The 1988 hit song “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman is getting new life in the form of a remake by country music star, Luke Combs.
via: Rolling Stone
Chapman is set to make history this week when Luke Combs’ version of her 1988 song “Fast Car” is expected to go Number One on the country charts. According to multiple sources, including Twitter chart guru Chris Owen, Combs’ version of Chapman’s ballad will top Billboard’s Country Airplay chart when the chart positions are announced in the coming days. With that achievement, Chapman will become the first-ever Black woman to have the sole songwriting credit on a Number One country hit.
Chapman will join a very small group of Black women with writing credits on a Number One country song. Alice Randall was first with her co-write on Trisha Yearwood’s 1994 single “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl).” A full 26 years later, in 2020, songwriter Ester Dean (Rihanna, Katy Perry) had a Number One for her credit on Lady A’s “Champagne Night,” while a year after that, Tayla Parx (Ariana Grande, Kesha) earned a Number One for co-writing Dan+Shay’s “Glad You Exist.”
To Parx, Combs’ cover is evidence of how masterful Chapman’s 35-year-old song really is. “Any song that sounds good on guitar, it can more than likely be a country song,” Parx tells Rolling Stone. “With a great song, you can take it and make it sound like seven different genres, so that says a lot about what type of song ‘Fast Car’ is: it can be a pop song, a country song, it can be whatever, because it’s just a great song.”
Combs’ studio version, which appears on his latest album, Gettin’ Old, is the culmination of a multi-year surge in popularity for “Fast Car.” “The guitar part on that song is super iconic, and everyone knows the song as soon as you start playing it,” Combs told Rolling Stone in 2020, not long after he posted a video of himself playing the song during the pandemic. “They know it, and they sing along. It’s like ‘Free Bird’ or ‘Jolene.’”