Top Seven Car Songs...

So I'm going to be waaaaay to busy tomorrow (Sunday) to post anything - and I've been in a car song groove all day - so what the hell!  Here, in my humble opinion, are the Top Ten CAR SONGS of all time.  Now, please note at the outset, I'm not talking about romantic car songs (like "Racing in the Street" or "Drive All Night") nor am I waxing nostalgic about slice of life tunes that feature people driving in cars (like "Born to Run" or "Thunder Road.") Ok? I am talking about just flat out car songs - and I make no bones about the fact that I know NOTHING about fixing cars!  I just love the damn things... and please understand that I am just making the list and NOT ranking them, ok?

I think the first car song I owned was Ronnie and the Daytona's "Little GTO" - mostly because our next door neighbor in Sudbury sold them and got a shitload of 45s as a promo - but also because this song knocked me out. I don't pretend to understand ANYTHING they are talking about - I am the same way with guns - but I still love this song.
Another absolutely essential car song is "Hot Rod Lincoln."  Back in the day I went to the Capitol Theatre in Portchester, NY to see Commander Cody do this song.  The woman I was dating at the time was unable to join me so a friend said, "Man, love the one you're with - I can get you a date" so he did - and it was a monster concert.  The woman who joined me was wonderful, too but I have always conflated my mixed emotions that night with this wild ass song that hails from 1955 although I only knew the 1972 version.

Throughout my early teens I couldn't get enough of these two songs: "Hey Little Cobra" by the Rip Chords and the Beach Boys "Little Deuce Coup." Again, I had no idea what these guys were talking about - I still don't think I've ever seen a Cobra - but there was just something about the freedom and fun of these songs that rocked my world in 1964.

Does "Drive My Car" count?  Damn, I hope so because what the Beatles did to car songs with this one flipped everything on its head:  that great bass line played against the piano - and the freakin' cow bell?  It came out on the British version of "Rubber Soul" but I first heard it in the summer of 1965 on the US album "Yesterday and Today" (a compilation of tunes left of American albums but featured on the original English ones.) I was surly at this stage as only artistic, lonely adolescent boys could be - but when I heard this all I could do was smile and shake my ass. (I finally got a chance to play this tune last year for an environmental group's benefit... what a gas!)
Ok, now we're getting really idiosyncratic: what do you think about all three of Springsteen's songs: "Pink Cadillac," Ramrod" and "Cadillac Ranch?" I love each of these songs in different ways and have danced in concert to them all, too.  My all time favorite, however, is "Pink Cadillac" - it is so sassy and fun - and while the others are a total groove in their own unique ways, this is the winner for me. 
Ok, I may break my own rules but isn't "Racing in the Streets" just about one of the best songs EVER!  Technically it isn't about a specific type of car but it is about the whole culture.  So that's got to be number six.  And then there is incomparable 80s dance his by Gary Numan called simply:  "CARS!" It, too, is a total no brainer.

I am finishing this one up in-between editing my sabbatical application:  at about 8 pm last night one of my team members discovered that our tight and hot little essay needed to be double-FREAKIN'- spaced.  So what was just 9 pages had now become 17 - and I almost tossed my cookies.  A wonderful friend offered to help me edit it in record time so... now I am back to work (after a lovely little diversion!)

Comments

"Black cars", by Canada's Gino Vanelli? "Life is a Highway", by Canada's Tom Cochrane?
RJ said…
Both great: how did I forget Keep the Car Running by Canada's Arcade Fire? My favorite!

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