Music To Drive By

The summer is slipping by at a breakneck pace, but there's still time for you to take a road trip and reconnect with some of your favorite music. We're compiling our favorite kinds of music to drive by here. Tell us your favorite driving songs and why.

I still remember the first time I was pulled over by the police. I had bought my first car stereo, a cassette deck with auto reverse, and I was in heaven. I installed it myself, and that's when the trouble began. If I made a sharp turn, the deck would slide, and if I made an abrupt stop, there was a chance it would fall down the dashboard hole in which it sat.

The idea that we can choose the music we want to hear while we drive was born in my generation. Before that, you were a slave to the DJ. Sure, surprises were nice, but putting on your own music just made driving so much better.

So I was ending my day: 8 a.m. classes in college that ended around noon, then on to work at the record store (Waxie Maxies in Rockville, Md.) and home at 9:30. I didn't have many cassettes at the time — a few homemade ones, that sort of thing — but I remember Bayou Country by Creedence Clearwater Revival. I had made a sharp turn, probably going a bit too fast, pumped up by the rhythm.

I was trying to fix the deck that had slid out of its place, and then the 7:43 version of "Keep on Chooglin'" came on. I was duplicating the beat on my steering wheel — steering wheels were better suited for thumping before the advent of the airbag. And then it happened: In the dark of a summer night, I saw the lights. I turned off the music, pulled over, pulled out my license and waited. I told the officer that I was distracted by the music, and that I was sorry. He let me go. I drove home in silence.

All summer, we've been posting lists of great driving music: songs for speeding, songs for driving at night, songs for your Heavy Metal Road Trip, that sort of thing. As summer winds down, so is our Road Trip: Songs To Drive By series, but we'd like to close it out with some selections and stories from readers. What's your driving song? And why?

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Hah! Good story. I can kind of relate. The first accident I ever got into was because I was so entranced by a Stars CD that I didn't realize a car was stopped at the light in front of me...Oops...

In a week I'm taking a 2,500 mile road trip from Milwaukee to Memphis (Graceland, baby!) to Los Angeles, and for me, the ideal soundtrack is one that keeps me AWAKE! A band like Modest Mouse does the trick because Brock's vocals are too distinctive to fade into the background and lull me to sleep. Lately, "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank" has been a staple.

Probably my fave driving song is Josh Ritter's "To the Dogs or Whoever." It sounds awesome when blasted loudly, and it's fun to sing along to. Trying to get through the lyrics without messing up gives me a boost of energy when I'm starting to fade during a long trip.

Thanks for those links to driving music....I'm definitely going to browse them for suggestions!

Sent by Tamara Vallejos | 8:37 PM | 8-8-2008

I live in a small college town on a mountain that has several steep back roads going up and down it. My friends and I used to pile into someone's car and drive down these roads and through the farm country in the valley late at night, sometimes passing a joint around. The one album I remember consistently listening to on these outings is of Montreal's "Sunlandic Twins," in particular the song "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games." We'd all start singing along, in harmony, and life was grand.

Sent by Tim | 9:48 PM | 8-8-2008

The majority of my sophomore year in college, I dated a girl living back in my hometown. This resulted in many weekend trips from Ft. Collins to Colorado Springs down I-25. I discovered that if I put "Pinkerton" by Weezer in the CD Player where the speed limit changed on the south side of Castle Rock, CO, the album would take me all the way to my parents' driveway. Now whenever my wife (different girl) and I make the drive down, I'm still tempted to put the album in. Alas, it has been boycotted from the car.

Sent by Chris | 1:46 AM | 8-9-2008

When I first started out driving and was so concerned with getting a pulled over by the cops, I had a procedure in place to try to weasel my way out of a ticket.

The crux of my "system" was to always have a classic rock mix CD in one of my slots in my CD changer. Working under the assumption that cops are more likely to enjoy the tunes of Zeppelin, Floyd, etc..., I figured they would be more reluctant giving a ticket to someone with similar musical tastes.

Fortunately, I have never had to try out the procedure so I can't vouch for its success rate.

As for listening to tunes on road trips, with the advent of the iPod + FM tuner, you really can take pretty much your whole library on the road and play whatever you like. I guess a staple for me would be Radiohead because odds are you'll most likely arrive at your destination before you go through their discography!

Sent by Bryant | 11:25 AM | 8-9-2008

My husband and I drove from Dallas to Chicago to visit family. It was evening and the skyline was glittering when we hit Lakeshore Drive, but we were pretty tired and cranky by then. Tom grabbed a Sinatra tape at random, put it into the player--and Frank started singing "My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)." We felt better immediately.

Sent by Sophie | 3:26 PM | 8-9-2008

Between 99 and 02, my friend and I got pulled over twice each listening to Pearl Jam's Yield.

Sent by mb | 11:41 AM | 8-11-2008

In more recent memory, Tom Petty's Highway Companion comes to mind as a great song to cruise to.

Sent by Adam | 1:51 PM | 8-11-2008

I seem to always turn to the Red Hot Chili Peppers when I'm traveling.

Sent by Angelo | 2:14 PM | 8-11-2008

headdress - turqouise. the whole album. it is perfect for the big skies and open roads of the american deserts...slow and mellow, it is desert

Sent by cade | 2:31 PM | 8-11-2008

The Violent Femmes' Add It Up can only be properly enjoyed while driving. Corollary: driving can only be properly enjoyed while listening to Add It Up.

Sent by Zebbart | 4:21 PM | 8-11-2008

Music lovers:
I, too, was pulled over by the police. It was back in the very early 1980's, and since then I have all their albums, plus much of the later music by Sting.
Everyone should also go see the movie with Sting it it: "Brimstone and
Treacle." One great Brit Flick.

Sent by Hugh Woodstock Buckingham, Jr. | 4:39 PM | 8-11-2008

Death Cab For Cutie mixed with Interpol are perfect for the drive to school when your just waking up. Modest Mouse for the drive home.

Sent by Jinan | 5:08 PM | 8-11-2008

Highway Star - Deep Purple.

Warning: Do not listen while crossing the Mississippi river into southern Illinois on Interstate 57. Southern Illinois State Troopers ain't joking.

Sent by John McAteer | 5:20 PM | 8-11-2008

I would place these on my driving song playlist:
The River-Bruce Springsteen
Darkness of the Edge of Town-Bruce Springsteen
Kind of Blue-Miles Davis
Any blues by B.B. King
Jack Kerouac's spoken-word records
Shape of Jazz to Come-Ornette Coleman
If driving at night, these are a driver's best friend, easing the loneliness, providing comfort behind the wheel, playing a soundtrack to a
downtown lit up by bright lights. I
recommend these highly.

Sent by Darien Brooks | 8:12 PM | 8-11-2008

I'd have to second the Red Hot Chili Peppers for driving. My mom and I listened to Stadium Arcadium on repeat and for several road trips across the state and back this spring.

I also like listening to Wilco's album Summerteeth and anything by Kings of Leon (particularly Youth and Young Manhood. I could make it quite a ways listening to Molly's Chambers and Holy Roller Novocain on repeat). Of Montreal (The Party's Crashing us), Pixies (Hey) and Spoon (Don't You Evah) are also good choices.

