There is no drive in the world that can’t be enlivened by music. The car, the mood, the weather and the journey itself are each key indicators in the choice of tunes – sheets of rain in December and The Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations mix like oil and water, for example, but change those winter torrents for a bright May or hot and sultry July and the mood changes.
Moving and grooving and rocking and rolling just seems so natural when behind the wheel, as SketchShe proved in their Mime Through Time. One moment Elvis, the next Dr Dre – and both equally fun.
Here are ten songs that you just can’t help but sing along with, loudly and proudly, whether you’re in a Ford from Jennings Motor Group travelling to Folkestone or a Mustang cruising to Miami.
Hit the Road Jack
And don’t you come back no more. First released by Ray Charles in the early 60s, this is the track for a lazy Sunday afternoon jaunt in a beat-down convertible with a soda in the cup holder.
Don’t Stop Believin’
Not many tracks have two shots at the top but this classic ‘sing-as-loud-as-you-can’ rock ballad by Journey stormed the charts in both 1981 and 2009, having featured in The Sopranos and Rock of Ages, among others. Not only is it a motoring classic, but also a great choice for a first dance at weddings.
My Favourite Game
Console driving game lovers will have no issues hitting some speed to this ’98 adrenaline-filled rock riff of a number. The moment ‘that’ drum blast kicks in you know this is going to be a ride worth taking – just don’t drive like Nina Persson.
(I’m gonna be) 500 miles
Only to be performed with a smooth Edinburgh accent and lungs as open as the Water of Leith, this jolly, bubbly karaoke corker by The Proclaimers sounds equally as bright sung by teenage sisters and their grandparents.
Gimme’ all your lovin
Even if you don’t have a beard big enough to host a nest of ravens, and even if you don’t possess a ZZ Eliminator car, this is still a perfect song to whip out your air Fender Stratocaster and hit the dirt track.
I drove all night
Any version fits the bill; the sad, almost pained recital from the late great Roy Orbison, or the more angry version of Cyndi Lauper, who said she liked the track because it reminded her of a ‘woman in control’. You don’t need to be behind the wheel for an entire night, as this song will liven up even a five-minute trip to the chippy.
Bohemian like you
A great intro, which seems a million miles from mobile phone adverts. It’s hard to believe that The Dandy Warhol’s most famous work is 15 years old, but the alt rockers created a guitar work that still remains as fresh today.
Windows down, in your best chains, fedora hat and short sleeve jacket, this is the most modern song on this list. Bruno Mars has performed several hits that could have made it, but the 2014 Mark Ronson blockbuster is the one to not ‘just watch’, but drive to.
Unlike most of the contenders on this fabulous motoring hit parade, Kasabian’s Fire is actually a slow burner and takes a while to light up. We’re nearly a minute in before it explodes into a roaring blaze.
Last but by no means least, The Strokes have a way with a guitar that you cannot listen to in silence. One of their earliest and most brilliant songs – the moment that guitar rhythm starts we’re in the zone and ready to roll.