There are few better feelings than hitting the open road and turning up the radio or putting on the MP3 player to savour a great driving song. From classic rock to catchy chart songs, some music was just made for the highway. Whether it’s a great guitar riff, soaring vocals or just that perfect driving rhythm, everyone has their favourites. In this article we take a look at 60 songs from a half century of classic music that provide the perfect accompaniment to any road trip, with a little something for all musical tastes; we’ve also included links to YouTube videos so you can get your groove on both in and out of the car!
Here I Go Again – Whitesnake
One of the most recognisable power ballads in soft rock, David Coverdale’s 1982 song has been re-recorded several times and features on many lists of great driving songs. Here I Go Again blends everything that’s perfect for cruising in the car: a powerful refrain, thumping vocals and a relentless tempo. Its signature lyric “here I go again on my own, going down the only road I’ve ever known” is guaranteed to raise a wistful smile among anyone used to endlessly ploughing up and down Britain’s motorway network! A classic of its type, and deservedly featuring on our list.
Bat Out of Hell – Meat Loaf
It’s the longest song on our list, at a shade under 10 minutes, but every second of Meat Loaf’s magnum opus will have you singing or shouting along, captured by its over the top, operatic grandeur. The title track of Meat Loaf’s 1977 debut album of the same name, it features one of the most stunning vocal performances you’ll ever hear, with crashing guitars, epic piano parts, and intricate lyrics. It’s a typical Jim Steinman story that paints a picture of love, loss and of course the searing motorcycle crash that underscores the song’s tragedy.
I Drove All Night – Roy Orbison / Cyndi Lauper
One great song, two wonderful versions. Whether you prefer the purity and power of Orbison, or Lauper’s breathy vocal style, this is a terrific song to accompany any journey. The story of a lover’s desperate race to meet a partner for a romantic tryst is pulsating and dynamic, and builds to a crescendo at the end. In Lauper’s hands, this becomes the story of a woman in control of her destiny, and is empowering and seductive. It’s a great song to sing along with, especially if your destination mirrors that of the singer!
Paradise City – Guns ‘n’ Roses
Perhaps the most controversial and self-destructive band of the 1980s, G’n’R’s “Appetite for Destruction” debut album features an array of songs that make for dramatic listening while on the move. From the outright hostility of Welcome to the Jungle to the hypnotic guitar solos in Sweet Child O’Mine, the band provide a soundtrack of gritty, road life in 80s America. Paradise City, possibly the greatest song of them all, excels in its classic introduction, a slow build through to Slash’s trademark guitar work and Axl’s signature vocals. It’s a fantastic slice of yearning for the American Dream and the benefits of life on the road, and is a full-on, throaty rock song that is just made for the car – turn it on and rock out!
Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell
One of the most recent songs on our list, Robin Thicke shot to fame (and some notoriety) with this seductive, sensual song that ultimately shifted almost 15 million copies. Its hypnotic beat may well have been pinched from a Marvin Gaye song (the revelation of which actually prompted more sales), but Thicke’s lyrics and the masterful production from Pharrell Williams make this one of the most catchy and recognisable songs of the 2010s. It’s racy, pushes boundaries, and has a chorus you’ll be belting out for mile after mile.
Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
Few bands in history divide opinion as much as the legendary Queen. However, love them or loathe them, the band created some of the most recognisable and played songs of all-time. “Don’t Stop Me Now” is a triumphant, celebratory song of a life ascending to its finest moments, driven along by Freddie Mercury’s amazing voice. “I’m having such a good time, I’m having a ball” sums up everything you expect from a group renowned for its fast living. Masters of every genre they turned their hands to, this fab foursome created anthem after anthem, with Don’t Stop Me Now regularly voted as one of the most uplifting songs in popular music.
29 Palms – Robert Plant
After a stellar run with Led Zeppelin, may of whose songs might have featured on this list, Robert Plant went on to a successful solo career. 29 Palms is perhaps his best known solo effort, and features a restrained vocal performance from the legendary frontman. Based on the Californian town of Twentynine Palms, the song is said to have been inspired by Alannah Myles of “Black Velvet” fame, with whom Plant toured in the early 90s.