Sent by Mikaela | 8:58 PM | 8-11-2008

Aphex Twin - Flim
It's just perfect for driving through city lights at sundown.

Sent by nery | 9:38 PM | 8-11-2008

I tend to get obsessional about certain music for awhile, reach a point where I've overplayed it, and then come back to it some time later. That being said, Bob Marley's "Jamming" is ALWAYS a great driving song. Lots of Springsteen works, particularly if one is driving through New Jersey--though regardless of my location (usually some other state), I frequently revisit "Greetings From Asbury Park." My obsession at the moment is The Decemberists' "Crane Wife"--the whole damn thing, but particularly the first four songs. (Works well on a bike too!)

Sent by J Baruch | 10:32 PM | 8-11-2008

I would have to say Rusted Root and Yeasayer. TV on the Radio's Young Liars or Against Me!'s New Wave are also up there on my most played album list.

Sent by Melissa Minnich | 11:50 PM | 8-11-2008

Driving Song by Widespread Panic

for obvious reasons...

Sent by Darren | 10:32 AM | 8-12-2008

I think if I still had a car stereo, I would probably continue to listen to Bedhead - all of Transaction de Novo, and especially the song "The Rest of the Day" from the album Beheaded. I once played that song while giving a relative stranger a ride, during which all conversation stopped, and after which she responded saying "That was the best song I've ever heard". They were so good at gently commanding your attention and then blowing you away with a tactfully explosive "payoff". Part of it works because of their dynamics. If you're like me, you usually drive with your windows down. Bedhead songs often start out rather delicately, inevitably causing you to turn the volume way up, and eventually threatening to blow the speakers. Perfect for summery nighttime drives with non-conversational passengers.

Sent by charlie | 1:10 PM | 8-12-2008

Hands down, the B-52s' Cosmic Thing album, almost any track, but especially Deadbeat Club and super-especially Roam.

Windows down and singing "real loud."

Sent by C | 1:33 PM | 8-12-2008

A: Good evening, sir. I pulled you over because I got you on my radar going eighty-five on a sev... wait... Is that Red Barchetta you're listening to?
B: Hmmn, yeah.
A: Damn. Well, have a good trip, sir.

Also, just try listening to these AND keeping an accurate sense of how fast you're going...
- At the Drive In, Pattern Against User
- Bruce, Born to Run
- The Who, I Can See For Miles
- Modest Mouse, Dance Hall
- Rush, Territories
- Pink Floyd, Learning to Fly
- ELO, Fire on High
- Dire Straits, Sultans of Swing
- Franz Ferdinand, Cheating on You
- Pearl Jam, Spin the Black Circle

Sent by Bruno | 1:41 PM | 8-12-2008

I know this isn't rock nouveau, but the best rock song for driving fast is "Panama," from Van Halen's masterpiece, 1984. THe girl/car analogy may be a bit obvious, but Dave's lyrics were far more interesting and opaque than anything Sammy Hagar could have ever come up with. And that beat! It's a song that's aged mightily, especially in the context of modern films like Superbad.

Sent by tfactor | 2:34 PM | 8-12-2008

Reading the comment about Lake Shore Drive reminded me of the ultimate Chicago driving experience of listening to the classic song of the same name by Aliota Haynes & Jeremiah, while on LSD. BUT, it would be waaay too easy to just pop in a recording of it and play at will, so the key here is to always listen to a classic rock station like chicago's "The Drive" while you're on the drive, and hope that they play it.
It happened to me once.

Sent by charles | 2:35 PM | 8-12-2008

Thunder Road is probably an obvious choice, but when sung at the top of your lungs while on a road trip, no song beats it. My other favorite driving song is My Morning Jacket's Golden. So pretty, it's like it was written for watching trees fly by through the window.

Sent by Carrie H. | 3:22 PM | 8-12-2008

I just got back from a roadtrip from Boston to Montreal to see Radiohead, and my friends and I had this discussion as we futzed with the ipod to play the right driving songs.

We decided that it totally depended on where you were driving (i.e. desert, mountains, etc).

Overall though, driving is about EPIC songs, like:
I Believe in Anything (Wolf Parade)
Spectacular Views (Rilo Kiley)
Minerva (Deftones)
The Mothball Fleet (The Rum Diary)

Those first two are general, the last two are for the desert.

Sent by David W. | 5:07 PM | 8-12-2008

...guess it all depends on the time of day for this guy, not taking into account weather or general mood...

dawn-
sigur ros- svefn-g-englar
ben harper - better way

morning-
madvillian-great day today (four tet)
josh ritter- kathleen
soul coughing- circles

noon-
cee-lo- i'll be around (djw remix)
josh rouse-love vibration
jeff buckley- last goodbye

dusk-
stephen kellogg- southern state of mind
Ray Lamontagne- Be here now

night-
zeppelin-since I've been loving you
bon iver- re: stacks

Sent by fawkes | 10:06 PM | 8-12-2008

I have recently discovered that Mannheim Steamroller's Fresh Aire 7 makes great road trip listening. We have a three-hour drive to take my daughter back to college, from the Front Royal, VA area to Maryland Eastern Shore. The beautiful and soothing music on Fresh Aire 7 makes road rage impossible and provides just the right atmosphere for the transition from the mountains to the shore and back again.

Sent by Maryellen Nealon | 7:53 AM | 8-13-2008

Without a doubt - Johnny Cash and Marty Stuart singing "One More Ride" and Cash's "I've Been Everywhere" are my favorite driving songs!

Sent by Shawn | 8:00 AM | 8-13-2008

I'm clearly the philistine of the bunch, since my favorite driving music is hands down a mix of club electronica (e.g. Gatecrasher compilations or Transglobal Underground). I'll also quite happily put on whatever the bad local pop station is and listen for the 30 minutes it takes them to run through their song catalog.

That said: standalone classics of driving would, for me, have to be things like:
Boston - More Than a Feeling
Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity
Everclear - AM Radio
Oasis - Wonderwall

...am I showing my age, I wonder?

Sent by Emily | 8:02 AM | 8-13-2008

Thanks god for presets on the radio. As soon as they start to talk, I change the station. But now I have a tapedeck connection to my mp3 player and that is way better. I love to drive to Born To Run, Magic Bus, and Blue Jay Way.

Sent by J.Crowley | 8:36 AM | 8-13-2008

Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker's "Runnin' Down a Dream" is my favorite cruising song. It's almost too perfect for taking a ride down the interstate.

Sent by Naomi | 8:37 AM | 8-13-2008

Gosh, there are so many good road songs but the one that's tops with me is "Wavelength" by Van Morrison. For many years my husband and I vacationed in Michigan's Upper Penninsula. We hit all the roads and off roads we could exploring that beautiful country. We would always put the tape (yes, tape)in that had this song as we drove along. The best day that it evokes memories of was driving along US2 with Lake Michigan on our right, gentle waves lapping the sandy beaches, sun shining, wind in your face, 80 degrees and Van singing about being on his wavelength. It just got you there, no problem. Now the song evokes all those wonderful memories of exploring the UP, and I have it on CD--or should I say my iPod!

