Our Song List That Adds To Our Need For Speed.
We all have our favorite ‘Driving Songs’ – you know what they are … the songs that make you turn up the volume a bit …. The songs that create that little extra pressure on accelerator. These songs come in all sizes and genres. We though we would put together our list of our 30 favorite songs that carry us up I-49 … Here we go….
#30 – Drive (For Daddy Gene) – Alan Jackson
Written and recorded by Jackson in 2002. The song is a heartfelt tune about the connection between a man and the machines that have been a part of their lives. I still think fondly of my first car … a 1960 Chevy Impala. The song hit #1 on the Country Charts and #28 on the Billboard Hot 100.
#29 – Neutron Dance – The Pointer Sisters
This is the song that plays during the semi-tractor-trailer chase in Beverly Hills Cop. The tune is from the sister’s Break Out LP released in 1983. The album produced 4 singles and Neutron Dance received a huge boost from the movie … try take your foot off of the accelerator when this comes on the radio.
“I’m just burning doin’ the neutron dance…”
#28 – Driving Too Fast – The Rolling Stones
This is a deep cut from the ‘A Bigger Bang’ LP from 2005. It is a rollicking, up-tempo tune with lyrics referring to another Jagger relationship in peril.
“Hang on to the wheel, I think you’re going to crash…”
John Hiatt is a very underrated songwriter. We dare you to not turn this up when hits the playlist button … From his 1988 LP ‘Slow Turning’. Charlie Sexton covered the song for the “Themla & Louise Soundtrack” This particular video features Sonny Landreth on guitar.
“Up Elvis Presley Boulevard to the Graceland gates,
See we were lookin’ for a Cadillac with Tennessee plates.”
#26 – Car Wash – Rose Royce – The debut single from Rose Royce, this song was an international hit, topping The Billboard 100, The Billboard R&B Charts, The Disco Charts and the made the Top 10 on UK Singles Chart. It is impossible to leave the volume on low when that hand clapping intro starts …
“Come on y’all and sing it with me, car wash…”
#25 – Drive All Night – Bruce Springsteen
So, you’ve been on a road trip, it’s late and you just want to get home. That is exactly why this song makes the list … From what many believe is Springsteen’s best LP; The River was released in 1980. Clarence “The Big Man” Clemons kills it with his sax on this one.
“I swear I’ll drive all night just to buy you some shoes…”
#24 – Let It Rock – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Seger covered this Chuck Berry staple on his ‘Smokin’ O.P.’s’ LP in 1972 (pre SBB). Featured this song on ‘Live Bullet’ LP and it simply rocks. Full Volume is needed for this.
“Tryin’ to get some money, get some brand new shoes
Tryin to find a lady, chase away my blues…”
#23 – Drive My Car – The Beatles
Released as the opening track on ‘Rubber Soul’ in the UK and ‘Yesterday And Today’ in the US, the song was originally written by Paul and then the lyrics re-written with accompaniment from John Lennon. When this song comes up on the freeway, the speed limit becomes an unknown factor …
“Beep beep’m beep beep yeah…”
#22 – Memo From Turner – The Rolling Stones
It has to be Ry Cooder’s slide guitar. This song lifts the volume on a car stereo with ever touching the knobs. The original is a Mick Jagger solo single from 1970. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked the song #92 on its ‘100 Greatest Guitar Songs’ list.
“You’ll still be in the circus when I’m laughing, laughing in my grave…”
#21 – Baby, Please Don’t Go – Bill Wyman
This is may my favorite solo effort from a Rolling Stone … from the album “Willie & The Poorboys released in 2006. It takes the clout of a Rolling Stone to entice the likes of Jimmie Page, Paul Rodgers, Chris Rea, Charlie Watts and a dozen others into a band. This song rocks. It features Charlie Watts on drums and Chris Rea on vocals.
“Baby, please don’t go down to New Orleans…”
#20 – 5:15 – The Who
Keith Moon’s drum performance on the Quadrophenia LP is nothing short of perfect. Keith didn’t just play the drums; he attacked the skins. About forty seconds into the song, Chris Stainton’s piano and Moon’s drums will have you turning up the volume and pressing on the gas.
“Inside outside, where have I been?
Out of my brain on the five fifteen…”
#19 – Boogie On Reggae Woman – Stevie Wonder
This Wonder classic will have you dancing on your feet and in your seat. Turn it up and enjoy the ride.
“I’d like to see you in the raw under the stars above…”
#18 – Sugar The Road – Ten Years After
This is the opening song on their Cricklewood Green LP from 1970. The late Alvin Lee, in our opinion is somewhat of a contradiction … He was revered and underrated as a guitar player. This song rocks and will have you looking through you rearview mirror looking for Smokey Bear to avoid that speeding ticket.
