At a massive show at Wembley Stadium, the headliner Stevie wonder was all set to play in front of 72K people and a television audience of over 600 million. When all of a sudden his main instrument with all of his pre recorded backing music was gone… He could’t play so the promoters asked a little known artist named Tracy Chapman with only an acoustic guitar to fill in. She played her song Fast Car, a stark folky acoustic song about tough times and poverty. in less than 4 mins she blew the audience away and a few weeks later due to word of mouth her debut album went from selling a few hundred thousands to over 2 million. Up next the story of a song that didn’t sound like anything on the radio and how it somehow dominated radio in 1987. Thank you to this Episodes Sponsor, Zenni Optical Incredible Prices on New Glasses - 🤍bit.ly/ZenniOpticalShop Executive Producer: Brandon Fugal Honorary Producers: Matthew Fabris, Kevin Riley, Dan Tierney, Jason White, John Esser, Frank Kuna, Grand Illusion, Michael Badenbaugh, J Lee, Tom Malanga, Casey Gallegher, Ardashir Lea, James Smith Check out my Hand Picked Selection Below Professor's Store - The 80s Collection 🤍amzn.to/3mAekOq - 100 Best Selling Albums 🤍amzn.to/3h3qZX9 - Ultimate History of 80s Teen Movie 🤍amzn.to/3ifjdKQ - 80s to 90s VHS Video Cover Art 🤍amzn.to/2QXzmIX - Totally Awesome 80s A Lexicon 🤍amzn.to/3h4ilrk - Best In Ear Headphones (I Use These Every Day) 🤍amzn.to/2ZcTlIl Check Out The Professor of Rock Merch Store - 🤍bit.ly/ProfessorMerch Access To Backstage Content Become a Patron - 🤍bit.ly/ProfessorofRockVIPFan Help out the Channel by purchasing your albums through our links! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you, thank you for your support. Click here for Premium Content: 🤍bit.ly/SignUpForPremiumContent 🤍bit.ly/Facebook_Professor_of_Rock 🤍bit.ly/Instagram_Professor_of_Rock #1980s #pop #vinylstory Hey Music Junkies, Professor of Rock , always here to celebrate the greatest artists and songs of all time; If you aint no Fortunate Son and don’t need no education accept the kind you get from a 3 minute record. You’ll dig this channel Also on our Patreon you can find out the origin of the cassette table that we feature in a lot of our interviews. check it out below to become a VIP It’s time for another edition of number one in our hearts. Where we talk about a song that was so powerful and enduring that it should have been a #1 hit on the billboard hot 100. but for reasons unexplained it came up short. Most of the time it’s much bigger than the song that was at #1 in it’s time… Most of the time. not always. but… As Charile Sheen’s character (Bud Fox) says in the Oliver Stone movie Wall Street before he meets Michael Douglas's infamous character Gordon Gekko - “life comes down to a few moments.” For Tracy Chapman, there was one of those “moments" that led to her getting signed as a major label recording artist, and a 2nd moment that is the one that rocketed her to international stardom. Let’s go back to that first fateful moment: While Tracy Chapman was a student at Tufts University in the mid-80s, she performed on street corners, and coffee houses of suburban Boston, MassachusettsmmmA fellow Tufts coed named Brian Koppelman was organizing an anti- apartheid (uh-par-tide) rally, when a friend told him about a great protest singer he had seen at a coffee house that happened to be Tracy Chapman. Koppelman went to see Tracy sing & play her acoustic guitar at a local coffee house called Cappuccino, and was instantly smitten by the hypnotic realism in her music. He introduced himself to Tracy and told her about his father (Charles Koppelman), who was the head of SBK Publishing. Brian then excitedly told his father about Tracy, and the elder Koppelman offered Tracy a publishing deal with SBK. Tracy didn’t take the publishing offer seriously, at first, but Brian stayed persistent, and Tracy eventually agreed to sign with SBK. The Koppelmans then helped negotiate a deal with legendary, record exec Bob Krasnow at Elektra Records, and Tracy stopped playing coffee houses and street corners. In the grand old year of 1987, she was a major label recording artist for Elektra Records. By recognizing the enormous raw potential of Tracy Chapman, it was obvious that Brian Koppelman had a gift for identifying talent. After graduating from Tufts University, Koppelman was hired as an A&R representative for Elektra, Giant, SBK, and EMI Records.
Great song by an incredible spirit!💯💛🙏😃
Like many here, this song is what finally pushed me to get out of a bad home life and join the Navy. It was the best thing to ever happen to me, and this song was the catalyst for that. Even though I went to Desert Storm after boot camp with the Marines, I'm still glad this song came out and pushed me to do something with myself. Great song and powerful song, by the way. I remember this song being everywhere at the time.
Man, I absolutely love your videos. Keep it up, bringing back a ton of memories good and bad. I'm so glad I grew up in the 70s and 80. It was a great time for music and movies, you name it, it was happening. Take care goid sir.
I've watched many of your videos, but this one seems to be more heart felt and genuine maybe that's because Tracy Chapman is genuine, and her songs are heart felt.
Not a fan of Fast Car. But she won me over with her next Gimme One Reason To Stay Here.
I worked at record store (I was 18 when this came out), Waves Music (part of NRM). My manager and I played this to the death in Charlotte's Eastland Mall. We always sang it when no customers were in the store. My first favourite track was Baby, Can I Hold You. This album NEVER gets old
Good grief, get on with it, I can't make it through your blabbering intro
Saw her once she opened for Sting. Her guitar player was none other than the Decan himself Steve Hunter from my hometown of Decatur Illinois.
I wouldn't hate this song so much if it didn't get the push. It was everywhere and burned me out. I never liked her slip range vocal style.
Gut punch tune from 80s...kim mitchell-all we are
Bought her debut right after hearing fast car ..it was that fresh and powerful
It was. a "Gut Punch" because Tracy Chapman wrote and played it from the depth of her soul. So melodically powerful, it touched a soulful chord in almost everyone who listened to it. The "Gut Punch of my youth was the Beatle's "Help". And certainly not as soulful or melodically beautiful as "Fast Car". It touched that Chord in me!
This song was so moving. Just like you, at the time I felt gut-punched. The song still to this day brings tears to my eyes.
A great review of a wonderful song! I had not heard this story about the Wembley concert. Very interesting how life can change on a dime!
She could sing Happy birthday and make you cry. Fast car is an amazing song that is still stunning to this day. If you aren't awestuck by the song and her voice you aren't in touch with your feelings.
G-D Dam_It Adam You got me to tear up. I just turned 72.....what a great show... thank you. I can't believe you got me sucked into your channel and I really appreciate all the work you do and how well you are doing with your presentations. I can't say enough good things right now about this show.. I never thought I would click and watch your channel as much as I have. I have to say you got me and I am a big fan keep it up...
I remember hearing this song many times on the radio. It nearly brought me to tears a number of times. This song means a lot to me. Thank you for finally covering Tracy Chapman. She really deserved to be much higher on the charts. Thank you.
For me, her a Capella version of Behind the Wall still amazes. So stark and simple but so packed with emotion.
but we DO know what happened at the end- she kicked out the guy who saw more of his "friends than he did his kids". She empowered herself to get rid of that 'fast car' that was taking her down the road to nowhere- 'take your car and keep on driving'. I loved the end for that twist. She grew up and he never did. Wonderful song on so many levels. Thx for the reminders, Professor.
One of the greatest artists this world has ever known great songs compassion and simplicity music that boost my wife and I enjoy one of our favorite artists we would like to see her here in Trinidad that song fast car is a true song of hope for many of us here in Trinidad and Tobago