Last Sunday, at the end of the mix for “Red Songs” (songs with ‘red’ in the title), we asked for song suggestions to help us create today’s S-25 Mix, “Songs About Cars.” IRC readers stepped up and provided more than a couple of dozen prime picks, ranging from Arcade Fire and David Bowie, Radiohead and Blind Melon, R.E.M. and Built to Spill, and Tom Waits to Beck, to name just a few. While some of IRC readers’ suggestions were already on our draft list, many others were not.
In our own playlist collections, we have hundreds of songs about cars – and activities commonly related with cars – so it was a challenge, to say the least, to choose which would be included in this playlist mix. Some artists have more than one song about cars that will be featured – like Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Cake, Belle and Sebastian, The Kinks – and in those cases, there will be just one in each installment. In fact, there are so many excellent car songs, that we had to break this mix into two volumes. The second mix will be posted next Sunday, so make sure to check back for that.
For the most part, we decided to focus on songs that actually have the words ‘car’ or ‘drive’ or ‘automobile’ in the title (with a few exceptions like Led Zeppelin and Tom Waits) since, as you can imagine, there are loads of songs about cars, driving, road trips, racing, plus not to mention dozens upon dozens of songs about non-car vehicles (depending on your definition of what is and isn’t a car), like trucks (including pick-ups, trailers and 18-wheelers), vans, jeeps, limousines, and other ‘vehicles’ like motorcycles, scooters, and even some bicycles.
One of the best parts of the S-25 Mix series is that it’s not restricted to just indie music, but can include songs from any genre, and any era, of music. Every Sunday, we post a S-25 mix that is centered around a subject or theme, and then scour our music collections to find the best songs we can related to whatever the theme is. Over the past few months, there have been very popular S-25 Mixes about Egypt, Love, Winter, and others.
Other popular S-25 Mixes have not had a theme, but instead featured a profiled band, along with a mix of various favorite songs from classic rock and punk, folk and new wave, alternative rock and golden oldies. Some of those S-25 Mixes highlighted bands like The Strokes, The Clash, The Decemberists and Beach House. But for right now, it’s all about cars.
“Drivin“– The Kinks from Arthur Or The Fall and Decline of The British Empire (1969)
This single from Paul McCartney followed not long after The Beatles announced to the world that they would be disbanding. As he apparently felt about many of the songs on RAM, John Lennon is said to have believed the protagnonists’ lines: “We believe that we can’t be wrong” in “The Back Seat of My Car” were directed by McCartney at him and Yoko Ono. The song peaked at No. 39 on the U.K. charts.
“Route 66“– Depeche Mode from Route 66 (2004)
“Low Rider“ – War from War (1975)
Make sure to check back next Sunday for the second volume of “Songs About Cars.” There are lots of fantastic songs in volume two as well.