Talkin' 'bout a Revolution
"Talkin' 'bout a Revolution" is the second single from singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman's self-titled debut album. The politically aware song peaked at No. 75 in the United States as opposed to its predecessor, "Fast Car" which reached No. 6. It also managed to chart on four other charts maintained by Billboard (which brings out the weekly US chart) and reached the top forty in two of them.
Internationally, this single was a big hit, reaching the Top 40 in several countries, including France and New Zealand, becoming a classic in Chapman's song repertoire. The song received heavy radio play in Tunisia in 2011 during the Tunisian Revolution. The song has also been used as an unofficial theme for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign. This song played before speeches at campaign rallies.
The song was first covered by the group Living Colour, who not only performed the song on occasion on various tours but released a live version in the compilation album "What's Your Favorite Color" (1995). The German punk band Ausbruch recorded their cover version of the song on the album Auf Alte Zeiten in 1994. English punk band Leatherface released their cover version of the song on their EP "Compact and Bijou" in 1992. It was subsequently covered by singer Ben Jelen on the Russell Simmons/Babyface-produced all-star compilation Wake Up Everybody in 2004. This song was also covered by Reel Big Fish on their 2005 album We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy and Chamberlain as a B Side to "Five Year Diary". In 2010, this song was translated into Cree and covered by Art Napoleon on his album Creeland Covers. In February 2011, Israeli band Shmemel covered the song and added a verse inspired by the Arab Spring revolutions, with the new song being given the title "Talking About an Arab Revolution".
Clarence Bekker, of Playing for Change, sang a cover version to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 2017.
Last Updated: July 13, 2021