When you’re on the road and a great song comes on, do you sing along at the top of your lungs, drum along on the steering wheel, or just sit quietly and let it wash over you? Regardless of your musical tilt, the following driving tracks are bound to elevate your spirits and your energy level!
Our favorite songs to listen to on the road
1. Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash (1957)
The live version of this song, actually recorded at Folsom State Prison (1968), surpassed the original studio version and went on to top country music charts and deliver Johnny Cash his first Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance.
2. Take Me Home, Country Roads, John Denver (1971)
Inspired by a poem penned by John Albert Fitzgerald, this song almost never came to be as the original recipients had Johnny Cash in mind to help them finish it. However, Denver helped them round out the song and it became part of his repertoire, often considered one of his most iconic songs.
3. Ramblin’ Man, The Allman Brothers (1973)
Did you know this song was inspired by a 1951 track by Hank Williams? The band hesitated to add it to the album originally as it sounded more “country” than their other tracks. However, it went on to become The Allman Brothers Band’s first – and only – top ten single.
4. Highway Star, (Deep Purple (1972)
Perhaps one of the most infamous driving songs in musical history, this song was the result of an impromptu demonstration of the band’s songwriting process during an interview in ’71.
5. Black Betty, Ram Jam (1977)
This track is rooted deeply in African American culture, the original version being a work song for Black laborers dating back to 1939. The remake reached top twenty charts in the USA as well as the top ten in the UK and Australia (despite protests from NAACP and CORE).
6. Come and Get Your Love, Redbone (1973)
The Native American band, comprised of brothers Lolly and Pat Vegas, claim this as one of their most successful singles. The song reached No. 5 on Billboard Hot 100 and was the fourth most popular song on the Hot 100 the year after it was released.
7. Take The Long Way Home, Supertramp (1979)
Fun fact: Supertramp’s original band name was Daddy. This song, part of their Breakfast in America album, is a great reminder of how to find (or make) a home anywhere, even when you’re far away from your roots.
8. Me and Bobby McGee, Janis Joplin (1969)
Janis Joplin’s cover of the original Kris Kristofferson track shot it into infamy shortly before her death.
9. Runnin’ Down a Dream, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1989)
And, of course, an absolute CLASSIC and must-have for any road trip or long haul drive:
10. On The Road Again, Willie Nelson (1980)
A product of the film Honeysuckle Rose, Nelson wrote this song at the behest of the film’s producer. It has been named one of the top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time!