Sent by Carol Czekaj | 9:22 AM | 8-13-2008

The album that lives in my non-iPod-enabled CD player is the eponymous "A Girl Called Eddy". Erin Moran's intimate expressions of personal longing and heartache, couched in a huge sonic world reminiscent of Bacharach and George Martin/Beatles production are the perfect companion for a lonely drive on a long dark road.

Sent by Henry Aronson | 9:35 AM | 8-13-2008

Anything by Half Japanese.

Sent by Angela | 9:44 AM | 8-13-2008

I have yet to take a road trip where sometime during the drive "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac comes on the radio. It's sort of uncanny. I like it especialy if it comes on late at night and on A.M. radio.
I have also notice that if you are driving and Heart's "Barracuda" or AC/DC's "For Those About to Rock" comes over the airwaves it is an automatic 10mph more than the speed you were driving.

Sent by Chad Engelbert | 9:49 AM | 8-13-2008

I Feel Alright by Steve Earle...that day you need a comfortable car, summertime, will to work to change things for better, an empty day the day before and a pair of past broken hearts.

Sent by Alessandro T. | 9:53 AM | 8-13-2008

By myself on a long freeway drive, I espouse the philosophy of Springsteen's lyric, "We got rock 'n roll music blastin' out the t-top!" Eclectic. No deep-thought lyrics. Drum-on-the-steering-wheel, driving (no pun intended)rhythm. "Born to Run" / Ramones / "Boys of Summer" / The Ventures / "1234" / "Cheeseburger in Paradise" / "Walk of Life" / "The Promised Land" / Duane Eddy / "Topsy II" / and on and on...

Sent by Michael Wyatt | 10:29 AM | 8-13-2008

I drove cross country a few years back, from the East Coast out to Northern New Mexico. I found myself turning again and again to "American Beauty" by the Grateful Dead. The song "Truckin'" just seems to embody the soul of an American road trip. Other favorites:

Lay Down Sally, Eric Clapton
Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen
1979, Smashing Pumpkins
Cryin', Aerosmith
Every State Line, Ani DiFranco

Pretty much anything by the Cowboy Junkies...

And anything by Johnny Cash!

Sent by LKC | 11:10 AM | 8-13-2008

driving a mustang convertible with the top down on the windward side of oahu, hawai'i listening to ELO's summer and lightning

Sent by gtb | 11:15 AM | 8-13-2008

This post recalls the classic NPR commentary by Mitch Myers, "The Need for Speed," about a conversation with a police officer who happens to be an authority on driving songs. It originally aired on October 4, 2001 on All Things Considered. I was happy to discover that it was still available in the NPR archives at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1130771 It's also available in his collection of rock and roll fables, The Boy Who Cried Freebird.


I love Mitch's stuff. We worked months on that piece for All things Considered and I had a ball mixing it. thanks for remembering.

Bob

Sent by Ben Segedin | 1:39 PM | 8-13-2008

Though I don't actually own a car anymore, some of my greatest memories of youth are driving the hills of Tennessee listening to two albums in particular: Check Your Head by the Beastie Boys and the Indigo Girl's Swamp Ophelia. Swamp Ophelia will always remind me of warm summer nights with the car window down, the smell of grass, the sound of crickets..."I could go crazy on a night like tonight. When summer's beginning to give up her fight. And every thought's a possibility. And the voices are heard but nothing is seen. Why do you spend this time with me. Maybe an equal mystery."

Sent by Nikoo Kasmai | 1:42 PM | 8-13-2008

I live in Norhtern Maine where every trip involves an hour or more. Michael Jackson blasting full throttle grooves on these roads with its vast, green vistas so well. I wish he could experience the rush of freedom these drives provide. The only drawback is the recent 55mpr gas prices necesitates.

Sent by Sylvia | 1:46 PM | 8-13-2008

Another Lake Shore Drive story: Returning from Indiana Dunes the Sunday of Lollapalooza 2007...traffic on LSD backed up down the length of Grant Park, nothing better to do than cut the cd player, roll down the windows and listen along with everyone else. And it's Wilco singing "Via Chicago"...Tweedy's voice warbling across the blue sky, across the stalled cars, across the lake. Beautiful, beautiful moment.

Sent by akp | 2:08 PM | 8-13-2008

Last Thanksgiving was the first one I was celebrating out of college and in a full time job, so I was a little bummed about having to drive the 3.5 hours home on Thanksgiving morning all alone. My boyfriend decided to make two CDs for me for the road so that the radio wouldn't be my only choice. So there I was blasting loud, hard and fast rock songs when halfway through the CD good ol' Michael McDonald starts crooning "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing Baby". I haven't laughed that hard or been so touched in a while. Michael McD. definitely makes his way onto the list for now on.

Sent by MKD | 2:40 PM | 8-13-2008

I just discovered to artists that I love to listen to while out on the road. #1 is Bob Dylan, particularly Highway 61 Revisted, and #2 is Cat Power, particularly The Greatest

Sent by Brendan Mattox | 3:22 PM | 8-13-2008

There is something about listening to "High and Dry" by Radiohead around a quarter to midnight with the windows down while driving on a highway. It's not the same on an interstate.

Sent by ME | 3:54 PM | 8-13-2008

(I just tried posting this and it said an error occured, please magically edit one of the posts away if both got through as I'm a bit long-winded)

Little Jackie has been playing a lot in my car stereo this summer.

The lyrics can be funny, dark and almost a little bitter, but the sound is so bright and hook driven it plays almost exclusively on any sunny afternoon route 1 drives from Old Orchard Beach to Portland and back.

"28 Butts" is probably my album favorite right now, but the way she starts an East Coast/UK feud by calling out Amy Winehouse on "Crying for the Queen" is brilliant.

Growing up my summer memories are filled with drives from Hollis to the ocean (Pine Point) in the bed of a rusted out Nissan (maybe even a Datsun) pick-up listening to The Beach Boys over a battery operated boom box. That was back in the day when it was legal and "safe" for kids to ride unrestrained in the back of pick-ups.

So when I saw the album cover of The Explorers Club album (it is an homage to the cover of "All Summer Long") for "Freedom wind," I took the risk and bought it.

I wasn't disappointed. It is unabashedly a Beach Boys sound with a little Zombies thrown in the mix. Their song "Last Kiss" seems like it will be a good Summer into Fall driving song.

The remaster of Midnight Oil's Diesel and Dust has also got some play while driving this summer (The DVD extra Blackfella/Whitefella documentary from their aboriginal tour in the 80's is worth price of admission alone).

The bass line in "Beds are Burning" is made for summer cruising with the windows down.

Its not really a story, but when I listen to "Woman Driving, Man Sleeping" off of The Eel's "Souljacking" I always have an image of driving on the highway at night as you are driving into a city from a rural area. The tall highway lights start appearing every 50 ft or so turning night into fluorescent day. The rhythm of the song seems to follow the pace of the lights passing by.

I'll end with a perennial American road trip album, the soundtrack from the Muppet Movie. It is filled with American goodness and humor. I don't know how I could start long road trip without "Moving Right Along," to get me going.

Sent by Mac Coldwell | 5:25 PM | 8-13-2008

Billy Pilgrim's self titled album is still my driving music, and it's been a few years since anyone's been able to buy this album.

