Highway Stars: Top 10 Rock'n'Roll Driving Songs

Cars and rock'n'roll are a match made in heaven. An entire culture was born around the ability to listen to music in your car. The 1950's saw the rise of the radio disc jockey and the golden age of rock radio. While we can sit here and complain about the state of the music industry and how nothing is as good as it used to be (all while walking up a hill, in deep snow, in our pyjamas, on the way to school which was a 1 hour walk away from home...) one thing hasn't changed: we love listening to music in our cars.





The image of the classic rock'n'roll rebel with a leather jacket and dark sunglasses riding around in a hot rod is as timeless as the cover of Sticky Fingers. The two things just naturally seem to fit together: fast music and fast cars. JVC even paid tribute to this fact earlier this year when they did a "through the decades" commercial. If you haven't seen it already, check it out below. And don't lie, you know you've all dreamed of singing "You Gotta Let Go" along with Lita Ford while she drives you and your friends to the mall.



As the daughter of a mechanic, I've had a love affair with cars since I was a little girl in pigtails. I love everything about cars: their sleek lines, the glorious rumble a beefy one makes when you turn the key in the ignition, and most of all - the speed. I clearly remember driving my very first brand new car out of the car dealership and one of the first things I did before I put it in gear was turn the radio on. Cliched enough, but true as taxes, the first song that came on was "Stairway to Heaven." I felt like a giddy school girl as I drove the car out of the lot and down the road while Jimmy Page wailed away the solo to "Stairway" on that sweet Telecaster of his. Driving is just better with music. Don't believe me? Put on any one of these tunes while you're driving on an open highway and you will see that there is nothing better than having a car  - and a playlist - that returns the favor when you turn it on.

Warning: All of these songs can cause you to exceed the posted speed limit relatively easily. Trust me. Be careful out there, kid!

"Highway Star" by Deep Purple
You can't NOT have this song on when you're cruising on an open highway. Ritchie Blackmore's solo kills it every single time, and that thumping rhythm line makes it so easy to just put your foot all the way to the floor when you hear the opening bars of the song.



"Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett
That raw punk energy that only Jett can evoke screams out of this song, and you feel like that greaser rebel when you're driving past that little old man in his green Corolla while Joan Jett yells "And I don't give a damn about my bad reputation!!!!" You feel a sense of accomplishment when that same old man looks over at you and shakes his head in disgust. Mission accomplished.




"Can't Catch Me" by Lita Ford
Confession: I have barely dodged not one, but two speed traps in the past 3 months alone while listening to this gem. The first time I was singing along and as I uttered the words "Fast mover, and you can't catch me..." I realized it was too late and I had already blown past the police officer going faster than I should have been going. Luckily, he was busy with some other crime-fighting duties, because he didn't stop me. The second time, I was listening to a live version of the song off of Lita's new live album "The Bitch is Back" and I blazed past the police station completely oblivious to the fact that I had my window rolled down and was drumming on my steering wheel, all while going too fast. Maybe I have an angel watching over me, but every time I'm listening to Lita Ford, I don't get pulled over. Looks like they can't catch me.



"Du Hast" by Rammstein
I am going to openly admit that I don't know any of the other songs by this band. I don't need to. There is enough riffage and ass-kicking in this one song than some bands manage to put on an entire album. And there is nothing like getting onto the on ramp on a highway while the opening riff of this song rages ahead and blasts you into fast lane.



"I Can't Get No Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones
A classic riff and great driving song by the original bad boys of rock'n'roll, The Rolling Stones. That kickdrum pounds right in the center of your chest during the chorus and you can't help but put the pedal to the metal.



"Through The Never" by Metallica
There's a reason why Metallica chose to use this song as the title to their new film. What a killer riff and huge arena-like sound. You could be driving a moped when this song comes on and you just feel monstrous. I find this one feels even better if it's sunny and you've got some super dark wrap-around sunglasses on. You feel like such a badass until you look in your rear-view mirror and see your child's car seat instead of a couple of rock stars.



"Barracuda" by Heart
Hello speeding ticket! The pulsating sound of this famous riff naturally lends itself to stepping on the gas and letting it rip. I find it sounds best when you're driving a big, beefy car like a Camaro Z28, Mustang GT, or Corvette Z06. You can feel it now can't you?



"You Could Be Mine" by Guns'n'Roses
That nasty boogie-inspired riff that Slash and the boys play throughout the verse of this song is what gets me going. By the time Axl is yelling "Don't forget to call my lawyer with ridiculous demands" I'm having a full concert in my car. I'm also handling corners and passing cars like Danica Patrick.



"Hot For Teacher" by Van Halen
If you know of anyone who doesn't speed while listening to this song, please tell them to get out of their casket. Eddie Van Halen's crazy rhythm work on this track makes it easy to get to work in a hurry.


"Love Bites (So Do I)" by Halestorm
Lzzy Hale can sing. Of that there is no doubt. But the anger, aggression, and speed of this track is mind-blowing even without the vocals, so you can only imagine what happens when she unleashes the bridge to this unadulterated bird-flipping anthem. Whatever you do, don't drive through any school zones while this track is on.



There you have it folks. 10 of the best driving songs ever. Try them out. Just don't blame me for the speeding ticket(s). Blame Ritchie, Joan, Lita, Keith, Nancy, Eddie, Slash, and Lzzy.