Car Odes Countdown: Part 1

Car Odes Countdown: Part 1

In rock music it might be all about drugs, sex and rock 'n' roll but there's always something missing: a hot ride. Since the beginning, fast girls and fast cars have been steady favorites when it comes to topics for musicians to write songs about. So we're counting down the best songs about cars. (Part 1 of 2)

- Compiled and voted upon by staff
Photo by Patrick

posted April 29, 2009

In rock music it might be all about drugs, sex and rock 'n' roll but there's always something missing: a hot ride. Since the beginning, fast girls and fast cars have been steady favorites when it comes to topics for musicians to write songs about. It seems long over due to honor those gleaming muscle machines. They deserve their day. And while we're at it, let's throw motorcycles into the mix.

So we here at PlugInMusic.com decided to come up with a list of our favorite songs penned about cars. We nominated a total of 23 songs and whittled it down to the top 11. Honorable mention nods (and four-wheeled respect) are due to the '50s and '60s who practically invented the genre; in particular Jan & Dean and Chuck Berry come to mind.

While some of the songs mention cars and aren't so much about them, it's clear the automobile's standing and importance in music. Let's hear it for those gas-guzzling, carbon-emitting machines.

And don't forget to stay tuned for the finale of the countdown, our top five car odes!

11. White Zombie "Black Sunshine"

Zombie's first appearance on the list is made significantly cooler by Iggy Pop's spoken work intro. The lean n' mean tune about a hellish Ford Mustang was initially lost in the sea of success that was "Thunder Kiss '65." It has since grown into a real fan favorite, become a staple in Rob Zombie live sets, and was even given button-mashing immortality in Guitar Hero III. -Joe

10. White Zombie - "Super-Charger Heaven"

Honestly, this entire list could probably have been filled with songs about cars written by Rob Zombie. His best motor-driven moment, though, is undoubtedly "Super-Charger Heaven." The perfect distillation of his groove-laden heavy metal, the song features the pseudo-sinister/speedhead lyrics and references to old-school horror films that Zombie would come to use as his artistic trademark. It's the perfect musical accompaniment for hitting the highway and dropping the hammer with the devil in your eyes. -J

9. Prince - "Little Red Corvette"

Who knew Prince was such a horny bastard? His ode to trying to slow down fast women and female anatomy I mean his favorite sports car was said to have been inspired after he fell asleep in band member Lisa Coleman's pink Edsel during an all-night recording session. The tune was his first to break the top ten in the US, making it to number six, and started his transition from R&B to mainstream pop acceptance. -Corinne

8. Beach Boys - "409"

Back in the day, having a car was a dream that many hoped to live. On this early Beach Boys track, the group harmonizes beautifully about the Chevrolet 409: a hotrodders' dream. Complete with the 409's engine revving at the start of the song, the Beach Boys made singing about cars and sunny California seem like a dream everyone identified with and could actually achieve. For more Beach Boys car fun try "Little Deuce Coupe," "Fun, Fun, Fun" or "Shut Down," which recalls a drag race between a '62 Dart and a '63 Corvette Stingray -C

7. Adam Sandler - "Ode to My Car"

The one song on the list that we can all identify with, "Ode to My Car" is the simple tale of a man and his ride his pathetic, dilapidated, busted-ass ride. Say what you will about Mr. Happy Gilmore's goobity-goo vocal delivery, but don't pretend you can't relate to the lyrics. Because everyone has owned a vehicle that would absolutely, positively never get them laid. -J

6. Gary Numan - "Cars"

Riding on the coattails of Kraftwerk's rising success, Gary Numan adopted the band's poppy synthesizer sound and, for the video, their mechanical robot look. Said to have been inspired by a road rage incident in London, "Cars" is undoubtedly the British singer's best known song Stateside and one that brings back memories of the '80s when that screaming synth kicks. -C