A recent discussion with a friend about cars and an auto parts business got yours truly thinking about America’s fascination with cars. Of course, you don’t have to own usarim or any other automotive business to know that people love cars. Psychologists might have an answer but seriously it’s really simple. We love the flashy colors, the gleam and sexy curves of sports cars. We love the thrill and excitement of speeding down an endless highway. We love the freedom to go anywhere we want to go and as fast as we want to go any time we want to go there.
As a classic Chevy commercial once implied, cars are a part of American culture. Cars evoke feelings that have inspired people from auto engineers to songwriters. It is in that spirit that we now present some of the best songs about cars:
“No Particular Place to Go”
“No Particular Place to Go” — Chuck Berry: Written by Berry in 1964 this song was first released as a single in May of 1964. In November of that same year it was included on his album St. Louis to Liverpool . Although the music here is identical to that of his earlier hit “School Days” the stop-start structure of the tune makes it work better as a song about driving around the neighborhood then sitting at a desk in a classroom.
“Mustang Sally” – Wilson Pickett: This song was written and first recorded by singer-songwriter Mack Rice in 1965. Pickett made it famous in 1966 when he included it on his album Wicked Pickett. The song has unsurprisingly become a favorite of music-loving Mustang owners ever since.
“Red Barchetta”– Rush: This song was written by all three members of the band–Neil Peart, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. It’s originally off of the group’s 1981 release titled Moving Pictures. It was reportedly inspired by a futuristic short story by Richard Foster titled “A Nice Morning Drive” published in an old issue of Road and Track magazine.
“Trampled Under Foot”
“Trampled Under Foot” — Led Zeppelin: Written by three of the four band members—John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant—the song was first featured on their 1975 album Physical Graffiti. It truly exemplifies the excess of American car culture complete with some of the most suggestive car lyrics you will ever hear anywhere.
“Panama” – Van Halen: The writing credits here include all four founding members of the band. It was first included on the 1984 album 1984. It is said by some sources to be the Van Halen’s most recognizable song.
That’s our list of favorite songs about cars. Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know.