top road trip songs guitar

Car tunes: Videos of 12 top road trip songs

by Michael

Last Updated on

One of the most important aspects of a road trip, besides maybe driving a ’57 Thunderbird convertible, is a cool soundtrack for the road. Some top road trip songs are more suited to pressing the pedal to the metal as you race on through a desert landscape, watching the dusty miles peel away, while others better fit the melancholy that sets in at the end of another 10 hour day in your car.

Here are some of our favorite road trip songs: (Sorry for the ads that appear under some of the videos, they come from the original but can be “X”ed out.)

12) Life is a Highway — Tom Cochrane

Not quite a one-hit wonder, Canadian singer Tom Cochrane scored a few hits with his original band Red Rider.



11) Runnin’ Down A Dream — Tom Petty

Petty has written several kickin’ road trip songs but we’ll go with this one.



10) Fun Fun Fun — The Beach Boys

Any song that mentions a T-Bird is all right by me.



9) Pacific Coast Highway — Hole

A melancholy drive along the Pacific Coast Highway from a woman who certainly knows melancholy.



8) Running on Empty — Jackson Browne

“Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don’t know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels.”

Oh how I can relate to those lyrics.



7) Fast Car — Tracy Chapman

“You got a fast car
Is it fast enough so we can fly away?
We gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way.”

No one can sing pain like Tracy Chapman.



6) On the Road Again — Willie Nelson

In his 80s, Willie still tours 300+ days a year. He must be having some fun on that bus of his.



5) Rearview Mirror — Pearl Jam

Sometimes road trips are all about leaving your old life behind. Pearl Jam captures this feeling perfectly.



4) I Drove All Night — Roy Orbison

Originally recorded by Orbison but not released until after Cyndi Lauper’s version rode the charts. See if you can recognize the two stars of the day in this video. Extra points if you know the car they’re driving.



3) Born to Run — Bruce Springsteen

With lyrics like “chrome wheel, fuel injected, stepping out over the line” this song had to be on this list.



2) Where the Streets Have No Name — U2

I was driving across the Badlands of South Dakota at the end of a very long day when this song came on the radio and kept me going. Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that we quote U2 lyrics quite often.



1) Born to be Wild — Steppenwolf

“Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way”

From the soundtrack of Easy Rider and still the undisputed king of the road trip songs.



What are some of your favorite driving songs?

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