“Having a good time, baby
You’re having a ball…”
#17 – Jeepster – T. Rex
An extremely underrated song from one of the most underrated rock LPs of all time. Mark Bolan left us too soon, however, he did leave us with some rockin’ tunes … the bass line and rhythm of this song will have you sailing down the road,
“Just like a car
You’re pleasing to behold
I’ll call you Jaguar
If I may be so bold…”
#16 – Crusin’ – Jefferson Starship
From the 1976 LP ‘Spitfire’, M
#16 – Crusin’ – Jefferson Starship
From the 1976 LP ‘Spitfire’, Marty Balin is as smooth as silk on the opening track. Not very well known ,,, put the top down and go.
“Hey, pretty baby, let’s go for a ride
Cruisin’ the freeway, sittin’ side by side…”
#15 – Rumble Seat – John Cougar Mellencamp
You’ll find this rompin’ little ditty on the last Mellencamp LP with the ‘Cougar’ nameplate. Try not to dance in that Corinthian Leather while this tune from the Scarecrow is playing with maximum volume.
“I should be drunker than a monkey
But I don’t like to drink…”
#14 – Roll Me Away – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
42 seconds in to this songs Bob sings – “12 hours out of Mackinaw City
Stopped in a bar to have a brew…” that is the point where you turn it up and take that trip down the road where Bob leads you.
“Starin’ out at the Great Divide
I could go East, I could go West…”
#13 – Highway Star – Deep Purple
So, the song starts with a driving intro and “Nobody gonna take my car, I’m gonna race it to the ground…” You just turn it up and hit the gas!
“Alright hold tight
I’m a highway star…”
#12 – Panic In Detroit – David Bowie
It is necessary to turn up any David Bowie LP/CD to maximum volume. Panic In Detroit is a must ‘maximum volume’ tune… it is all started with Mick Ronson’s guitar solo intro. Turn it up and be happy!
“He wanted to stay home, I wish someone would phone…”
#11 – Bang A Gong (Get It On) – T. Rex
There are two LPs that delivered two songs for the list and Electric Warrior is one of them. In our opinion, it is the most underrated rock album … ever. Mark Bolan is another artist that requires maximum volume. “You’re built like a car…” Shouldn’t that be requirement enough to make this list?
“Well you’re dirty and sweet
Clad in black don’t look back and I love you…”
#10 – Texas – Chris Rea
“Warm winds blowing … Heating blue sky … And a road that goes forever” This is how the song begins … very smooth and then rocks out. Chris Rea’s guitar solos are excellent. Max Middleton of Jeff Beck Group fame handled the keyboard. Rea wrote this song having never been to Texas.
“I said Texas … She says what? … They’ve got big long road out there…”
#9 – Life Is A Highway – Tom Cochrane
The Canadian Rocker released this single in the fall of 1991. I sprang to #2 in the U.S. and topped the charts in his native Canada. The song just makes you speed up as you are driving down the freeway. The song has been covered by Rascal Flatts for the Cars animation film and Jerry Jeff Walker.
“From Mozambique to those Memphis nights
The Khyber Pass to Vancouver’s lights…”
#8 – Roadhouse Blues – The Doors
Robbie Kriegers’s guitar, John Sebastian’s harmonica and Jimmy Door’s vocals create a driving tune that is very difficult to beat. I mean, it starts with “Yeah, keep your eyes on the road, your hand upon the wheel…” – Yep.
“Let it roll, baby, roll…”
#7 – Move With Me – Tim Buckley
This song opens the “Greetings From L.A.” LP. It will have you dancing in your seat; not matter where that seat may be. There’s a fantastic sax solo and the driving beat will have you movin’ your feet. Check out the backing vocals at the 2:50 mark – thank us later.
“Now she was drinkin’ alone
Aw what a waste of sin…”
#6 – Choo Choo Mama – Ten Years After
The guitar intro has you pressing the accelerator and off you go. Alvin Lee is a guitar god that is rarely spoken of.
“Choo Choo Mama, don’t you know you drive me mad?…”
#5 – Under My Wheels – Alice Cooper
Isn’t this on everyone’s list?
“I’m driving in my car now
I got you under my wheels…”
#4 – Copperhead Road – Steve Earle
The song is about three generations of moonshiners running from the revenue man. How could this miss as driving tune?
“Well my name’s John Lee Pettimore
Same as my daddy and his daddy before…”
#3 – Running Down A Dream – Tom Petty
Ok, so Tom says – “Trees flew by, me and Del were singin’ little Runaway … I was flyin’…” how do you not turn it up and hit the gas?
“I rolled on, the sky grew dark
I put the pedal down to make some time…”
#2 – Goin’ Mobile – The Who
A song recorded without vocalist Roger Daltrey. Pete Townshend handles all of the vocals on the song, a rarity for The Who. The highway is ‘full-speed ahead’ when Townshend belts out –
“Watch the police and the taxman miss me
#1 – Ramrod – Bruce Springsteen
From The River LP. This is LP delivered two songs for the list and could possible added four … but that would have been a bit much. The song is about a machine built for speed. Take a radar detector with you and turn it up!
“She’s a hot stepping hemi with a four on the floor
She’s a Road Runner engine in a ’32 Ford…”
There’s our selection. What is yours? Keep the volume up and the accelerator down!