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Rate-O-Rama: Fast Car

Rate-O-Rama #23: Tracy Chapman / Jonas Blue featuring Dakota / Luke Combs

By Rick Henry Christopher Published 2 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - February 2024
Tracy Chgapman / Jonas Blue featuring Dakota / Luke Combs

Welcome to Rate-O-Rama!

If you wish to receive a notice when the next Rate-O-Rama post is published please mention that you would like a notification in the comments section

Rate-O-Rama is a reader participation game.

Every Thursday evening I will publish a Rate-O-Rama article which will feature three versions of a popular song.

The object is to listen to each of the music videos provided within the post.

After listening to each video you can rate each song in the comments section below.

(You must be a member to comment. If you are not a member you can join Vocal Media for FREE. You don’t ever have to pay for membership unless you choose to upgrade your membership)


The rating method is easy. Simply give each song a rating of 1 to 100.

(The more you like the song the higher the rating).

If possible, please provide a brief comment to let us now what you think of each song.

After a week (Thursday evening) I will tally the ratings and in the next Rate-O-Rama post, I will announce the average rating each song received.


Last week we featured the Pop Rock - Surf Rock classic: “California Girls" as recorded by The Beach Boys (1965), Leif Garrett (1977), and David Lee Roth (1984).

The following are the average ratings for each song as a result of the votes:

🥇 The Beach Boys: 92.1

🥈 David Lee Roth: 72.9

🥉 Leif Garrett: 64.2


The Twenty-Third Edition of Rate-O-Rama features three renditions of the Folk Rock - Folk Pop classic: “Fast Car."


Tracy Chapman (1988)

Tracy Chapman's debut album simply titled Tracy Chapman was a huge hit mostly on the strength of the song “Fast Car.” However the album is a solid collection of songs written by Tracy Chapman. It reached #1 in nine countries around the world and #2 in an additional four countries. Overall the album has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide with six million in the US alone.

Tracy has commented that while writing “Fast Car” she wasn't sure who she was writing about. In retrospect she believes she was writing about her parents as a young working class couple trying to make ends meet. Fans of the song have gleaned different interpretations such as escaping alcoholism, or escaping abuse.

The song received major airplay and was a huge hit reaching #1 in Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, and Portugal. It also made it into the Top Ten in six other countries including #4 in the UK and #6 in the US. The song won a 1988 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. It also won an MTV Music Video Award for Best Female Video.

Currently “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman has re-entered the chart and is at #42 in the US, and #37 in Canada and will undoubtedly move up the charts. This resurgence is due to her 2024 performance of the song with Luke Combs on the Grammy Awards broadcast.


Jonas Blue featuring Dakota (2015)

Jonas Blue is a popular British record producer and DJ. He has had many hits throughout the world including nine top 40 hits in the UK. His biggest hit overall is his cover of Tracy Chapman's “Fast Car.” He made it into the top three all throughout Europe and also number one in Australia and New Zealand with the song. "Fast Car" is his only song that has charted in the US making it to number 98. “Fast Car” was his first single release.

Jonas Blue's rendition features British singer Dakota on lead vocals. She has released another half dozen singles but “Fast Car” is her only chart appearance.


Luke Combs (2023)

Luke Combs experienced major success with his cover of “Fast Car.” Like Chapman, Combs reached worldwide success with the song reaching #1 in Canada and #2 in the US and Australia. He also reached the Top 30 in five other countries. In the U.S. Combs made it to #1 on the Country Music charts and #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts. This marked the first time that a song written by a black female artist topped the country music charts and was the first and only time that Luke Combs made it on to the adult contemporary charts.

Luke Combs won a Country Music Association (CMA) Award for Single of the Year for the song and Tracy Chapman won Record of the Year. Chapman became the first black female to win a CMA award.


My Thoughts


Tracy Chapman:

This is such a beautiful song and Tracy sings it to perfection. Her vocal timing and phrasing are amazing. She puts every ounce of her soul and emotions into the song. Her performance is powerful and the song is meaningful. I can't give Tracy any other score than 100.


Jonas Blue featuring Dakota:

I like Jonas Blue's synth arrangement. He's put an ethereal mood to a dance rhythm and he did it well. Had he chosen a stronger vocalist I'd give it a better rating. As is I give the song a 70.


Luke Combs:

Luke does a fine job with the song. But there's something missing in her vocal performance. I just don't feel the soul like I do in Tracey's rendition. I give Luke an 85.


I will be back next week with the results of this Rate-O-Rama Edition.

Last Week's Rate-O-Rama:

With Love, RHC ❤️

product reviewsynthsong reviewssocial mediapophistoryfeatureelectronicadancecountryartalternative80s music

About the Creator

Rick Henry Christopher

Writing is a distraction to fulfill my need for intellectual stimulus, emotional release, and soothing the bruises of the day.

The shattered pieces of life will not discourage me.

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Comments (36)

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  • Joshua Hess2 months ago

    I would love to be notified for the next rate-O-Rama!

