JAM: Top Five – Road Trip Playlist

by Mark Jacobo

Summer break means summer road trips to Lake Tahoe with your friends, or the Grand Canyon with your family. Regardless of whom you’re road tripping with and where you’re road tripping to, you’re going to need a playlist to accompany you on the long hours driving down the highway or freeway. Here are some suggestions.

5. Led Zeppelin, “Rock and Roll”

Picture driving down a desert highway to your road trip destination and you’re the only car for miles—you just might want to press down on the accelerator a little harder. There’s no other song perfect for speeding down the highway than Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll”. The song is one of Zep’s fastest and most fun songs, and remember when it being in those car commercials ten years ago? The song personifies speed.

4. Iggy Pop, “The Passenger”

Although the titular passenger in Iggy Pop’s cult hit is a little more metaphorical than an actual car passenger, “The Passenger” is suitable for the long drives under the night sky when your road trip companions are all asleep (with the exception of the driver, of course).

3. The Talking Heads, “Road to Nowhere”

The song has the word ‘road’ in the title; I don’t think I need to explain myself. Just kidding! “Road to Nowhere” has more of an existential tone to it, like a lot of songs by the Talking Heads, but you can’t help singing along with David Byrne while driving down that desert highway.

2. The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”

“I’m Gonna Be” is a song of endurance and persistence. It’s a classic song that’s been featured in the films Benny and Joon and Shrek, as well as making several appearances on How I Met Your Mother. Plus, it’s fun as hell to sing along to.

1. Bruce Springsteen, “Born to Run”

An epic song about love, passion, and jumping in the air with your fist raised saying “Yeah!” “Born to Run” personifies why we go on road trips—to escape the mundane and seek adventure. I advise listening to this song at least once a week when school starts—it’ll help you get through those busy workdays.