Top Ten Songs About Cars and Driving
Turning up the radio and singing along to a favourite tune is arguably one the greatest experiences anybody can have their car. Musicians are well aware of this, which is why so many songs have been penned about the love affair between vehicle and owner over the years!
Let’s take a look at ten of the finest numbers that celebrate slipping behind the wheel and hitting the open road.
Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car (Billy Ocean)
OK, so commanding, "hey, you – get in my car!" to a passing lady will not endear you to anybody in 2018, but Billy Ocean's final top ten hit was a smash when it was released in 1988. Topping the American charts and peaking at #3 in the UK, the song's title and chorus were inspired by a single line from 1960s teen anthem You're Sixteen.
Driving in My Car (Madness)
Ska sensations Madness scored a major hit in 1982 with this ode to the open road; it may have peaked at #4 in the UK singles chart, but it loitered around the bestseller lists for eight weeks. The real star of the video above is indisputably the classic 1959 Morris Minor, though – dubbed the Maddiemobile by the wacky band, squeezing six men into the motor for the video was quite the feat.
Mercedes Benz (Janis Joplin)
This a cappella number is notable for reasons beyond simply name-checking one of the most famous luxury car brands of them all – it was the last song Janis Joplin recorded before prematurely passing away and joining the Forever 27 club. Despite appearances, the song’s opening line of "oh lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes-Benz" is actually a rallying cry against consumerism. For the record, here at Absolute Reg we have no such qualms if any of our customers or readers want to treat us for a new C-Class.
Mustang Sally (Wilson Pickett)
The song that launched a thousand karaoke nights didn't really make much of a dent on the charts when it was first released, and while Wilson Pickett's interpretation is the most celebrated it was not the original; Mustang Sally was written by Mack Rice in 1965. All the same, this ode to the twin American fascinations of muscle cars and pretty girls is undeniably timeless.
Fun, Fun, Fun (The Beach Boys)
There are few driving experiences more enjoyable than riding a convertible with the Beach Boys playing on the stereo – and Fun, Fun, Fun summarises that sensation in this tale of a teenage tearaway stealing the keys to her father's Ford Thunderbird. Altogether now - "we'll have fun, fun, fun till her Daddy takes her T-Bird away." Shockingly, this classic pop nugget failed to make a dent in the UK charts upon release.
Little Red Corvette (Prince)
Ah, Little Red Corvette – Prince's tribute to his beloved drive that he'd use to cruise the streets seeking song writing inspiration. Wait, what? It's about a one-night stand, and the Little Red Corvette of the title is a young lady picked up from a disco? Well, let's just pretend the pint-sized pop legend was celebrating a classic car.
Cars (Gary Numan)
It's strange that a song about road rage has become so synonymous with the pleasure of driving, but Goth godhead Gary Numan scored a #1 hit with this pop classic. Still a staple of motor advertising, Cars enjoyed a second wave of popularity with metalheads in the early 2000s when American band Fear Factory recorded a celebrated covered.
Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen)
There are countless classics from the back catalogue of The Boss that celebrate motoring, but it's hard to argue that Born to Run is the quintessential ode to driving (or, to be more specific, drag racing). A tale of young love – for both a girl named Wendy and the protagonist's Hot Rod – this was the song that put Springsteen on the map.
No Particular Place to Go (Chuck Berry)
Is any other song intro quite so synonymous with driving – and rock 'n roll? Chuck Berry's classic, comedic ditty works on multiple levels - as an ode to the joy of driving for the sake of driving, and a warning about the dark side of observing seatbelt safety (listen to the lyrics and you'll know what we mean!)
Drive My Car (The Beatles)
OK, we'll hold out hands up – there's a chance that the lyrics to Drive My Car are actually a euphemism for something else that can’t be discussed on a family-friendly site. All the same, this remains a classic ode to the art of slipping behind the wheel, covered more times than anybody can count and featuring on a wide variety of driving-themed movie soundtracks.
Obviously there are many more classic celebrations of the open road throughout the history of pop and rock music, and this countdown has barely scratched the surface. This should be enough to start your playlist, though – get these classic tracks on your stereo, and invest in a personalised number plate so that anybody passing you on the road is aware of just who has such great taste!