As a dairy farmer who has friends who live in cities, 'Get me our of here' is the first song I listen to on my way out after a visit. I always have a smile on my face driving away to that song.

Sent by Brian Manning | 6:05 PM | 8-13-2008

I have to have music (or maybe a "wait, wait don't tell me" podcast) while I drive, and "runnin' down a dream" comes to mind as a terrific driving song. but another choice i love is kevn kinney's "back roads and rainy days", with this chorus:
i got miles of old back roads rainy days and heavy loads
come from california it'll be a couple days
we can sit by the shore we can sit by the lake
dialin' down the radio tryin' to find a song about you

Sent by doug | 6:41 PM | 8-13-2008

Late at night, on a warm summer evening (mid-west or east coast): Kool and the Gang-Summer Madness. That's it.

Sent by peter | 7:14 PM | 8-13-2008

The String Cheese Incident has a number of great driving tunes including:

On The Road
Rhythym of the Road
White Freightliner (cover)

and of course

Drive

Watch the speed as the tempo picks up!

Sent by sween | 7:55 PM | 8-13-2008

Summer driving:
Boys of Summer - Don Henley
Blue Skies - Allman Brothers
Tangled Up in Blue - Bob Dylan
Anything by the Beach Boys
which just goes to show how old I am.....

Sent by LM | 8:09 PM | 8-13-2008

forever homecomings:
james taylor, "sweet baby james"
carole king, "tapestry"

listening to songs from these two albums, i feel love and everything that's dear and true is right next to me, with the window rolled down a little too much and map softly wavering

Sent by jehan | 1:03 AM | 8-14-2008

My fav's are:

Little Jackie -- The World Should Revolve Around Me -- The Duo & the rest of the band played live on Conan O'Brien and I taped it, but unfortunately I recorded over it, it was one of the tightest performances I have ever seen.
Robert Randolph & The Family Band -- Ain't Nothing Wrong With That, Robert has an infectious personality and can he ever work that steel guitar!
Finger Eleven -- Paralizer (My cell phone ring tone on the weekend)
Michael Buble` - Everything (My ring tone for the work week), Feeling Good -- great James Bond send up video, Home
Velvet Revolver - This Fight
Jamie Cullum -- All at Sea, Frontin
The Raconteurs -- Steady as She Goes
Collective Soul -- Better Now, December, Shine
Sixx AM - Life is Beautiful
Scissor Sisters -- Take Your Mama, Laura, I Don't Feel Like Dancing (But I bet you will when you listen). They are so Campy!!! And extremely entertaining.
Marc Broussard -- Take me Home
Daniel Powter -- Not just "Bad Day", but I like the whole CD.
Jason Mraz - Saw him live, AWESOME Show. Going to see him again
in October, wont have so many beers before hand this time, He-He.
Green Day
Nickelback (Love the Video for RockStar!!!)
3 Doors Down
Amos Lee -- Keep it Loose; Keep it Tight -- Colors w/Nora Jones -- Shout Out Loud
Snow Patrol -- Signal Fire, Chasing Cars
Rocco Deluca & The Burden - Colorful
Josh Kelly -- Only You
Silverchair -- Straight Lines
Howie Day -- Collide, This Time Around (Should have been his next single)
Pink -- U & Ur Hand
Leann Rimes -- Nothin Better to Do
Buckcherry -- Everything, Sorry
Sara Barillas -- Love Song

Ingrid Michaelson -- The Way I Am
Gretchen Wilson -- Redneck Woman, Here for The Party
Rhianna -- Shut up & Drive -- Be careful because the siren at the end of the song always scares the crap out of me, maybe that's not such a good road song...

And many more.
I would rather be sentenced to prison than to SILENCE of music!

Sent by Debra L. Blosnich | 2:00 AM | 8-14-2008

I live in LA and have to make the 6 hour drive back home to Oakland a lot usually over weekends. That whole drive is very flat and uneventful, but i've found when going over the grapevine through the mountains right before you hit the flat the best stuff to listen to is Beirut, you feel like your driving through some part of eastern europe, its great.

aside from that other great albums and songs to listen to are
Weezer - pinkerton/blue album (just cause it always takes me back to high school and good times)
Anything by Modest Mouse, seeing as half their lyrics are all about driving anyway
I have a nice mix of Bob Dylan songs i like from Blonde on Blonde to desire and a lot of live versions
And i'm in live with Dr. Dog - FATE (thanks bob, best purchase i've made)
Port o'brien - all we could do was sing
Radiohead - in rainbows

songs:
Built to spill - carry the zero
Arcade Fire - antichrist television blues
Cass Mccombs - Sacred Heart
Heart - Crazy on You
Le Tigre - Decepticon
M. Ward - To go home
Masters Apprentices - War or Hands of time (amazing song, my opinion one of the best classic rock and roll songs of all time)
New Order - Ceremony
Public Enemy - Harder than you think
Ratatat - Cherry
Rolling Stones - Connection

sorry that might have been a lot

Sent by Francisco Stoll | 10:55 AM | 8-14-2008

Thinking about this more, the first time I heard Paranoid Android was when I was driving, and so I still associate it with driving. I was 18, it was reaching dusk on a beatiful summer night, I was headed out of town to visit a then boyfriend. The song blew my mind.

Sent by Carrie | 11:09 AM | 8-14-2008

Indigo Girls! "Get Out the Map" is the perfect song to play while riding with the sunroof open and the wind blowing through your hair!

Sent by Dara | 1:00 PM | 8-14-2008

anthems for a seventeen year old girl by broken social scene. theologians by wilco. we looked like giants by death cab. hmmm. depends on my mood a lot, and the time of day.

Sent by kayleigh | 1:44 PM | 8-14-2008

it was february 21, it had been a good month. i was alone on the 14th, but i had a girl, she just lived an ocean away. she was a girl i had a fond connection to. the sort of girl you did not want to lose. the day before i had e-mailed her a few thoughts that were on my mind, mostly doubt. the response i received that night was hardly satisfactory, but expected, it tied up all the loose ends. she told me she had a distinct feeling "we were just not meant to be together." suddenly the sky started falling and i was being crushed. i needed to get away from here, away from myself. i sent her the link to bon iver's song, Skinny Love. it seemed appropriate. and at that moment, for me, it was the only thing that made sense. so i got i my bicycle and started to ride. in any direction, i did not know. eventually i found the bike trail down to the lake. in my ears, "for emma, forever ago" was ringing, the whole album on repeat. once, twice, three times over. the perfect sound for a broken soul. riding along, feeling the cold air, freezing my cheeks. i just floated by, trying so hard, to forget everything, to forget feeling. i felt so disconnected from reality. but the only thing that kept me together, from falling all apart, was my 10-speed, and a man singing in the woods of wisconsin.

Sent by Benjamin Buxton | 3:56 PM | 8-14-2008

I live in the Midwest and teach astronomy as well as do a lot of public outreach and observing into the wee hours of the morning. The song that goes best with driving home at night is Ella Fitzgerald's "Call Me Darling" from Ella Swings Gently with Nelson.

