Driving music is as varied as the number of cars on the road, and there usually isn’t any common thread among them, other than a catchy tune that makes you want to sing along.
Road songs often speak of sex, cars and driving. Songs are written about love affairs with the automobile, classics like Deep Purple’s “Highway Star,” are immortal and mindlessly fun to listen to while tearing down the highway.
There is soothing, driving music like R.E.M.’s “Driver8”, Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop”, and the Cars’ “Drive”. Foot-stompin hits like Garbage’s “Only Happy When it Rains”, Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild,” and the Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” make you smile while the wind blows into your face as you drive towards the next town.
Some songs evoke intense and passionate emotions, like Toto’s “Africa” or Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight”—who can forget Rebecca de Mornay’s romp with Tom Cruise on the nighttrain in the movie Risky Business (riding music?).
Rock songs always top the list of preferred driving music; Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” Bon Jovi’s “Livin on a Prayer,” Van Halen’s “Why Can’t This Be Love?”and Guns and Roses’ “Paradise City” will have everyone in the car singing along to the chorus and, of course, bobbing their heads to the riffs.
Urban driving requires intense focus and nothing else will do except Drum and Bass blasting out of your speakers as you cruise the city.
What makes for great driving music? There are gazillions of songs out there that you can fit into an mp3 player and dock into your car’s audio system for endless hours of listening fun--- celebrating the freedom of the open road, making you feel like Mad Max rippin’ up the highway—just like cult favorite, Racer X’s “Street Lethal”.