The PopWatch Confessional (Vol. 18)

Bruce_lWhen you hear John Mellencamp’s "Hurts So Good" twice on the car radio — in a span of 15 minutes — you know it’s summer. And if you’re like me, someone who’s spent the last 10 years on public transportation, here’s what you’re thinking: Damn, that sounds so good in here that I might actually be brave enough to take that road trip I’ve been talking about (for years now) if I had a playlist of songs just like it. So, PopWatchers, since these Village Voice suggestions didn’t do it for me, I turn to you. What tracks will get me on the road? Here are a few already wooing me:

• Bruce Springsteen’s "Thunder Road": The perfect song to coax me out onto a four-lane highway. (Worked for Bruce, seen here in 1975, at about the time he recorded this song.) I would have taken this trip a long time ago, Boss, if two lanes really could take us anywhere.
• Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ "American Girl": I’ll just try to block out that line about "if she had to die…."
• Shooter Jennings’ "4th of July": Followed by George Jones’ "He Stopped Loving Her Today," naturally.

addCredit(“Bruce Springsteen: Richard Aaron/Retna”)

• Fleetwood Mac’s "Everywhere": It will have to be the live Dance version, so it has the heavy drum after "Oh I…(BUMP BUMP) I…(BUMP BUMP)."
• Rod Stewart’s "Some Guys Have All the Luck": So I can be sad that I’m alone on the trip, but not too sad.
• Bonnie Tyler’s "Holding Out for a Hero":Perhaps it’s best that I’m traveling solo. No one needs to hear me dothose background vocals. It’ll also be good for when I’m falling asleepat the wheel. Has there ever been a bigger explosion of sound?
• Steve Earle’s "Guitar Town": Maybe I’ll find a good rockin’ daddy down from Tennessee.
• Hanson’s "MMMBop": If you can’t listen to this song in the summer, people, when can you listen to it? (New album out July 24!)
• Melanie C’s "I Turn to You":I can’t believe I like a song with the line "I turn to you/Like aflower leaning toward the sun" in it. Also, is this the only songthat’s ever used the word anxiety?
• Aerosmith’s "Cryin’": I’d take Kelly Clarkson’s version, too.
• George Strait’s "Carrying Your Love With Me":I know he sings about going from West Virginia to Tennessee, but Idon’t think life would get any better than listening to this fromMontana to Wyoming.

Your turn.

Comments (110 total) Add your comment
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  • Sarah

    “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” by Meatloaf! My friend and I love to sing it in the car! And if you want a whole album that’s good for a roadtrip, we always love the “Dazed and Confused” soundtrack.

  • Suzanne

    I did a 10 hour road trip one year from Ohio to North Carolina (by myself) and the following songs helped immensely:
    Springsteen- Born To Run
    Mellencamp- Pink Houses
    Jackson Brown- Running on Empty
    Bob Seger- Turn The Page
    U2- Beautiful Day
    Madonna- Ray Of Light
    Depeche Mode- Route 66
    Don Henley- Boys Of Summer
    The Doors- LA Woman
    The Eagles- Take It easy
    Train- Meet Virginia
    Ryan Adams- New York, New York
    Sheryl Crow- Soak Up the Sun
    Prince- Let’s Go Crazy
    Pet Shop Boys- Always On My Mind

  • Katie G

    you can’t have a road trip without tom cochrane’s ‘life is a highway’!

  • Ron Mexico

    “All Fired Up” by Fastway. That song will help you complete your road trip in half the time guaranteed.

  • Anonymous

    Where the streets have no name by U2. especially if you are driving in the desert

  • mark in nyc

    Radar Love is a must. But be careful, by the time the lyrics kick in you will probably be going 95 MPH

  • Paul U.

    I don’t know why but everytime I hear “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears for Fears I think of a roadtrip…

  • furry_tom

    “Roadrunner” by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers.

  • aramis

    When I did a 14-hour drive from Maryland to Mississippi (Navy’s choice, not mine), this was my Mississippi Bound Playlist:
    -“Mississippi” by Sheryl Crow
    -“Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day
    -“Shadowboxer” by Fiona Apple
    -“Move Along” by All American Rejects
    -“In the Waiting Line” by Zero 7
    -“Now Comes the Night” by Rob Thomas
    -“Till We Run Out of Road” by Jewel
    -“Cruz” by Xtina
    -“New World Bound” by Jake Kirk
    -“The Beginning is the End is the Beginning” by Smashing Pumpkins
    -“Save Me” by Aimee Mann
    -“World on Fire” by Sarah Mclachlan
    -“Travelin’ Thru” by Dolly Parton
    -“Gone” by Madonna
    -“Fly Like a Bird” by Mariah
    -“Mississippi” by The Dixie Chicks
    Needless to say, my song selections refelect my disdain for having been assigned to Mississippi. But it’s not so bad now. Well, I’m trying to make lemonade, and whatnot.

  • shana

    My two driving favorites:
    “Dim” by Dada
    “I Can See for Miles” by The Who

  • Jenn

    Chocolate – Snow Patrol
    Days Go By – Keith Urban
    Makes Me Wonder – Maroon 5
    Baby, Now That I Found You – The Foundations
    Uptown Girl – Billy Joel
    This Side – Nickel Creek
    Amsterdam – Guster
    Woke Up In A Car – Something Corporate

  • jonathan

    Every other weekend or so, I make a 3 hour drive back home. My favorites so far for the drive have been:
    1. Arcade Fire – Funeral
    2. Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
    3. The Clash – London Calling
    4. The Band – Music from Big Pink
    5. Radiohead – OK Computer
    6. Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker
    7. Sufjan Stevens – Illinois/Seven Swans
    8. U2 – Unforgettable Fire
    (furry_tom, Modern Lovers are amazing!)

  • Melanie J

    When summer hits, I always reach for my Beastie Boys License to Ill and Ill Communication CDs to put in my car. They make a great driving soundtrack.

  • cranky

    A road trip to the beach requires a Motown soundtrack. I don’t know when I formed this association, but I am physically unable to drive to the beach without Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, and Aretha.

  • Winona

    Indigo Girls’ Rites of Passage album is the best road-trip CD. My husband and I always have to have that in the car on a long trip, and we sing along (in two-part harmony, of course) to every word. (And thanks for the Hanson album plug, Mandi – I’m liking you more and more each day!)

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