. Last Dance


sales in U.S. only 8 million
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 8 million


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 2
peak on U.K. album chart --

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Building a Mystery (7/5/97) #13 US, #3 MR, #28 AC
  • Sweet Surrender (11/8/97) #22a US, #14 MR, #27 AC
  • Adia (3/28/98) #3 US, #18 UK, #5 AC. Sales: ˝ million
  • Angel (11/14/98) #2a US, #36 UK, #1 AC


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. Juno – Canada’s Music Awards – Album of the Year. Click to go to Juno site.

Sarah McLachlan
Surfacing was released as the first Lilith Fair tour hit the road, and Sarah McLachlan benefited enormously from the timing. As the organizer of Lilith Fair, McLachlan was on the cover of magazines across America and Canada, which helped Surfacing debut at number two on the U.S. charts – a particularly remarkable feat since its predecessor, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, peaked at number 50. All the commercial success and media hype disguised the fact that Surfacing not only didn’t offer anything new from McLachlan, but it wasn’t a particularly strong consolidation of her talents. That it isn’t to say it’s a bad record, because it certainly isn’t – there are several fine songs on the album, including the single Building a Mystery – but it doesn’t offer anything new, and the songs aren’t as consistently captivating as they were on Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. And that suggests that even though McLachlan was at the height of her popularity, she may have begun to run out of ideas” (Erlewine).

Review Source(s):

Last updated November 14, 2008.