Although Nelson Riddle recorded so many legendary sides with Sinatra that would seem to go well with the night, their power overwhelms the the moment with the sheer force of Sinatra's performances. The lighter touch of Ella is the perfect nightcap to a pleasant even communing with nature.

With starlight falling through the moonroof and only the feeble light of distant farms dotting the landscape as I drive over gently rolling hills, the soulful arrangement and Ella's majestic vocals make isolation from the rest of the world sheer pleasure.

Sent by Brent | 4:04 PM | 8-14-2008

My current favorite road song is Lucinda William "car wheels on a gravel road"I first heard it at a friends house in Atlanta while he was dying og cancer. It evokes such conflicting emotions now,I cruise to the beach , thinking of wayne kline, vietnam vet and artist, I sing, I laugh , I cry and scream his name! I miss my friend!

Sent by lorena Hamrich | 4:06 PM | 8-14-2008

Summer is the best time for making random road trips with friends. The last two or three summers my friends and I have made it a point to get together and take a good long drive together.

The greatest part about these trips are the soundtracks that we inevitably create while driving. they always seem to be indicative of the mood that everybody is in.

On one of the coolest days of July in '07 four of us hopped into my friends car and took off into the country. The music jumped from Death Cab to Panic at the Disco and finally after about an hour of back roads we switched to Fall out boy and when "It's not a scene it's an Arms Race" came on we stopped the car in the middle of the road got out and started dancing in the middle of the road. It was so much fun!

After a few songs we piled back in, sweat dripping and sore. We were all so Jazzed. It was a great time. If you ever get a chance and find the right song, don't be afraid to stop and have a good dance on the side of the road.

Sent by Chet Atchison | 4:59 PM | 8-14-2008

-Porch songs - Chris Pureka (for all the toll roads)
-Wedding day - Rosie Thomas
-Anywhere but here - Safetysuit
-Arizona - Ellery
-Breathe in - Frou Frou
-Halfway Home - Nerina Pallot
-Idaho- Nerina Pallot
-Longest road - Morgan Page w/ Lissie
-Come on, Come out - A Fine Frenzy

Just a few from my summer road trip!

Sent by Kaitlin | 5:37 PM | 8-14-2008

It's totally dependent on my mood, unless I'm driving down a highway at night. Then, I'm almost always in the mood for something dark with a good beat, like trip hop. Something like "Teardrop" by Massive Attack, or maybe Radiohead's "Climbing Up the Walls." I'm sure those won't strike many people as driving songs, but they just fit my hypnotic, solitary mood while speeding through the emptiness of night.

I can probably think of a few of my all-around favorite driving songs though, for no particular reason. Let's see...

Elbow - "Grounds for Divorce"
Led Zeppelin - "Immigrant Song"
LCD Soundsystem - "North American Scum"
Modest Mouse - "Dashboard"
The Who - "Baba O'Riley"
Jet - "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"

Sent by nick | 5:48 PM | 8-14-2008

My favorite driving song is "40, 80, or 10" by Kathy Mattea. It refers to the three main routes going east to west across the country. It's got a great beat, and it gets me in the mood to go somewhere!

Sent by Sheila Grant | 6:12 PM | 8-14-2008

I am always the passenger (and controller of the radio/CD-player) while my boyfriend is the driver, and I would always start off every car trip with Car Wheels on a Gravel Road by Lucinda Williams until the one time he turned to me & said are you putting that on again?...but I stil want to start every car trip with it!

Sent by Natalia | 6:59 PM | 8-14-2008

Without question, Quicksilver Messenger Service's rendition of "Mona" (from Happy Trails, 1969). For driving purposes, the riffs don't come any better than the one that opened the song.

Sent by Long John Silver | 7:49 PM | 8-14-2008

The Bleeding Hearts Show by the New Pornographers is definitely my favorite song to listen to while driving on the open road. It has that big sound that makes you feel as if all the world's opportunities are your fingertips. And that's a good feeling to have while you're driving.

Sent by Abby | 7:54 PM | 8-14-2008

One of my favourite songs of late to listen to in the car is "In My Pocket" by Cat Empire, although really any of their songs is great in the car--or anywhere else, for that matter.

My 3-year-old niece is especially fond of "The Cat Song," as she calls it, by a band called Clare Quilty. The song is actually "C'est ne pas un chat."

Another favourite car song of mine, Kentucky girl that I am, is "Roun' the Globe," by Nappy Roots.

Someone else mentioned "Get Out the Map," and I would agree. My sister and I begin almost every road trip with it.

And to corroborate with everyone else's tales of the perils of listening and driving simultaneously, I will share that I once rear-ended a woman in a Jeep during morning rush hour while taking my stepson to school, all because I was trying to load Ziggy Stardust into my car's CD player.

Sent by Clare Gervasi Kalb | 8:26 PM | 8-14-2008

Hank Williams and Johnny Cash make an Alaska to Kansas road trip no problem!

Sent by Jared Webb | 9:43 PM | 8-14-2008

The best live album of all time, "The Who - Live at Leeds". Entwistle's lyric bass lines in "Young Man Blues" and "Summertime Blues", melded with Moon's furious drumming, get the adrenaline careening. Balanced well with tunes like "A Quick One" and the best-ever version of "Fortune Teller", the album captured The Who at their creative and technical peak. I never leave home without it.

Sent by Steve | 10:35 PM | 8-14-2008

Over the years I've found a few songs from divergent artists and time periods particularly good at evoking those "feel-good" / adrenaline inducing drive trances... when there is no other place you'd like to be but behind that wheel on the open road.

I believe it's something about the repetitive, rhythmic, and melodic patterns (as well as the length) of these songs for me:

1. Sonic Youth - Sunday
2. Neu - Hallo Gallo
3. Throbbing Gristle - Discipline
4. Kraftwerk - Trans Europe Express
5. Wilco - Kidsmoke
6. The The - Uncertain Smile
7. Velvet Underground - Sister Ray
8. Yo La Tengo - False Alarm
9. The Fall - Cruiser's Creek
10. Coil - Windowpane or The Snow

Sent by Jorge Alvarez | 10:49 PM | 8-14-2008

definitely, the hold steady's "stuck between stations".

Sent by Andy | 11:38 PM | 8-14-2008

Tom Waits' Alice on the way home from an insane show. The street lights thumping to the beat of Waits' percussiveness. That sleepy euphoria provided by the subtleties of the piano. Oh, it's so good. so good.

Tupac on the way home from an 8 hour day. It's got all that angst you need to make it home. Along with the tempo and beat to keep your mood up.

No Doubt in the car with your girl. Her singing Gwen to you like a champ.

The Grateful Dead's Skull and Roses... great singalong for when nobody is around. and Garcia is always amazing.

Sent by Collin | 9:07 AM | 8-15-2008

In no particular order:

~Magnificent Seventies - American Analog Set
~Infinite Horizons - God Is An Astronaut
~Open Road - Slightly Stoopid
~Balabaristas - Tristeza
~The Weather - Built to Spill
~Glittering Blackness - Explosions in the Sky

Cheers!

Sent by Andrew E. | 10:29 AM | 8-15-2008

every Tom Petty single.

