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Any Major Roads Vol. 1

Any Major Road Vol.1

Here’s the first of what I think will be two mixes on the subject of driving. Not “driving songs” – no Bon Jovi, no Bohemian Rhapsody – but songs about people in cars, or who are planning to be in one, or being on the long road. Having said that, I have test-driven this mix in my car, and found it a most agreeable companion on (mostly congested) roads.

The king of car songs is, of course, Bruce Springsteen. I could have chosen so many; just coming to mind as I write are Racing In The Streets, Born To Run, Sherry Darling, Cadillac Ranch, Wreck On A Highway, Stolen Car, Working On The Highway… If you have perused the tracklisting before reading this, as I would, you might either be troubled by the absence of Thunder Road, or delighted by my lack obviousness. The song is, in fact, included by way of prototype.

Before the song was Thunder Road and Bruce planned to take Mary out of this town of losers (the same Mary whom he gets pregnant in The River?), it was called Wings for Wheels, and the girl was Angelina. The recording here is, I think, the only one of Wings for Wheels, put down live in February 1975 at The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Just over six months later, Springsteen recorded Thunder Road for the Born To Run album.

Also coming from a bootleg is Simon & Garfunkel’s America, in which the featured motor vehicle is a Greyhound bus. The recording is from the duo’s 1968 concert at the Hollywood Bowl. It is one of the best bootlegs I’ve heard, in terms of sound and performance. Well worth tracking down.

Rocket 88 is regarded by some as “the first rock & roll record”, as if such a thing exists (though Sam Philips, who recorded it, made that pronouncement, and who am I to argue with him?). The recording will usually be attributed to Ike Turner, and the credited performer tends to be forgotten. Jackie Brenston was Ike’s saxophonist, and his Delta Cats were really Turner’s Kings of Rhythm. Branston got the writing credit, though it was written by 19-year-old Ike. On the saxophone is Raymond Hill, who’d later father the future Tina Turner’s first child.

As ever, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-combusted covers, PW in comments (where you are invited to leave a note).

1. Doobie Brothers – Rockin’ Down The Highway (1972)
2. War – Low Rider (1975)
3. Golden Earring – Radar Love (1973)
4. Tom Robinson Band – 2-4-6-8 Motorway (1977)
5. It’s Immaterial – Driving Away Form Home (Jim’s Tune) (1986)
6. Gabe Dixon Band – Five More Hours (2005)
7. Wilco – Passenger Side (1995)
8. Stephen Duffy & The Lilac Time – Driving Somewhere (2007)
9. John Prine – Automobile (1979)
10. Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band – Wings For Wheels (1975)
11. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Hollywood Nights (1978)
12. Edgar Winter Group – Free Ride (1972)
13. Eagles – Take It Easy (1972)
14. Little Feat – Truck Stop Girl (1970)
15. Martha Reeves – Dixie Highway (1974)
16. Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson – Hello Sunday! Hello Road! (1977)
17. Simon & Garfunkel – America (live) (1968)
18. Dionne Warwick – Do You Know The Way To San José (1968)
19. Lovin’ Spoonful – On The Road Again (1965)
20. Lee Dorsey – My Old Car (1967)
21. Chuck Berry – No Particular Place To Go (1964)
22. Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats – Rocket 88 (1951)
23. The King Cole Trio – (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66 (1946)

GET IT!

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  1. halfhearteddude
    May 14th, 2015 at 08:07 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Lynchie
    May 14th, 2015 at 14:26 | #2

    Yet again, another great mix. Most I know, but I’m sure I’ll get to love the ones I haven’t heard of – yet. Thank you. LOve your blog.

  3. dogbreath
    May 14th, 2015 at 15:00 | #3

    Looks good. I’ll road-test this mix on the drive home tonight. “Any Road Up” is all right with me! Many thanks for the comp.

  4. May 14th, 2015 at 16:32 | #4

    Thank you for not including obvious ones such as “The Long and Winding Road” or “Road to Nowhere.” That being said, there are no better road songs than Nick Drake’s, and “Road” is a good one.

