AI Reimagines Tracy Chapman’s 1988 Hit “Fast Car” As a Rock Song

It’s been 35 years since Tracy Chapman released her hit ballad “Fast Car,” which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1988. Thanks to Luke Combs‘ cover of the original folk-driven song, “Fast Car” has reemerged in 2023 and made chart history as it hit No. 1 on the country chart for the first time. Breaking into the new genre has made Chapman the first Black woman to top the country chart as the sole writer of a song. 

Videos by American Songwriter

Now that Chapman has conquered the pop and country charts with “Fast Car” — which was also released as a house cover by Jonas Blue in 2015 — the versatile song might also work well if it was transformed into a rock song. Artificial Intelligence (AI) came up with a speculative breakdown of how the song would sound, in the rock genre.

Acoustic v. Electric

If “Fast Car” was reimagined as a rock song, stylistically, it may be driven by electric guitar over its original acoustic, with an accelerated and heavier arrangement, rounded out with bass and drums, according to AI generator ChatGPT.

“The original acoustic guitar-driven folk sound of ‘Fast Car’ would be replaced with a heavier, distorted electric guitar riff,” reads the AI descriptor of the “rock” version of Chapman’s song. “The song would likely feature a driving drumbeat with a more aggressive and energetic tempo. The bass guitar would provide a strong, pulsating foundation, adding weight and power to the overall sound.”

While the lyrics and message of the song would presumably remain intact, the sound would be more powered up, and possibly filled with guitar solos and other dynamic instrumentation and shifts within its arrangement.

“To give it a rock edge, the arrangement might include additional electric guitar layers, playing catchy riffs and power chords during the chorus and instrumental sections,” says the description. “These guitars could add a sense of urgency and intensity to the song.”

Vocals

Vocals would also shift from “soulful and introspective” to something more assertive and bold, and perhaps shift in tone, taking on more of a rasp or roughness. “The singer might adopt a slightly raspy tone and employ more aggressive vocal techniques like belting or screaming during certain parts,” continues the description, “particularly in the climax of the song.”

Lyrics

Even though the lyrics to “Fast Car” don’t have to change, AI has “written” a hypothetical version of the song with more “rock” verses and chorus. Read the AI edits to the song below.

You got a fast car, it’s fueled with gasoline
Burning down the highway, it’s a rock and roll dream
See, I’ve got a plan, to get us out of here
So strap in tight, baby, let’s face those fears

We’ll drive all night, on this rock and roll machine
Blazing trails through the darkness, chasing every dream
And we’ll escape this town, leaving it in our dust
With a thunderous sound, rock and roll is a must

Your daddy’s got a problem, he’s drowning in his drink
But we’ll crank up the volume, let the music make us think
We’ll find a way out, through the power of our sound
Rock and roll redemption, freedom will be found

We’ll drive all night, on this rock and roll machine
Blazing trails through the darkness, chasing every dream
And we’ll escape this town, leaving it in our dust
With a thunderous sound, rock and roll is a must

We’ll feel the roaring guitars, the drums pound in our chest
The crowd will go wild, as we give it our best
No more dead-end jobs, no more living on the run
Rock and roll salvation, our new life has begun

We’ll drive all night, on this rock and roll machine
Blazing trails through the darkness, chasing every dream
And we’ll escape this town, leaving it in our dust
With a thunderous sound, rock and roll is a must

So take my hand, let’s rock this world tonight
With our fast car and rock and roll might
Together we’ll conquer, all that stands in our way
With the power of music, we’ll find a better day

Photo by Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images

Leave a Reply

best guitar wall hangers featured image

8 Best Guitar Wall Hangers of 2024

Lil Uzi Vert Goes No. 1, Announces Pink Tape Tour