Luke Combs’ ‘Fast Car’ Cover Is A Streaming Giant

As of April 18, the song has raked in over 46 million worldwide streams.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

April 20, 2023


10:27 am

Share on:

Luke Combs; Photo by David Bergman

Luke Combs’ latest album, Gettin’ Old, features 18 tracks, one of which is a cover of Tracy Chapman’s 1988 hit “Fast Car.” Since its release, this song has continued to make massive waves among his fanbase. 

While the song has frequently been included in his set lists over the years, it wasn’t until Combs began building the track list for his fourth studio album that he officially got into the studio to record it. “Fast Car” was originally written and recorded by Chapman for her self-titled debut studio album. When Combs decided to tackle the cover, he made it a point to hold onto the nostalgia while also adding his own signature sound.

Luke Combs; Photo David Bergman
Luke Combs; Photo David Bergman

The Song Is A “Huge Part” Of His Life

During a recent interview with Zane Lowe on New Music Daily on Apple Music 1, the country music superstar opened up about his recording and how it ties in with his musical upbringing. 

“That song’s just always been a huge part of my life, really. I’ve always loved it and I think it’s the more and more I hear it, especially the older and older I get, it just gets better and better every time,” he told the outlet. “I loved it when I was five years old and me and my dad used to listen to that album on a cassette tape in the truck. So I loved that whole album, but that song stood out to me. And I would say it was like that song stood out above all the others even. But that’s probably the first “hit song” that I ever heard. I didn’t even know that that’s what that was, what that even meant at that time. But for some reason, that song stood out even more than everything else on that album, which was really great, too.”

Making only slight changes when it comes to production and instrumentals, Combs elevated the original arrangement of the emotionally charged sentiment to make it his own.

YouTube video

Staying True To Its Original Production

“I think that was always the goal was just not to change it at all, really, in the sense of staying true to keeping it rooted in where it always was, I think was important,” he continued. “Letting the riffs be kind of the star of the show. I mean, that’s how the original track is. And I think the main differences in mine and the original is just the quality of equipment that it was recorded on, I think would be the main difference. I don’t think mine would sound markedly different. Obviously, there’s some electric stuff going on that probably wasn’t there. The chorus feels a little bit bigger, just filled out drums and things of that nature. But I think it comes down a lot to the equipment.”

“That song was recorded in probably 1988, I would imagine. This one was recorded in 2022. So obviously there’s been huge leaps in all sorts of technology when it comes to audio engineering and recording music since then. So I would say that was probably the biggest difference.”

Fans quickly fell in love with the modernized version of “Fast Car” that serves as a blast from the past for many, including the country superstar. It has only been out for a few weeks, yet the song has already seen tremendous success among the other highly-anticipated tracks such as “See Me Now,” “Joe,” “Tattoo On A Sunburn,” and “5 Leaf Clover.” 

A Streaming Giant

Combs officially sent his recording of “Fast Car” to U.S. Pop Top 40 and Hot AC Radio as another single off his fourth studio album. As of April 18, the song has racked up 46 million streams worldwide, currently sits in the 14 spot on the US Spotify Chart and #9 on the US Apple Music chart. It has also charted in Ireland, the UK, and New Zealand, Australia and Canada. 

The singer/songwriter recently announced during a Nashville show that his next country radio single off the 18-track record will be “Love You Anyway.” Combs let his fans decide which song they wanted to hear next. He opened up the poll to “Love You Anyway” and “5 Leaf Clover.” While it was close, the heartfelt love letter came out on top.

 “It was real close,” Combs said while on stage at Nissan Stadium. “I think it was 51% to 49% so it was neck and neck. The song we’re about to play right now is the winner.” 

2023 World Tour

Combs’ recent record-breaking shows in music city marked another stop on his 2023 World Tour.

With 40 shows across 3 continents and 16 countries, the record-breaking run is the largest tour ever for a country artist. The tour continues to celebrate the new album, Gettin’ Old, which is as a companion to his acclaimed 2022 record, Growin’ Up.

Luke Combs, Growin' Up and Gettin' Old
Luke Combs, Growin’ Up and Gettin’ Old

The trek continues with upcoming sold-out shows at Chicago’s Soldier Field, Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium and Foxborough’s Gillette Stadium as well as stops in Australia, New Zealand, U.K., Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, France and Belgium. 

Riley Green, Lainey Wilson, Flatland Cavalry and Brent Cobb will serve as support to Luke Combs on the North American tour dates. Special guests on the Australian and New Zealand dates include Cody Johnson and Lane Pittman.

YouTube video
Share on:

Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.