Sent by Thomas | 10:49 AM | 8-15-2008

Having never been west of the Mississippi, after college graduation in 1972 I took a road trip to California. One the radio every few miles was the hit that summer -- a tune by a new group called the Eagles, "Takin' It Easy." One of the lyrics went,"Standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona." Driving down Route 66, I saw a milage sign for Winslow, Ariz., just ahead. And, soon, I was at a stop sign at a corner in Winslow, Arizona. For a boy from Michigan who had never seen a dessert or a cactus, I may as well have been on Mars.

Sent by Marc Longstreet | 1:11 PM | 8-15-2008

Driving through the country: "AM," Wilco

Driving through Suburbia: "We Are The Only Friends That We Have," Piebald

Driving through the mountains: "Into the Wild" Soundtrack, Eddie Vedder

Driving through the city: "Be," Common

Sent by John M. | 3:25 PM | 8-15-2008

The driving song that comes to mind for me is "Knights Of The Road" from the "Rosie" album by Fairport Convention. The tune is about English truck drivers on the road and has a beat that's just made for driving.I know cause i've done so for years.

Sent by Tim | 4:51 PM | 8-15-2008

My first speeding ticket in 1987 was also the result of a new auto-reverse cassette player installed in the glove compartment of a '66 Mustang convertible. Aerosmith's "Dude Looks Like A Lady." According to the nice man, I was going about twice the speed limit through town.

My favorite driving song these days is "Late Night Radio" by Beth Wood, a song about driving songs.

Sent by Danny | 8:20 PM | 8-15-2008

I know what it is to be lost in a song while driving. In my formative years in high school I scared many of my friends to the point of tears with a particular track. Bruce Springsteen was an obsession of mine in my adolescent years and the track Born to Run would put me in some sort of angst-ridden trance. In many of these trances, often on the city streets, I would be "running" at over 80 mph. It's amazing I was never caught, but the greatest pop song ever written has often gotten me to concerts in record time with its wild abandon.

Sent by Ben Hargrave | 10:44 PM | 8-15-2008

When the buildings melt away, the sky gets bigger, the road wider, telephone polls start to tilt in your rear view mirror, mountains rise in the distance, a cup of road coffee in your hand, and a bag of spits waiting in the wings, it's time for:

Nowhere Road -- penned by Steve Earle, sung my Willie and Waylon

Albums:
Sonvolt--Trace & Straightaways
Wilco--AM
Calexico/Iron and Wine--In the Reins, Feast of Wire
The Black Keys -- Chulahoma
The Mountain Goats-- All Hail West Texas
The Silver Jews-- American Water & The Natural Bridge
Uncle Tupelo-- No Depression & Anodyne
Lucinda Williams-- Live at the Fillmore

When near Reno:
Airport Sexy--One Night in Reno
Drive By Truckers-- 3 Dimes Down
The Weary Boys-- Good Times

Evening sunlight or early morning-- any Iron and Wine

When you're a couple hours into the road trip and want something good but don't know what:
Joni Mitchell--Miles of Aisles

Mountains:
Chris Whitley-- Dirt Floor
Greg Brown-- In The Hills of California

Pretty much anything by Waylon and Willie (together or separately)

Stop at a roadside bar-- Tom Waits, the Early Years

And:
Cafe Tacuba-- in particular, Puntos Cardinales, but Un Viaje is a really fun road trip album.

On the way from Bogota to Santa Marta
Very Be Careful-- El grizz

On Quito's backroads, north to Ibarra or south to Chimborazo. Or Hwy 1 south from Oregon over the California border:
Silvio Rodriguez-- Mujeres, Silvio, Rodriguez

Big Sur in summer fog: Bruce Cockburn, High Winds, White Skies and/or Speechless

California Hwy 1 in the summer sun:
Midnite-- Unpolished
Dezarie-- Mama Africa

When in doubt/need:
1973 Grateful Dead for twangy, jammy Americana
1977 Grateful Dead for scorching first sets with Me and My Uncle, Jack Straw, and bubbly second sets of Scarlet-Fire and a california redemption with Estimated Prophet.

When in an afternoon Colorado rainstorm: Steve Kimock, live, State Bridge Lodge, Bond, CO.

Sent by Kevin Koenig | 11:45 AM | 8-16-2008

Every long drive that goes into the night, I find I have to roll down the windows, breathe in the fresh air and listen to 'Passenger Seat' by Death Cab for Cutie. The song just goes so well with the scent of pine trees, the faint glow of stars, and the loneliness of the night.

Sent by Jennifer Wood | 12:01 PM | 8-16-2008

Music to drive by? What a question! Depends on time, mood..and the car. In my daily commute, coming home is the best, and if I time it just right, I get to the 'twisty bits' where sunset, speed and control all come together with Brian Eno & John Cale and 'Spinning Away' (from Wrong Way Up). Other songs for the highway range from Mocean Worker "Shake Ya Boogie" to Artie Shaw "Begin the Beguine"...did I say 'eclectic'?

Music is essential.

Sent by Curt | 7:54 PM | 8-16-2008

For some reason I find great solace in listening to Captain Beeheart's later recordings while in the car ... evens out the bumps

Sent by Steven J. Athanas | 8:06 PM | 8-16-2008

Driving all across upstate New York, the best music while driving is tunes by The Band, or Levon Helm's solo work, earlier and recent. From Big Pink to The Last Waltz and Dirt Farmer, this is essential North American music.

Sent by Vince | 11:06 PM | 8-16-2008

One song that drives me while driving is Wordless Chorus by My Morning Jacket. A friend of mine who has moved from Mobile, Al.(my home town) to the west coast said Wordless Chorus matched the view perfectly. Granted, I can not remember the time or place he once spoke of.

Sent by Marlon Carrio | 1:01 PM | 8-17-2008

The song I always start my long road trips with is this one every time:

Statesboro Blues, track 1, Allman Bros Live at the Fillmore East.

After that...it's all just grease for the wheels, baby!

Sent by Christopher | 12:35 PM | 8-18-2008

The greatest driving song of all time is:

"Radar Love" - Golden Earring
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIA4gcrk-50

Sent by Steve | 1:07 PM | 8-18-2008

The greatest driving song of all time is:

"Radar Love" - Golden Earring
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIA4gcrk-50

Sent by Steve | 1:07 PM | 8-18-2008

My favorite driving song is "Someday" by Steve Earle. Especially when I'm headed out of town

Sent by Annette | 2:23 PM | 8-18-2008

Here's my driving at night pick:

It was fall of 97 or 98 and I had to fly into Memphis then drive to Oxford Mississippi for work one evening. I had never been to Mississippi and was thoroughly enjoying the spooky 1.5 hour drive listening to some old blues dj.

After a few tunes, the dj comes on around midnight or so and in his gravelly voice front sells some new bob dylan and commences to play all 16 glorious minutes of Highlands.

I can't think of a better soundtrack to driving through the Mississippi plains to. Not only did it fit the late night mood to a "T", it was thrilling to hear Bob in such good voice again.

So if you happen to be driving through the wetlands of the south at midnight, put on Time out of Mind. You'll thank Dylan if you do.

Sent by Ed | 4:03 PM | 8-18-2008

I love this! Might I offer my humble top 10 "of the moment" people to listen to as I am preparing for a 6000+ road trip from Anchorage, AK to Nashville, TN?