I’m Still Standing – Elton John
Defiant, uplifting and featuring the kind of crisp vocals that made Elton John one of the standout performers of his generation, this speedy slice of British pop is another great song to sing along with. It paints a picture of a life that may have once spiralled out of control, but is now being lived to its fullest. Elton’s wonderful piano accompaniment lifts the song to great heights, and its release coincided with MTV’s initial boom period, helping the song to success on both sides of the Atlantic.
Drive – The Cars
One of the ultimate driving records, the Cars’ standout 1984 hit is a heartfelt ballad that rises and falls throughout. It’s understated yet catchy, and, despite the overlying sadness of a relationship in turmoil (“who’s gonna drive you home, tonight?”), it can still uplift through its glorious choruses. A perfect song for cruising along to, especially at night, and one of the iconic songs of its time.
Take It Easy – The Eagles
Perhaps the ultimate country/rock crossover acts, the Eagles scored hit after hit across a decade of dominance in the 1970s. From the haunting Hotel California and their ultimate song about a relationship in turmoil (Lyin’ Eyes), this is perhaps the best example of the group at its lyrical and musical peak. It features a powerful chorus, excellent harmonies and epitomises the band’s signature sound, despite remarkably being their first hit. Its clever lyrics paint a picture of a man desperate to “take it easy” despite numerous pressures in his life, and is ideal to chill out and reflect to.
Road to Nowhere – Talking Heads
David Byrne’s 1985 work is a wry look at an impending apocalypse. It’s the band’s best-known hit and never fails to stir emotion when played. Byrne’s clever use of a gospel choir sits nicely alongside his dour vocals to create a song that speaks of a slow decline to a terrible fate, but does so with some humour. It has been covered numerous times, yet nothing comes close to the power of the original.
Born to be Wild – Steppenwolf
Widely credited with introducing the phrase “heavy metal” into popular culture, Steppenwolf’s 1968 greatest hit is one of the most iconic songs of its time, and ushered in a new era of rock music. It epitomises the appeal of the open road (“get out on the highway, get your motor running”), while fusing a heavy bass riff with gritty vocals. It regularly features in lists of the most influential and iconic rock songs, and retains an ability to thrill the moment those first chords kick in to send the listener on a rollercoaster journey of revolt. Its anti-establishment, pro-biker message have long been cited as its greatest influence, but the power chords and thumping bassline alone have inspired generations of musicians for the last half century.
Mr Blue Sky – ELO
Apparently inspired by a beautiful Alpine vista, Mr Blue Sky is arguably the greatest achievement of the band’s legendary frontman Jeff Lynne. From the dramatic percussion and repeated chords of its intro to the sweeping, operatic finale and coda, this is a triumphant song that showcases every musical trick the band used throughout their stellar run in the 1970s. It’s musical madness, replete with the Rachmaninov-esque additional section and choral rise and fall that bring the song to a frankly daft, yet utterly fitting, conclusion. ELO purists may favour any of a number of marvellous Lynne creations, but Mr Blue Sky is well worth its place in our list.
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – Proclaimers
Scottish twins Charlie and Craig Reid burst onto the scene in 1988 with a perfect sing-along tune and chorus that has been sung millions of times the world over ever since. Featuring the broad Scottish accents that perfectly characterise the duo’s musical style, “500 Miles” describes much the writer misses his love and how far he’d travel to see her. Even at its most basic level, it’s catchy and feelgood, and the wonderful call and response of the chorus is guaranteed to have everyone in the car singing along.
Runnin’ Down a Dream – Tom Petty
Despite not achieving great chart success, Tom Petty’s 1989 introspective rock song has become ingrained in current culture thanks to its clever use in various popular video games, notably Grand Theft Auto and Guitar Hero. Its casual references to Del Shannon’s Runaway lend the track a semi-autobiographical feel, while the clever guitar work, Petty’s typically smooth sounding vocals, “woo hoo” accompaniments, and an underlying driving rhythm make it a perfect song for the road. The final guitar solo is a work of genius too.
Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
Journey’s soaring classic rock ballad was a long time rock fan favourite, but was propelled to new heights by its appearances in 2000s mainstream culture; the a cappella stylings applied in TV’s “Glee” brought the song to a whole new group of fans, while its clever use in the finale of the epic HBO series “The Sopranos” inspired its audience and the band alike. The uplifting message, to never give up on your dream whatever the obstacles put in your way, adds to the song’s feelgood chords and pulsing rhythm to create a masterpiece of its type. This is one song guaranteed to have you singing along while you burn through the miles.
Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
Blue collar rock music just doesn’t get any better than Springsteen’s 1975 love letter to a girl he adores. From the instant hook of the opening chords to the plaintiff melody and heartfelt lyrics, the Boss lays it all out on the line as he sings about his desperate desire to put his present behind him and move onto better things. Adopted as a call to the “common man” by numerous US election hopefuls, this is a powerful, driving rock song that is about as authentic in its meaning and performance as it gets.
Ticket to Ride – Beatles
The Fab Four’s catalogue reads like a musical hall of fame, with almost every song worthy of recognition. Interpreted in many ways, not least by the different band members, the song was the Beatles’ 7th consecutive UK number 1 and also topped the charts worldwide; it’s even been claimed to be “the first heavy metal song”, and while it is heavier than previous offerings from the Liverpudlians, that label seems slightly far-fetched! It blends the Beatles harmonies with a catchy hook and some terrific musicianship to produce yet another true classic.
Everybody’s Talking – The Beautiful South
A beautiful ballad amidst a long line of pop hits from Paul Heaton’s band, this is actually one of the few covers they performed. Written by Fred Neil, and first made famous by Harry Nilsson, the song brings a message of wanting to step away from the public spotlight and retreat to a quiet life by the ocean. Though numerous covers have been released, the British public is perhaps most familiar with this version, beautifully sung by the band’s female vocalist, Jacqui Abbott. It is smooth, melodic and perfectly arranged.
Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
There are some songs which make you sit up and take notice the moment they begin. Tracy Chapman’s evocative Fast Car certainly fits that bracket, the powerful story of a downtrodden young women desperate to try and escape from poverty and begin a new life in the city. It’s a feminist anthem that not only showcases Chapman’s astonishing vocal abilities, but also her qualities as a leading songwriter. Powerful, uplifting, and with a chorus that truly soars, this is one folk rock song that will stand the test of time.
Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett
Revived by its showcase in gritty Irish film “The Commitments”, Mack Rice’s superb song was initially popularised by its 1966 cover by blues legend Wilson Pickett. It’s a homage to the Ford Mustang, and was conceived as a joke aimed at fellow singer Della Reese. The song describes one woman’s obsession with her car and how she needs to slow down if she doesn’t want to end up in trouble with the benefactor who bought it for her. It has a classic soul rhythm, is notable for its keyboard play, and features a hook that will have you singing along throughout.
Run to You – Bryan Adams
Another powerful rock song that extols the virtues of the singer’s lover, Run to You is arguably the Canadian rocker’s finest moment. From the power chords of the beginning to the understated opening lines and through to a powerful chorus, Adams carries the listener along as he sings of his love – and lust – for his mistress, with whom he is being unfaithful. Despite being a song that appears to glamorise infidelity, it pulls it off with such gusto and verve that the listener can’t help but admire his passion.
Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd
Perhaps the most powerful song from their astonishing magnum opus “The Wall”, Comfortably Numb is a tough song that deals with issues around loss, medication and despair. It begins ominously with brooding, low undertones and lyrics describing a conversation between patient and medic. From there Dave Gilmour erupts into a beautiful guitar solo which offers a brief hope and moment of clarity before the doom returns. The song then ends with perhaps one of the greatest guitar solos of all time, which features Gilmour’s shredding and outrageous talent at its very best. This is an astonishing composition.
Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
From the darkness and oppression of Floyd to a jaunty, cheery country music legend. John Denver is possibly best known for the evocative “Annie’s Song”, but this 1971 classic is an upbeat, simple song extolling the virtues of the winding country roads of West Virginia. It’s charming, simple and extremely uplifting, and has even been adopted as an official icon by the state! It sold more than a million copies on release and has been downloaded considerably more in digital form.