    (I can see this being a multi-volume set.)

    Lastly, if you had included the Cars’ “Drive,” I would have questioned my place in life. Thank you.

  5. JoeG
    May 16th, 2015 at 15:29 | #5

    A mix of car songs without the Beach Boys? You have dozens of songs (well, maybe not DOZENS) to choose from that are not obvious – hope we see one next mix. And of course, there’s Hot Rod Lincoln and I Can’t Drive 55 for next time, too. Thanks for putting this together. As usual, great fun.

  6. JoeG
    May 16th, 2015 at 15:34 | #6

    Oh yeah, while I’m thinking of it, how about Maybellene and Mustang Sally and Low Rider? Ok, enough with the suggestions!

  7. JoeG
    May 16th, 2015 at 15:35 | #7

    Oops, just saw Low Rider. In the immortal words of Emily Latella, “never mind.”

  8. JoeG
    May 17th, 2015 at 01:26 | #8

    Ok, I am into this now. Here is a suggested play list (I didn’t check times, so it may end up running long):

    Beep Beep – The Playmates
    Fun Fun Fun – The Beach Boys
    Born To Be Wild – Steppenwolf
    Roadrunner – Bo Diddley
    You Can’t Catch Me – Chuck Berry
    (Looking For) The Heart of Saturday Night – Tom Waits
    Long May You Run – Neil Young
    Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett
    Pink Cadillac – Bruce Springsteen
    Magic Bus – The Who
    Dead Man’s Curve – Jan & Dean
    Last Kiss – J. Frank Wilson
    $1000 Car – The Bottle Rockets
    Ridin’ in My Car – NRBQ
    Crosstown Traffic – Jimi Hendrix Experience
    Hot Rod Lincoln – Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
    Be Thankful For What You’ve Got – William DeVaughn
    I Wanna Drive You Home – ZZ Top
    Cadillac Blues – Johnnie Bassett
    Crazy Bout an Automobile – Ry Cooder
    Drive South – John Hiatt
    I Can’t Drive 55 – Sammy Hagar
    Highway to Hell – AC/DC
    Willin’ – Little Feat

  9. halfhearteddude
    May 18th, 2015 at 21:04 | #9

    Nice list which gives me some ideas. A couple of them are in line for Vol. 2 (William DeVaughn, Jan & Dean, NRBQ, Waits).

  10. PL44
    May 19th, 2015 at 21:29 | #10

    Here’s my bit for the sequel:
    Wall of Voodoo – Elvis bought Dora a Cadillac
    Stan Ridgway – Drive she said
    Eddie Cochran – Somethin’ else
    The Smiths – There’s a light that never goes out
    Morrissey – Driving your girlfriend home
    The Bobby Fuller Four – Phantom dragster
    The Normal – Warm leatherette
    Quick – Young men drive fast
    Shona Laing – Highway warriors
    The Triffids – Wide open road
    The Doors/Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Roadhouse Blues
    Billy Idol – Blue highway
    Elvis Presley – Long, lonely highway
    Shakin’ Stevens – You drive me crazy

    come to think of it, forget the last one ;-)

    Greetings from Dortmund, Germany.

  11. May 22nd, 2015 at 15:47 | #11

    I’ve been absent from these pages for too long (having a little one has seriously curtailed my surfing time)…but it looks like I returned just in time. Great mix, dude. Good to see you keeping up the excellent work!

  12. halfhearteddude
    May 22nd, 2015 at 16:16 | #12

    It’s been a long time, Rol. Children tend to interfere with the important things in life, don’t they?

  13. May 23rd, 2015 at 15:37 | #13

    Yeah…but they bring many other benefits too. I’m just finally trying to achieve some balance…

  14. halfhearteddude
    May 24th, 2015 at 13:11 | #14

    Oh yes. The sacrifices are easily outweighed by the rewards.

  15. May 31st, 2015 at 19:09 | #15

    I’ve loads of pre 60’s to mench but one of my faves is “Down the road a-piece” by Freddie Slack. More your era would be same song but by The Rolling Stones.
    Regards, Boppinbob

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