Day 16: A Song That You Used to Hate But Now Love

It’s not that I ever hated Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”; it’s just that when I was 13 in 1988, I didn’t understand what it was doing on the upper reaches of American Top 40 next to George Michael and Def Leppard (I couldn’t fathom what Guns ‘n Roses was doing there either, but that’s another story). The song’s introspective vibe and Chapman’s somewhat androgynous vocal sounded like nothing else at the time. Two years later, In Living Color’s wicked parody did little to convey Chapman’s considerable talents to me. Only much later, after I had grown up a little, did I get it. Now, whenever I hear “Fast Car”, I no longer change channels. It’s a tremendously beautiful song with stirring chord changes and a neat but unfussy arrangement. Perhaps if I had been born five or ten years earlier I would’ve gone out and purchased Chapman’s self-titled debut album upon first hearing it.

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