Runaway – Del Shannon
This 1961 classic reveals the story of a man whose lover has deserted him; he is pining for her and desperate to see her again. Covered dozens of times by artists as diverse as Elvis, the Beach Boys and Swedish rockers Ultima Thule, Del Shannon’s version remains the best. It was slightly speeded up from its very first recording to create its famous sweeping sound, with Shannon’s crisp vocal telling the story of his loss. A classic rock and roll song, and one for generations young and old to enjoy.
Little Red Corvette – Prince
Generally interpreted as the story of a voracious lover (reimagined as the titular Little Red Corvette) and the singer’s request for her to settle down before she self-destructs, Prince’s 1983 hit was his biggest at that time, and remains among his best known works. Despite the undercurrent of danger and a life being pushed to the edge, it retains a funky rhythm, a highly singable chorus and brings numerous clever driving references to the table. It also features a trademark guitar solo from one of funk/rock music’s greatest talents.
Happy – Pharrell Williams
Whether you think it’s the cheeriest, catchiest song in recent memory, or intensely annoying (and there are plenty of divided opinions), Pharrell’s “Happy” has assumed a place in the national consciousness. It may well be the most upbeat song on this list, and certainly is adored by kids and adults alike. With a jaunty chorus that sets toes tapping, and its familiar swift beat, this is one song you can be certain will keep everyone singing along.
I Get Around – Beach Boys
Nobody blends harmonies quite like these iconic American masters of their craft. The Beach Boys sang of a classic American lifestyle of sun, sea, love and surfing, and this slice of cheesy pop is right up there among their most infectious offerings. It’s just a fraction over two minutes in length, making it the shortest song on our list, but the a cappella opening, the intricate vocal harmonisation and the falsetto bursts make this a truly happy song. If you’re heading towards the seaside, throw in a little “Surfin’ USA” and join Brian Wilson and his bandmates in the American Dream!
Radar Love – Golden Earring
Regularly placed right at the top of favourite driving song lists, 1973’s Radar Love tells the story of a man driving to meet his lover. Its evocative lyrics (“been driving all night, my hand’s wet on the wheel”) clearly resonate, while its toe-tapping beat and bass line make it a perfect example of driving music. It enjoyed success on both sides of the Atlantic, and arguably remains the highlight of the Dutch rock scene. It has reputedly been covered over 500 times by artists ranging from Bryan Adams and U2 to the Blue Man Group, and will go down in rock folklore as perhaps the ultimate song for the road!
99 Red Balloons – Nena
This instant classic of the 80s Europop is famed not only for its anti-war message but for its release in multiple languages. The English version does not directly translate from the German original, but carries the same message, that war is hopeless and ultimately nobody emerges victorious. Its catchy hook and funky beat seem misplaced in a song carrying such a meaning, but it remains one of the most famous and relatable songs of the 1980s, with Nena’s voice at its best. Try learning the German version to impress your children! A curious fact is that the artist has never been happy with the English translation and steadfastly refuses to perform it in concert, sticking to the original!
Boys of Summer – Don Henley
Former Eagles frontman Don Henley’s 1984 classic paints a pictures of the transition from youth to middle age, with a message to never look back. It features Henley’s recognisable vocal style soaring above simple chords, and its powerful melody makes this perfect for enjoying on the open road. A wistful reminiscence of change and the passing of time, The Boys of Summer is a great rock song in its own right and its signature guitar riffs will leave you humming along.
Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
One of the 1980s most iconic and played songs, Bon Jovi crashed onto the scene in 1986 with this powerful statement about love and the sacrifices needed to keep the home fires burning. Jon Bon Jovi’s gravelly voice takes this anthem to great heights, and its feelgood, rousing choruses are fantastic to belt out. With the band’s signature sound oozing from every second of this classic, this is one rock song that has not only stood the test of time but gains new fans in every generation.
Carrie – Europe
Although better known for their remarkable debut song “The Final Countdown”, Sweden’s Europe also produced some sensational power ballads. Carrie is perhaps the finest example, with a great vocal performance from frontman Joey Tempest as he sings about the breakdown of a relationship and its final farewells. It features a simple introduction before the song kicks in, and despite the obvious power the band possess, the beautiful vocal sustains a mood and atmosphere of sadness without recourse to over the top emotion. The loneliness is echoed in the guitar solo which holds the song together before the singer bids his love farewell – perhaps forever, or perhaps they’ll “meet again, oh somewhere, again”. Heartbreaking!
