15 Best Road Trip Songs Ever
Road trips are an art. Road trips require a trustworthy and reliable car, snacks, the right group of friends and the perfect playlist. No matter where you go and if your with friends, family or a significant other, the right music can make or break a road trip. The following list has a diverse group of songs that can fit in on any road trip. Hip-hop, rock, alternative, it’s all covered. They say it’s not the destination but the journey that matters. The soundtrack also matters.
“Have Love, Will Travel” – The Sonics
Most guys know what it’s like to first get their drivers license. It’s an exciting time and you can’t wait too show off for the girls. Many guys have experienced driving a long distance just to see a girl. The Sonics “Have Love, Will Travel” is a song that will remind you of that time. It is a great song for a road trip by yourself or with others.
“The Distance” – Cake The Distance by Cake is a great song to start a road trip off to. The bass line will have you focused on the drive and the drums will require you to bob your head all the way down the road. The Distance was a single off of Cake’s 1996 release, Golden Nugget. That album had a few other road trip appropriate songs like, “Stickshifts and Safetybelts” and “Race Car Ya-Yas.”
“Going Back to Cali” – LL Cool J
California is a common destination for most road trips. Many artists spanning across all genres have created odes to the Golden State. One of the songs that stick out the most is LL Cool J’s “Going Back to Cali.” The trumpet at the beginning of the song and the record scratches open for LL Cool J’s smooth laid back lyrics. He talks about riding with the top down in a black Corvette, the sun and the women. Some of the things that California has to offer.
“Let Me Ride” – Dr. Dre
Dr. Dre’s, The Chronic album arrived in 1992 and it gave us a further acquaintance of west coast music. On that album there was the single “Let Me Ride.” This song was made to played in the car. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a low-low, a Honda civic or a SUV. This song is perfect to soundtrack your arrival into your destination. The Parliament sample gives it the right amount of funk to make you and your friend the coolest people on the road.
“Sweet Home Alabama” – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” is one of the many songs that America is defined by. That alone makes it a great road trip song. It is a must have on the playlist if you are visiting the south especially Alabama. Sweet guitar licks and lyrics reminiscent of an eventful summer day in the backwoods are sure to male the ride smooth.
“Route 66” – Chuck Berry
A legend and pioneer of rock and roll, Chuck Berry had the right idea when he remade this song. Originally composed by Bob Troup, the song it self is as iconic as the stretch of highway it’s talking about. Route 66 was once a bustling highway that connected majority of the country from Chicago to Los Angeles. It was lined with major attractions that brought many people out. The glory days of Route 66 are in the past but many artist like Depeche Mode, Nat King Cole, John Mayer, Aerosmith and many others.
“Life is a Highway” – Rascal Flatts
Many road trip appropriate songs use travelling as an analogy to maneuver through life. No song is more apparent than “Life is a Highway.” Originally written and performed by Tom Cochrane, this became his biggest hit, and one of the most popular tunes played while on a road trip. The song was later redone by the band Rascal Flatts.
“The High Road” -Broken Bells
When The Shins’ James Mercer and Danger Mouse’s Brian Burton got together they created the Broken Bells. It is a great alternative song that is more about life than it is about traveling, but it still jams in the car. It has a slick beat and therapeutic lyrics. Perfect for when you’re just cruising.
“Big Jet Plane” – Angus and Julie Stone
A steady guitar lick, mellow strings and lazily sung lyrics are what makes Angus and Julie Stone’s “Big Jet Plane” so captivating. Though the song is about flying, the general concept of traveling to see someone you love makes it ideal for a road trip playlist. Angus and Julie are brother and sister who no longer making music together, so cherish this gem of a song.
“Left My Wallet in El Segundo” – Tribe Called Quest
A Tribe Called Quest is rap group that rose to prominence in the 90’s. The group had a lot of fun, high energy songs and one of them is “Left My Wallet in El Segundo.” The song is about the members of the group piling in a car and taking a road trip to El Segundo, Mexico. There is no specific reason for the trip as some road trip don’t require one, but one of them left their wallet in a diner. I’m pretty sure you can relate to leaving something behind in another state or country.
“Midnight Rider” – Allman Brothers Band
Is there a driving montage that doesn’t use “Midnight Rider?” A lot of movies, television shows and commercials have used this song to soundtrack a road trip scene. Why not use it for your own road trip? This song once made the Billboard Top 100 chart and with good reason. Other artist like Bon Jovi and Garth Brooks have covered this song, but nothing can beat the original.
“On the Road Again” – Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson is a great guy. He smokes weed, he cares for the environment and he creates timeless music. His most famous song has to be “On the Road Again.” As a musician Nelson tours a lot and this song is about a performer’s life on the road. For those who find them selves constantly on the road this is their theme song.
“Beastie Boys” – No Sleep Till Brooklyn
Here’s one to get you blood pumping and wheels spinning. The Beastie Boys “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” is one of the most famous hip-hop songs that has a very famous guitar riff. A hard hitting snare will have you putting the metal to the pedal. Brooklyn doesn’t necessarily have to be your destination either. It could be no sleep til Vegas, Texas, Jersey or wherever your headed.
“Snoop Dogg” –Gin and Juice
Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” is probably one of the best songs to sing along to on this list. Whether your driving down the street or down the interstate, this song fits the occasion. It’s a party on the road when this song comes on. Remember, no gin and juice while driving, you can wait until you reach your destination.
“Highway to Hell” – AC/DC
AC/DC is a legendary rock group that has a number of popular songs. One of them is “Highway to Hell.” Though I’m pretty sure no one wants to go to hell, the song is really catchy. Heavy guitar riffs and Bon Scott’s unique and captivating vocals will make the miles go by. This song is perfect if your taking a road trip to Vegas, considering it is sin city.