  • JBaz2 months ago

    Congratulations Rick this one was destined to be popular

  • Susan Fourtané2 months ago

    Congratulations on winning First Prize! :D

  • This round of Rate-O-Rama is now closed. You can play the new round at: Thank you! 😎

  • Dariusz 2 months ago

    Congratulations on top story :)

  • Sandra Tena Cole2 months ago

    Such a great selection!! And so worthybof a TS ❣️ Tracy Chapman - 100 for the exact same reasons you have! Jonas Blue - 40 (sorry!!) there was something jarring about it for me, although I do feel that had it been a different song with the same arrangements I would have liked it, perhaps! Luke Combs gets a 95 from me - I love his voice and I'm happy he got enough attention that he got to perform with the legend herself at the Grammys (and that he opened the door for Chapman to make very well-deserved musical history, too).

  • Raymond G. Taylor2 months ago

    Thinking about this I’d like to up my rating of Tracy Chapman to 101% I can’t think how she or anyone else could have done it any better.

  • sleepy drafts2 months ago

    Oooooof, I love this song. Great pick. 10000000 to Tracy Chapman! The original gives me chills every time. 85 to the Jonas Blue version - a totally different take but still taps into a similar desperate feeling that the OG song has. This was a new version to me!! Thank you for sharing this. 70 to Luke Combs - he does a fine job, as you say. It just doesn't scratch the same emotional itch for me, though. It's a personal thing! Maybe I've just gotten too used to hearing it at work! Congrats on top story! This was so fun. ❤️💕

  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳

  • Mackenzie Davis2 months ago

    I really don't disagree with you, Rick. Tracy's emotions are particularly striking, making the song's repetition interesting. Any cover of the song falls flat on that point. Tracy: 100 Jonas Blue f. Dakota: 40 Luke Combs: 65 Luke Combs sounds good, but almost sanitized and it leaves me wondering if there was vocal correction happening in his record. Something is just, off, about it... The dance record is cool, I can see why it was big in Europe, lol, but it doesn't do the song justice. Tracy is the GOAT.

  • Mariann Carroll2 months ago

    Congratulations, Rick!!! Another Rama Top Story 🎉🎉🎉🎉

  • Raymond G. Taylor2 months ago

    The incredible Tracy Chapman: 85 Jonas Blue - 65 Luke Combs - 55 REASONS: Chapman: Strong, soulful, brilliant vocalisation and creates an atmosphere of the situation and of its time. Unbeatable in my view for what she was trying to do. Blue: Interesting and original cover, bright and upbeat, worth making a recording of Combs: A competent cover but uninspiring

  • Christy Munson2 months ago

    Thanks for this posting. I agree with Lamar Wiggins. Tracy's version carries the most emotion. Imitations are flattering to her, I'm sure, and are appreciated by new audiences. But nothing beats Tracy's original. That song and the way she sings it = life changing. Congratulations on TS.

  • Lamar Wiggins2 months ago

    Another great choice of song! I could see potential in the other two but Tracy’s by far Carries the most depth of emotion conveying the story through music! Tracy- 100 Luke - 80 Jonas - 73

  • Sandra Matos2 months ago

    Tracy Chapman ~100 Jonas Blue Feat. Dakota~ 60 Luke Combs- 80 Besides this being one of my favorite songs, there's something in Tracy Chapman's voice that leaves Luke Combs' voice a bit flat when compared. He sings with feeling, but it is missing something for me. It could be my bias towards the original because I have loved it for so long. Regarding Jonas Blue featuring Dakota, I would get excited and sing along if I was out dancing or if this came on at a wedding. I would never put this on my playlist, though. It feels like the lyrics are an afterthought, and the lyrics are an important part of why I like the song. This was fun! I want to get notified when you publish the next one!

  • Marie Wilson2 months ago

    I like these Rate-O-Ramas! I'm with Tracy 100% on this song.

  • J2 months ago

    This may be a buzzkill, and I mean no offense by it, but: as a struggling, queer black woman in America, Tracy wrote this song from such a specific intersection of experience that anyone trying to replicate or reproduce it needs to be able to relate to that on more than a surface level. This is one of those songs that only very specific people should even attempt to cover if they mean to truly do it justice, and I really wish you had used Khalid and Black Pumas' covers to compare and contrast with her original, rather those of two white men. There's no contest here, for me personally.

  • Leslie Writes2 months ago

    I remember the original music video for “Fast Car” playing quite often on VH1 when I was young. I thought it was too sad. I’d often turn it off if I could. I think my young brain didn’t want to think of such things. With the song’s recent surge in popularity, I watched her Grammy’s performance with Luke Colms. I totally get it now. I even went back and watched the Wembly stadium impromptu performance she did. She sounded so nervous and I think it added to the song’s vibe. As far as voting. I give mine to Tracey although, I appreciate Luke’s reverence for the original and his general attitude about covering the song. Great pick and fun concept for a series. Congrats on the TS

  • JBaz2 months ago

    Congratulations on top story. I am sticking with my original vote ...Tracy all the way

  • Sonia Heidi Unruh2 months ago

    Tracy Chapman, 100. I don't really care about the others.

  • Novel Allen2 months ago

    OHHHH Tracy Chapman...100 Jonas Blue....90 Luke Combs 85 Tracyis to die for.

  • Susan Fourtané2 months ago

    I would like a notification, please. :)

  • Susan Fourtané2 months ago

    Tracy Chapman: 100 Very sweet. Unbeatable. Luke Combs: 95 - Not as sweet as Tracy but really good. Jonas Blue: 30 - Not my style at all.

  • Shirley Belk2 months ago

    Tracy=100 beautiful original! Luke=99 Words were clear and so close to original...gave it honor! Dakota=50...nope!

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