Tuesday, 29 March 2011

10 Great Driving Songs

I love to drive. I feel I missed my calling as a professional stunt driver or Nascar competitor. There's nothing like getting out on the highway and meditating in the wind, and of course having the perfect soundtrack riding shotgun. I can cruise to any tunes, this is true, but some songs seem born to be played through a dashboard. These aren't specifically songs about driving, but rather songs with the pillars and pistons on drums and bass.

1. The Gaslight Anthem - "Old White Lincoln"

I could have included any track off of 2008's The '59 Sound. That whole album is a must when I go on a long roadtrip. All the songs are about cars and chicks to begin with, but theres something about this song in particular that can hypnotize you and send you back to those warm summer nights of your youth. The kind of liberation that also comes with hitting the highway with the top down.

2. Third Eye Blind - "Anything"

The often forgotten first single off 3EB's sophomore album Blue. It's got the right energy and pacing to be a great driving song. It's also just about 2 minutes long which makes listening to it multiple times in a single trip a forgiveable (and delightful) sin.

3. The Classic Crime - "Gravedigging"

New comers The Classic Crime offer this delicious track. Featured on the Vans Warped Tour 2009 CD, I picture a chase scene from a movie when I play this track.

4. Sniff 'N The Tears - "Driver's Seat"

This one is definitely about and for driving. A classic from 1978 it was also used well in Boogie Nights. "Driver's Seat" calls back to a simpler time when youths would pile into a car and cruise around with no destination, before the instant availabilty of information. Come what may. Still stands up to today's standards.

5. Staggered Crossing - "Further Again"

Canadian group Staggered Crossing appeared on the horizon with this infectious track. Definitely written with Canada's endless highways in mind, mentioning truck stops, the 115 and the inconquerable hwy 401. I expected great things from these guys, but they seemed to fade away. Beside's 2004's "Perfect Prize" I haven't heard anything else by Staggered Crossing.

6. Geto Boys - "Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta"

Not all great driving songs have to be high energy and explosive, some can be used to show those you live life at a different pace. "...Gangsta" is one of those songs that makes you wanna lean back in your seat, rest your arm out the window of your lowrider and take your time with where your going, which is nobody's business but your own. I'm sure most know this one from Office Space, if not please stop reading this blog now, go out and rent, buy, do whatever you have to do to get a copy of that movie and watch it. I'll wait for you.

7. Deep Purple - "Highway Star"

Another classic driving song. I think most people can recognize the tune of this song, but not everyone knows which song it comes from. It's got that kind of addictive hook that burrows into people's psyche and it's been used in multiple movies and even a few video games.

8. Queens Of The Stone Age - "Go With The Flow"

There's no way I couldn't include this one, even though this isn't the Top 10 Driving Songs list, just couldn't resist. It's debatable as to what this song is actually about, but from start to finish the energy never lets up and the pounding snare drum is the perfect soundtrack to shifting gears and changing lanes. Excellent video as well.

9. Theory Of A Deadman - "Better Off"

From the aptly named 2005 album Gasoline, this is another song that has nothing to do with driving, but suits the mood perfectly. I almost wrote these guys off as Nickelback clones, but with this album they steered away from making the same record twice, which I can respect.

10. Bush - "Machinehead"

And finally another no-brainer. Here in Canada when these guys came out they were known to us as Bush X, because another group was already using Bush here. Thankfully they settled that and Gavin Rosdale and the boys dropped the X. "Machinehead" has great riffs, great energy and it just conjures up so many great memories of a time when great music was everywhere you looked. The kind of feeling a good long drive can bring you as well.

Thanks for reading, JZ

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