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
There are few things that can be said about Queen’s greatest work other than that it remains one of the most ambitious, classic, spoofed and utterly ridiculous songs ever created. Fusing a simple piano and vocal opening, through the operatic silliness that defines the song, and then to the hard rock finale of May’s crashing guitar and Mercury’s refrains, “Bo Rap” is a 6 minute musical odyssey into the demented mind of its creator. Few believed it would even get airplay in 1975, yet a 9 week run at number one followed its release; a second stint as Christmas number one in 1991 secured its place in music’s hall of fame. Legions of motorists and passengers will of course have recreated the wonderful “Wayne’s World” headbanging scene set to this song, and millions more almost certainly will. A no-brainer for our list, and surely the greatest fusion of pop/rock/opera ever created!
Highway to Hell – AC/DC
Australian rockers AC/DC have sold albums by the tens of millions, yet their songs don’t often get popular station airplay. One glorious exception is 1979’s “Highway to Hell”, featuring Angus Young’s remarkable guitar riffs, and Bon Scott’s powerful vocals. A song about the pain and endless grind of touring and life on the road, AC/DC produced a classic driving song for the ages. It’s been covered many times, and is regularly performed in concert by the likes of Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen as a testament to the song’s broad appeal.
My Favourite Game – The Cardigans
Swedish alt-rockers The Cardigans produced a fantastic album in 1998’s Gran Turismo, and this song remains the best known and constructed. Telling the tale of someone attempting to change their lover to fit their ideal match, this is a gritty slice of rock that paints a damning picture of the effects of control in a relationship. Nina Persson’s rapid vocal delivery drives the verses through at a rapid pace, before the more controlled choruses steady the song. A two-tone guitar riff resonates throughout. When married to the iconic and sometime-censored video showing the singer engaged in a destructive race across the American Mojave desert, My Favourite Game delivers a perfect driving song with a powerful message.
Invisible Touch – Genesis
While many of the tracks on the 1986 album of the same name would be worthy of our list, the title track best epitomises the sound and influence of supergroup Genesis. Phil Collins takes the lead vocal in an upbeat, driven performance that sends a message to people he feels have annoyed him throughout his life. Enthusiastic drum sections, a catchy synthesiser melody and Collins’ light vocal touch all combine to produce a great song that carries you along with its protagonists. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 in America and was ironically displaced from its top spot by former band colleague Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”.
All Right Now – Free
Free’s famous blues/rock anthem first burst onto the world stage in 1970, and became a hit in the UK once again in 1991 following its successful use in a chewing gum commercial. It has received huge amounts of airplay over the years, with Paul Rodgers’ distinctive voice driving the record on through its story of fast love in a casual encounter. The record marked a departure for the band after an early career focusing on slower numbers, and remains the band’s high watermark.
Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears
Another of the 1980s most distinctive songs, and one which is fantastic for cruising to, Tears For Fears’ biggest chart hit is actually a story about the desire for power and the evils it creates. However, regardless of message, it’s an uptempo, driven song with a swing-like rhythm and singalong chorus that is lifted by Curt Smith’s powerful performance and a lively guitar refrain. Its video famously shows the band cruising through the American desert and marks it as one of the classic road trip anthems. It regularly features on lists of the greatest songs of its decade, and has been officially played over six million times on the radio.
Ace of Spades – Motorhead
Speed metal’s finest moment, the frenetic pace and relentless rhythm of Lemmy’s signature vocals make this one of the greatest rock songs of all time. Amidst the rapid guitar play and Lemmy’s unstoppable energy, there’s barely a moment to breathe throughout the record’s 2 minutes 48 seconds. It’s powerful, distinctive and easily Motorhead’s crowning achievement. With gambling metaphors and imagery throughout, Ace of Spades screams defiance. Its self-destructive message may not be for everyone, but is a genuine reflection of its singer’s lust for a life lived fast and loose. A bona fide classic.
