Road trip rockers

These top ten road trip songs will make your next excursion a memorable one, whether you’re driving for few hours or a few days Discuss this article

rockers_2
© ITP Images
 
  • Picture 1 of 2

“Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen
Like Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” “Born to Run” is darker than it may seem. It is a love song, an urban-jungle cry and a perfect anthem of pedal-to-the-metal escape.

“Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake
Been dumped recently? You need to go for a drive (preferably in a Jag). Tease your hair, don your pleather and crank up the volume on this 1982 hit – just try not to get stuck in Doha traffic. This power ballad works better on the open road (with no adjacent drivers).

“Where the Streets Have No Name” by U2
This anthemic opening track from U2’s landmark 1987 LP, The Joshua Tree, is an ideal kick starter for any road trip. From a whisper, the sound of an organ builds up like a spiritual beacon being unveiled. It’s well over a minute before the Edge’s churning guitar and Adam Clayton’s propulsive bassline kick in, and another 40 seconds before Bono’s vocals touch down. By then, you’re ready to hit top gear and wail along.

“Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
American football possibly killed off Southern boogie rock. Hear us out. Because of college football rivalries in the US, this song could not be made today. College football is a matter of life and death down there, literally. Skynyrd was born deep in SEC country: the boogie-rock brothers were from Jacksonville, not Alabama, and cut the track in Georgia.

“Take It Easy” by the Eagles
Co-written by frontman Glenn Frey and his friend Jackson Browne, this song is perfect for relieving tension on a drive. As the lyrics gently urge: “Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.”

“Route 66” by Chuck Berry
This R&B standard, written in 1946 by Bobby Troup, has been covered by everyone from the Rolling Stones to John Mayer and Depeche Mode. But we’re partial to Chuck Berry’s 1961 rendition, even though there’s no Route 66 in Doha.

“Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf
The riff, like the rev of a motorcycle throttle, has become so terribly commonplace, it’s hard to imagine what it must have been like to hear its “heavy-metal thunder” during the opening credits of Easy Rider. Today, Steppenwolf’s monster hit is a movie-trailer cliché on par with “Bad to the Bone” and “I Got You (I Feel Good).”

“Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman’s beautifully direct 1988 hit, from her eponymous debut album, gives escapism an especially poignant twist. The speeding car and its romantic freedom can’t be separated from what it’s speeding from: a life of urban poverty, trapped taking care of deadbeats – and at the end, the very driver that she had dreamed might carry her away to her rescue.

“Hit the Road Jack” by Ray Charles
Fiendishly simple with its descending piano chords, “Hit the Road Jack” is sung from the perspective of a philanderer being rejected by his lady. By all rights this 1961 R&B classic should win a prize for being impossible not to sing along to. The track’s most memorable use in a road trip appears in the 1989 comedy movie The Dream Team.

“Shut Up and Drive” by Rihanna
Is this a silly song? Yes. Is it musically a little boring? Mos def. But is it a fun track to crank up when you hit the highway? You bet it is. Rihanna’s made better music than this 2007 bit of fluff but her songs are a lot like pizza: even when they’re bad, they’re still pretty good. And with lyrics tailor-made for the pavement, this one’s a no-brainer. Channel RiRi’s shade-throwing swagger, turn up the dial, and, well, shut up and drive. And then post a selfie on Instagram (joking, don’t).


Time Out Doha,

Add your review/feedback

Subscribe to weekender newsletter

Submit

Nightlife search

Explore by

Most viewed galleries

All galleries

Most viewed events

All events

Our favourite features