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The Ultimate Road Trip Playlist — 50 Best Road Trip Songs

Fri, Mar 12, 2010

Featured, Fun

No road trip is complete without a playlist of songs that capture the spirit of traveling on the open road.  So we’ve compiled a list of the 50 best road trip songs.  In order to make this be-all end-all totally definitive list that all other lists look up to, the songs had to meet the following criteria:

a.) encompass the excitement and freedom of road tripping

b.) make the time pass faster

c.) keep you awake without the assistance of questionably legal pills named “No Doze”

d.) contain lyrics so singable that you’ll legitimately consider trying out for the next “American Idol”

e.) keep you distracted long enough to make you forget you need to pee (which subsequently means stopping at a heinous rest stop where the bathroom stalls are tagged with death threats and truckers hit on you)

f.) drown out the sound of your annoying friend who complains about a developing deep vein thrombosis from being crammed in the backseat (tough it up!)

Get ready for car-aoke ’cause here’s The Ultimate Road Trip Playlist

50. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers (3:37)
49. Blitzkrieg Bop – The Ramones (2:14)
48. California – Phantom Planet (3:14)
47. Take It Easy – Eagles (3:30)
46. Cruisin’ – Smokey Robinson (4:27)
45. Hotel California – Eagles (6:30)
44. Around the World – Daft Punk (7:07)
43. Running On Empty – Jackson Browne (4:55)
42. The Waiting – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (3:58)
41. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd (4:45)
40. Life In the Fast Lane – Eagles (4:45)
39. Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (4:15)
38. Low Rider – War (3:11)
37. Ramblin’ Man – Allman Brothers (4:58)
36. Panama – Van Halen (3:31)
35. Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra (5:06)
34. Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car – Billy Ocean (4:44)
33. Walking On Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves (4:00)
32. Electric Avenue – Eddy Grant (3:44)
31. Road Trippin’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers (3:24)
30. (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66 – Nat King Cole (3:00)
29. Paradise City – Guns N’ Roses (6:46)
28. No Particular Place to Go – Chuck Berry (2:41)
27. Beautiful Day – U2 (4:08)
26. Slow Ride – Foghat (8:14)
25. Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi (4:11)
24. Runnin’ Down a Dream – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (4:23)
23. Already Gone – Eagles (4:18)
22. Drive My Car – Drive My Car (2:25)
21. Free Ride – Edgar Winter Group (3:17)
20. Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf (4:27)
19. Here I Go Again – Whitesnake (4:36)
18. Holiday Road – Lindsey Buckingham (3:11)
17. Hit the Road Jack – Ray Charles (1:57)
16. Up Around the Bend – Creedence Clearwater Revival (2:41)
15. Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones (3:33)
14. Everyday Is a Winding Road – Sheryl Crow (4:16)
13. I Can’t Drive 55 – Sammy Hagar (4:12)
12. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen (4:29)
11. Take the Long Way Home – Supertramp (5:08)
10. Roam – The B-52′s (4:57)
9.  Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac (3:38)
8.  Baba O’Riley – The Who (5:08)
7.  Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd (9:09)
6.   Highway to Hell – AC/DC (3:28)
5.  I’ve Been Everywhere – Johnny Cash (3:19)
4.   On the Road Again – Willie Nelson (2:32)
3.   Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf (3:30)
2.  I Get Around – The Beach Boys (2:14)
1.   Life Is a Highway – Rascal Flatts (4:37)

By the time you’ve played every song on this list, you’ll be 3 hours, 30 minutes and 28 seconds closer to your destination.  Which means you’ll likely play this entire list four or five more times before you get to where you’re going.  But at least these songs aren’t one and done.

What songs do you have on your ultimate road trip playlist?

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94 Responses to “The Ultimate Road Trip Playlist — 50 Best Road Trip Songs”

  1. Brian from BC says:

    As I am getting ready for my annual 10 hr xmas roadtrip and I got to thinking about music specific for the night portion of the drive. Here is few songs that fit:

    Slow Ride by Bonnie Raitt – (not to be confused with Foghat’s song of the same name) Bonnie’s sultry blues voice inviting a slow ride by the dashboard light gets me everytime.

    In The Cold Cold Night by The White Stripes – Meg White comes from behind her drum kit to sing and warm the coldest night.

    Heartbreak Hotel by Suzi Quatro – Suzi does this song in way Elvis could never do, great night beat.

    Sparks by Trans Siberian Orchestra – “There,In the night,Deep in the back,Through the black,Beckons a life” Great lyrics, great beat
    .
    Tusk by Fleetwood Mac – The primal drum beats, the whispered singing building to crescendo; perfect.

    Shine On You Crazy Diamond by David Gilmour – get the live version of this Pink Floyd classic performed with full orchestra. When David starts his guitar solo after the trumpet intro I get chills
    .
    The Confessor by Joe Walsh – complex and beautiful, great for staring into the dark.

    Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games by Oh Montreal- This indie band merges a great bass beat with complex lyrics and very catchy melody. It has the effect of rolling down the window to let the winter air wake you up when you have been on the road too long.

    Diamonds On My Windshield by Tom Waits – The best night roadtrip song ever. A beat poet lyrics accompanied by jazz standing bass. Get the original version from 1974. On youtube some versions have Tom almost singing the lyrics which takes away it’s spoken appeal. Uber Cool

    I welcome some feedback. Thanks Jetpacker for the forum

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