A while back, we promised a few lists of the ultimate road trip driving songs by genre. Because I’m partial to classic rock while driving (although I’ll listen to pretty well anything, generally), we’re going to start off with the top 10 classic rock driving songs.
A number of years ago, Top Gear (UK) did a list and I tend to agree with most of their picks. In fact, they went so far as to create a 2CD box set of their 38 favorite driving songs. You can go pick it up in the $2 bin at your local Walmart or truck stop.
Without further ado, here’s the Northern Gentleman’s top 10…
I mean, come on, nothing says I’m tearing down the highway with the scenery streaming past like they lyrics “I’m a racing car, racing by like Lady Godiva, I’m gonna go go go, there’s no stopping me!”
This one kept me company once at about 3am while doing a non-stop run down the TransCanada from Toronto, Ontario to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Any song that opens with the lyrics “Get your motor runnin’, head out on the highway, lookin’ for adventure and whatever comes our way” is exactly the song you need to be listening to as you leave the off-ramp and head on down the highway.
Ok, this one is here for two reasons. One – it’s an awesome song. Two – it’s the theme song to Top Gear (UK). So, not only does it rock, it makes me think of all the awesome cars I’ve seen on that show in the past 10 years.
Wayne’s World – enough said.
I don’t know why, but every time I hear this song, I feel the need to put my foot down. Maybe it’s the sense of urgency in the song, maybe I’m just looking for an excuse.
Because, well, duh…
The song might be about a down-and-out trucker who’s seen and done it all, but it gets my motor going. Maybe save this one for the return trip… “Truckin’, I’m a goin’ home. Whoa whoa baby, back where I belong. Back home, sit down and patch my bones and get back truckin’ on.”
Everyone knows this one. If you’re looking to recreate that scene in “Almost Famous” but don’t want to listen to your carmates butcher Elton John’s Tiny Dancer, this is the song for you.
“Sprung from cages out on highway 9. Chrome wheeled, fuel injected, and steppin’ out over the line”. To celebrate the release of the “Born to Run” album, the Boss bought himself a 1960 Chevy Corvette. I guarantee he listed to this song while driving.
After picking my top ten, I spoke with my father who has had his fair share of road trips over the years and he added a few more, we’ll call these “bonus tracks”…
11. Eagles – Ol’ 55
It’s literally a song about road trips. How did I miss this one? My father says this one reminds him of the 1,800Km road trip that separates his house and mine.
“With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.” This song actively wants you to get out on the road, pick the first star on the right and head straight on ‘till morning.
“I got ten forward gears and a Georgia overdrive. I’m takin’ little white pills… said my eyes are open wide”. Sure, it’s about trucking, but hey, who takes more road trips than a trucker?
And two more that I thought of yesterday while listening to my own playlist…
14. Rush – YYZ
Because Neil Peart.
Because it’s awesome. If you’ve seen Rush in concert in the past few years, they play a point-of-view video of a car driving through woods, fields and back roads while playing this one.
There you have it, the Northern Gentleman’s top 10 classic rock road trip songs (plus a few more). Stay tuned for more top tens from the metal, country, alternative and soft-rock genres!