1. Son Volt (20 songs to choose from but if I had to pick, definitely go with "Windfall")
2. Tropicalia (Toe-tappin' Brazilian greatness)
3. Tom Waits (The "Long Way Home" is fantastic among others)
4. Bruce Springsteen (The entire Nebraska album is the greatest driving album ever)
5. Tom Petty (Wildflowers is 2nd greatest driving album ever)
6. Neil Young
7. Band of Horses
8. Old Crow Medicine Show (Bludgrass for the road)
9. Steve Earle & Del McCoury Band (They made an album called "The Mountain" that may be the third greatest driving album ever)
10. Some combination of these individual songs that I have found myself listing to more often than not while driving recently: "The Gardener" by Tallest Man on Earth, "Big Guns" by Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, "Sausalito" by Conor Oberst)

Sent by Drew Staniewski | 4:44 PM | 8-18-2008

Years ago, I used to frequently drive 14 hours, between Atlanta and Central Jersey, straight through, and all alone, typically at night. I put together a cassette with driving songs, to be used only in an "oh crap, I feel like I need to sleep, but I'm too close to home pull over and nap" emergency.

The songs on this that worked best were:
Radar Love - Golden Earing
Born to Run - Springsteen
Rockit -Herbie Hancock
Thunder Road - Springsteen
Ramblin Man - Allmans
Free Ride - Airplane
Runnin on Empty -Jackson Brown

Sometimes I would just play the first two songs over and over again till I got close enough that the adrenaline of being so close took me into the driveway.

This list may be ole school becasue of my age and when I used to take this trip, but I challenge anyone to beat Radar Love (been drivin all night, hands wet on the wheel) and Born to Run (sprung from cages on Highway 9, Chrome wheeled, fuel injected and steppin' out over the line)

Sent by Barry Kaplan | 6:42 AM | 8-19-2008

My favorite song to drive to is "Gotta Get Out Of This Town" by Scott Troyer. He captures something that relates to most people in some way- Not only musically but lyrically. I love it!

Sent by Katie Nelson | 1:59 PM | 8-19-2008

I neglected to tell my story in the previous post... So here it is.
I am a full time musician and so I am always on the road.(My Volvo Wagon now has over 200,000 miles) Last year there were moments that I missed home and all that I could think about was being out of the car spending time with people I love. The Crazy part is,when I finally did get home I discovered that I missed being on the road and couldn't wait to get to the next town,the next people, - I learned that the road is my home for now and this song keeps me driving from town to town. Cheers to the gypsy life!

Sent by Katie Nelson | 5:29 PM | 8-19-2008

This dates back a good 14 years or so, but as a highschooler, The Counting Crows' "August and Everything After" was a seminal part of my musical journey. Say what you want about them now, but that album was a bridge from pure pop to a deeper kind of music that I love and enjoy now.

My first car was an 88 mustang convertible and driving home on a Friday or Saturday night in Florida, there was nothing better than putting the top down and just cranking that album. It was what night driving should be about an open road, some good musical companionship and time to ponder.

Sent by Greg | 8:37 AM | 8-20-2008

My last year of college, I spent a good deal of time driving between school and home for work on the weekends. It was a 3 1/2 hr drive, but it never seemed to bother me, mainly because it was one of the only times I could listen to music and feel completely alone happy and uninterrupted. I have always related specific songs or artists to people I have known or specific times in my life, and whenever I hear these songs they remind me of driving during a perfect time in my life. They will always be the best driving songs to me and have stayed in the top25 on my ipod for going on 3 years:

'grave's disease' -- matt pond pa
'last goodbye' -- jeff buckley
'banquet' -- bloc party
'inspiration information'-- shuggie otis
'rebelliion (lies)' -- arcade fire
'hands away' -- interpol
'anybody wanna take me home' -- ryan adams
'out of the woods'-- nickel creek
'i might be wrong (live)' -- radiohead

There have been new additions (like 'your rocky spine' by great lake swimmers, any LCD soundsystem), but the above ALWAYS will make me feel good. And feel like driving through the Charlottesville area in the fall.

Sent by nikki | 9:49 AM | 8-20-2008

take it easy.... the eagles

Sent by donna davis | 1:12 PM | 8-20-2008

A road trip cannot exist without the Son Volt tune "Windfall" from the album "Trace." It must've been written for a road trip. My experiences listening while driving cross country moving back and forth between Portland, OR and Asheville, NC have always included this tune and if you catch the lyrics, you'll add it to the playlist for the next road trip...

"Trying to make it far enough, to the next time zone
Few and far between past the midnight hour
Never feel alone, you're really not alone...

Switching it over to AM
Searching for a truer sound
Can't recall the call letters
Steel guitar and settle down
Catching an all-night station somewhere in Louisiana
It sounds like 1963, but for now it sounds like heaven

May the wind take your troubles away
May the wind take your troubles away
Both feet on the floor, two hands on the wheel,
May the wind take your troubles away"

Sent by Lori Wilson | 8:48 AM | 8-21-2008

Definitely Radiohead's Kid A is the best album to speed by. When this album was released, I had a 1987 Subaru DL Station wagon in 2000. I was driving on Interstate 80 in PA when I popped this masterpiece into my CD player and heard it for the first time. I do not usually speed; in fact, I've always been so obsessed with gas mileage (even then) that I usually keep a constant rate of 70 or so.

By the time "The National Anthem" had finished I was pulled over trying to explain to the State Police why I was traveling at 86 mph. The trooper did not sympathize with my involuntary electronic music trance.

I tried 86 mph later when I had my wits about me and my old Subaru was shaking like a rattler; when Kid A played, I didn't even notice. Listen to this album for the first time while driving at your own risk.

Sent by Anarchivangelist | 6:59 PM | 8-21-2008

My gosh, three songs by one great band, Pearl Jam.
1. RearViewMirror: exciting, serious, and one of the best driving songs ever. (album: Vs.)
2. MFC(mini-fast-car): great guitar work, the clash of three guitars on one song is one of Pearl Jam's signatures. Great little jam in the middle. (album: Yield)
3. Gone: a single of their new self-titled album. Starts of slow, into a crescendo that is just out of this world, with Eddie Vedder sounding his best in years. (album: Pearl Jam)

Sent by KrautMcFriend | 3:23 AM | 8-22-2008

Is there any real debate about the best driving album though? It is, without a doubt, Wildflowers by Tom Petty...

Sent by KruatMcFriend | 3:26 AM | 8-22-2008

Leftover Salmon's "Troubled Times" is a song that I can listen too while driving along a quiet, serpentine mountain road.

Sent by Erin | 2:15 PM | 8-22-2008

Me and two buddies worked road construction during college in tiny Midwest farm towns during the mid 70's. We worked hard (unually >70 hrs/wk) and played hard nightly at the local tavern. Needless to say, come Saturday noon we were pretty wiped out and needed upbeat songs for the 2-3 hour drive home. THE BEST road song was "Goin Home" by Alvin Lee & 10 Years After. That was until our driver got not one, but two speeding tickets in a month with good 'ol Alvin Lee cassette blaring in his little Celica.