Dakota – Stereophonics
Welsh alternative rockers Stereophonics had enjoyed modest success by the mid 2000s, but this triumphant anthem lifted them to new heights. Spending some 44 weeks on the UK singles chart, Dakota is a stadium rock song reminiscent of the works of U2 and Simple Minds. It’s carried by a pulsing guitar rhythm and a catchy chorus that guaranteed it endless airplay. One of 2005’s finest musical moments, Dakota’s video features the band cruising through the American states of the same name, reinforcing its driving rock credentials.
Danger Zone – Kenny Loggins
Danger Zone is three and a half minutes of unadulterated US pop/rock, which is of course known as a signature song from Top Gun, the iconic pro-American movie of its time. Composed by Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock, the song was actually offered to various other artists, some of whom declined on the grounds of its apparently pro-war message, before finally finding its way to Kenny Loggins. The singer’s soaring vocals and the dynamic, funky bassline turn this bombastic rocker into one of the iconic songs of its era, and one which inspired an entire recruitment drive for the US armed forces.
The Race – Yello
One of the quirkiest songs on our list, Yello’s 1988 hit has been released in numerous formats and versions, with remixes topping 13 minutes. The original single version remains the best known, with a synth-driven melody and spoken vocals from Dieter Meier. This funky slice of Swiss electro-pop races along at a cracking rate, and has been used in numerous commercials and mainstream films, as well as becoming a staple among marching bands.
Money for Nothing – Dire Straits
One of the biggest selling album bands of all-time, Dire Straits are well-known for their infectious fusion of piano, synthesiser, funky basslines and epic guitar solos from Mark Knopfler. Their biggest commercial success came with 1985’s Brothers In Arms, which remains one of the iconic CD albums and spawned several huge hits for the band. Money for Nothing gained massive airplay on MTV, with its computer graphic video interspersed with band footage. It paints a picture of a working class man watching videos on his beloved MTV and passing judgement on what he sees. It was a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic, and features Knopfler’s distinctive vocals and famous guitar solo introduction. It’s more commercial and pop sounding than many of the band’s output, and makes for great driving music.
Clocks – Coldplay
Another group which has achieved enormous commercial success despite dividing opinion, Coldplay are arguably the biggest band of their generation. Clocks features a wonderful piano melody and somewhat ambiguous and cryptic lyrics that give a message of urgency and impending disaster (“Confusion never stops, Closing walls and ticking clocks”). The song is one of the best known from 2002’s “A Rush of Blood to the Head”, which has sold well in excess of 22 million copies to date. Whatever your take on the lyrics, the music is fresh, vibrant and carries the listener along with the beautiful piano riff.
Sex on Fire – Kings of Leon
Spending some 90 weeks on the UK singles chart throughout 2008-2010, Sex on Fire is the band’s biggest single to date and one of the iconic songs of the Noughties. It’s decidedly silly in places, with lyrics that alternate risque references and a catchy chorus that repeats endlessly throughout. The American alt-rockers progressed their sounds from bluesy soul to full-on stadium rock with their album “Only by the Night”, with Sex on Fire the standout chart success. It’s grand, catchy and repetitive, and rushes the listener through to a breathless conclusion.
Mr Brightside – The Killers
The Killers’ first Uk smash hit is a desperate story of paranoia and infidelity in a relationship, and has become one of the biggest played songs of the past decade. Released in 2003, the song peaked at number 10 on both sides of the Atlantic, and is one of the most downloaded in rock music history. It has also spent the longest time in the UK singles charts, with a total of 173 weeks to date, spread over 11 years. The simple song is built on one repeated verse and chorus, and the singer’s angst is carried along with the initial drum burst, driving guitars and synthesiser accompaniment.
Beautiful Day – U2
An uplifting slice of stadium rock, U2’s return to glory in 2000 is a simple tale of losing almost everything dear to you, but retaining optimism and happiness with what’s left. Its epic choruses and fast pace harken back to the band’s 1980s peak, with the song gaining many accolades, including three Grammys in 2001. It hit number one in several countries, including the UK. The beautiful piano and string opening progresses nicely into Bono’s uplifting vocals, and the song oozes grace and power throughout. It’s definitely a hit to sing along with.
Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
Few songs project the sheer joy of this 1985 belter from Katrina and the Waves. Although it was initially composed as a slow ballad, the transition to its signature upbeat delivery and infectious choruses have turned this into one of popular music’s most iconic and loved songs. It is hugely played, often used in commercials and movies, and is probably the catchiest song on our list. Infectious, bubbly and feelgood to the max, this is one 80s megahit that shows no sign of fading away anytime soon.
The Road to Hell – Chris Rea
While the festive “Driving Home for Christmas” was a contender for this list, The Road to Hell is a more sweeping, epic song of life on the road. It is written in two parts, but it’s the more familiar part 2 that will resonate with listeners. Rea sings of his frustrations battling heavy traffic, in a refrain that will be familiar to every motorist. Whether it refers to a congested motorway network, or the North Eastern roads that Rea has traversed, everyone can equate to the bitterness and boredom of a traffic jam. Rea’s distinctive husky voice and simple guitar playing are shown to best effect here, while the heavy bass line carries the song along to its spiralling guitar finale.
Superstition – Stevie Wonder
The must have for road trips of any size, Stevie Wonder’s smash hit, Superstition is the ideal song for speeding down the road as the wind rolls through your hair. Accompanied by tremoring trumpets, and seductive synths, Superstition is the song of a generation bound to get drivers singing along – whether they know the words or not. We all do it.
The Passenger – Iggy Pop
“We’ll be the passenger, we’ll ride through the city tonight over the city’s rip in the sky and everything looks good tonight.”
The quintessential co-pilot might sing about Berlin’s U-Bahn and the S-Bahn, but that doesn’t mean that the release off the 1977 album, Lust for Life shouldn’t be included on our list. Iggy Pop’s song has been covered by REM and Souixee and the Banshees making it the perfect sing along song for any journey, no matter the cover.
Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns n Roses
The second the guitar starts playing, you know you will be belting out this song as loud as your lungs will let you. One of Guns N Roses’ most well-known songs, the guitar riffs alone is the ideal companion for long summer drives. So put your sun glasses on, and let your hair down to one of the biggest rock songs of ever.
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Used in the 2007 album, Top Gear’s Greatest Driving Songs, this song placed number 1 in the top 10 driving songs list compiled by car check specialists, HPI. Another song that boosts infectious guitar riffs – Sweet Home Alabama is a sweet song for any driving adventure. So sing it loud and proud.
Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
The title track off the 1975 release, Born to Run boasts a sing along chorus that is darker than it seems “Tramps like us, baby, we were born to run.” Tis doesn’t seem very far from Steppenwolf’s , “Born to Be Wild.” But Springsteen’s ride is less joyous. Begging his girlfriend to run away with him, even though he knows they are not the only ones trying: “The highways jammed with broken heroes on a last-chance power drive/Everybody’s out on the run tonight but there’s no place left to hide.”
One of the most well-known songs besides ‘twinkle twinkle little star’, Queen’s masterpiece is road trip gold. From the whimsical piano, progressive build-up and crashing finale, no drive is complete without this driving classic.
Hey Ya – Outkast
No song is more ridiculously fun that the smash hit by Outkast and Andre 3000. Not only is it catchy, it is ridiculously easy to sing along to, so you can shake it like a Polaroid picture without worrying about messing up the words.
Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson
Let funk take over with Mark Ronson’s ridiculously addictive Uptown Funk. Heard everywhere since released, this song is “ice cold, Michelle Phiffer, that white gold” – basically it is a great driving song. Just give it a try.
Get Lucky – Daft Punk
This disco inspired smash brought Saturday night fever back to the charts, and is now one of the most recognisable songs in the world. Get Lucky and sing along to Daft Punk’s addictive track. No list would be complete without it, and you’ll thank us for including for it later – you’re welcome.
Tribute- Tenacious D
It is almost impossible to not sing along to Jack Black and Kyle’s colossus track. It took the world by storm when released, and it continues to light up bars, clubs and karaoke bars to this day. Try and not sing along, see how long you can last!
What are your favourite sing along driving songs? Let us know on social media!