Sent by Tom G | 11:58 PM | 8-22-2008

I stayed up all night partying before i left college for summer after my freshman year. I awoke after 2 hours of sleep to drive back to Birmingham. I spent the 2.5 hour drive listening to Nothing Shocking by Janes Addiction on repeat at full blast to keep me awake. Good Times.
Its also hard to beat some Mike Houser era Widespread Panic on a sunny Spring day with the windows down.

Sent by Robert | 11:03 PM | 8-25-2008

Solo road trip or just a long drive? Richard Buckner. More specifically Since, Impasse, The Hill, Devotion and Doubt or his self titled acoustic. Anyone who doesn't know Richard...tsk tsk. Shame on you.

Sent by Louis | 1:59 PM | 8-26-2008

Having driven all over the West, through deserts, mountains, snow, and sun, I cannot recommend enough Bruce Springsteen's "Nebraska". Perfect for the open road and open space, it is the best driving album of all time.

Sent by Drew | 3:34 PM | 8-26-2008

The best summer driving music comes from an obscure band called Maplewood. I don't know much about this band, except the drummer from Nada Surf is in it, but they have a distinct summer theme and 70s influence. Listen to "Little Dreamer Girl" and "Gemini's on the way" from their self-titled album. If you have time, just listen to the whole album. You won't regret it.

Sent by Holli Hale | 2:52 PM | 8-27-2008

Have you heard the new Walkmen? Travel and landscapes are such a huge part of the album that it's perfect for that terror twilight time. Also, helps that it's one of the best records this year.

sure enough...we put it on the show a few weeks ago.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93699214


thanks
bob

Sent by Matthew Garcia | 10:22 AM | 9-12-2008

Songs by geographic location:

Mountains of Appalachia, Ginseng Sullivan by Tony Rice.

Empty stretch of I-10 in west Texas, Born to Run, the Boss.

I-75 approach to Atlanta, Move, Bitch by Ludacris.

Loop road of White Sands National Monument, NM, Beethoven's Ode to Joy.

Pacific Coast Highway north of L.A., Let's Go Crazy/Baby I'm a Star by Prince.

Ocala National Forest roads, Eden by Hooverphonic.

Sent by Suse | 1:21 AM | 9-13-2008

CLUTCH!!!!! That's the best road music, period! From Beale Street to Oblivian, Blast Tyrant, & Robot Hive/Exodus are the absolute best road rockin, gear groovin CD's to race across the country to. Beale Street's "The Devil & Me" and Blast Tyrant's "Cypress Grove" definately Make the rpm's surge through the roof!!! Robot Hive's "Burning Beard" could be the soundtrach to road rage or a good police chase.

Sent by JAMES | 3:31 AM | 9-13-2008

My favorite song to play as I set out on a road trip is Led Zeppelin's "The Song Remains the Same." It's a great way to get things going.

Sent by Josh Hammond | 1:46 PM | 9-13-2008

my favorite driving song has remained the same for the last fourty years or so. still the same today.
L.A. Woman.. The Doors

Sent by danny j.shiffer | 1:57 PM | 9-13-2008

Best driving music...Kevin Bartlett's "Glow in the Dark". It's been played on "Echoes" a lot, but that's not really where it fits.
It's a sonic journey, a soundtrack for an epic adventure. And by the time I get where I'm going and the CD's done, I've climbed mountains, survived near brushes with disaster, celebrated my victory and realized that my journey is still continuing. And I never left my spot behind the wheel.

Sent by alexandra barnes | 5:30 PM | 9-13-2008

While driving alone at night through the mountain passes in Oregon, the Garden State Soundtrack has captured my soul! This past summer I pulled over at about 11:30 pm to a PC trailhead parking lot. As I layed down on the roof of my car watching the stars, I was once again reminded of the beauty of life. And just how small we really are in this world... It was a beautiful experience that I wish I could have shared with everyone. (coldplay is a close 2nd pick)...

Sent by Evan Petrie | 11:27 PM | 9-13-2008

"Running On Empty" was recorded by Jackson Brown during one of their road trips, so it is a natural to enjoy while cruising

Sent by Tim Bonner | 11:27 AM | 9-14-2008

I didn't have a car while I was in college. After I graduated a year ago, I moved to the rural midwest and have had to adjust to a CD length drive just to get to a decent sized grocery store.

I had friends compile mix CDs for the road. The one I've listened to most frequently has a mix of songs that are poppy enough to keep me going for long stretches; catchy enough to sing along with; quiet enough to fade to the background when whiteout conditions make me focus on the road; and still surround me with the magic of hanging out with friends listening to our new favorite songs.

Some tracks from that CD
Fight Song--The Flaming Lips
The Great Beyond--REM
Like a Prayer--Madonna
Next to You--Bell X1
Sorry or Please--Kings of Convenience
Heartbeat--Annie
From Blown Speakers--The New Pornographers
Sons and Daughters--The Decemberists

Sent by Sarah Cannon | 12:56 PM | 9-14-2008

Jenny Ondioline by Stereolab. 18+ minues of high speed cruising.

Sent by Peter Barvoets | 3:18 PM | 9-14-2008

My brother and his friend Austin recently moved up to Tallahassee from Ft. Lauderdale for college this past August. I spent all summer pretty much just hanging out with the both of them. When the time came for the move, I made a little mix to listen to on the drive up. Of all the songs on that particular mix, My Morning Jacket's "Highly Suspicious" sticks out the most. It's incredibly upbeat and catchy and one of the most fun driving songs ever. But it reminds me of hanging out with my brother and his room mate all summer and of course, the drive up.

Sent by Jason | 6:24 PM | 9-14-2008

Many of my road trips started in "Los Angeles" (that unending western city) and most road trips began in evening after the last day of work. And so we were part of the fueding mass driving away from the city in rush hour. The trip didn't really start in our minds until the wide open desert alongside Hwy's 15, 395, 10, or 40, etc. One or the other of us would then slip in Marshall Tucker's "Desert Skies" and the trip was officially on.

After a groggy all night drive/sleep across the desert, nothing beats "Themes From Thus Spake Zarathrusta" (theme music from 2001 - A Space Odyssey) to trumpet the dawn.

Sent by Jeff Jones | 9:32 PM | 9-14-2008

Right now, the sound track to Amalie. Keeps me calm.
Last summer, Keb Mo'.
Years ago, the sound track to Evita (for driving between Manhattan and East Hampton.)

Sent by Becky | 12:22 AM | 9-15-2008

On a warm day on a country road I find a Mexican station on the radio. (There's something about listening to singing in a language I don't know well - picking up a few stray words here and there - that gets my creative juices flowing.)
Opera in the car has been a lot of fun, especially on urban excursions.
A single song? "Summer Days and Summer Nights are Gone" from Dylan's "Love and Theft" can transform my '94 Ranger (cruising at 57 mph) into a '57 Cadillac (cruising at 94 mph).

Sent by Bill | 2:12 PM | 9-15-2008

I'm just catching up on the blog. The Black Crowes' "Wiser Time" is one of my all time favorites. It's a windows-down, eyes-straight-ahead, open road masterpiece

Sent by Ian | 7:13 PM | 9-25-2008