Car Odes Countdown: Part 2

Car Odes Countdown: Part 2

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 2 of 2)

- Text by Corinne
Compiled and voted upon by staff
Photo by Patrick

posted May 6, 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.

We already ran down #6-11 so let's wrap things up. Here are our top five car tracks:

5. T. Rex - "Jeepster"

T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan sang of Jeeps on "Electric Slim And The Factory Hen," "Truck On (Tyke)," and other tracks but none stand out like the thumping "Jeepster." With Bolan's typical nonsensical lyrics, the glam rocker compares his love to a Jeep Jeepster, the bounce of the song matching that of the car's rugged ride. It seems only too sadly ironic that it was an auto accident that ended the musician's life.

4. Deep Purple - "Highway Star"

Few rocked as hard as Deep Purple back in the day and their ode to their "killing machine" features a killer guitar solo from Ritchie Blackmore and pounding organ to match Ian Gillan's shrieked lyrics. A song that was originally improvised on the spot and then later polished, Deep Purple are gunning the engine and ready to run you over with "Highway Star."

3. Ween - "El Camino"

On "El Camino," from Ween's classic first album, "GodWeenSatan: The Oneness," the duo profess the car to be a "conquest of the night" and an "Aztec machine." Complete with Gener pulling a goofy Spanish accent, "El Camino" is a flamenco-lite jam before, in true Ween-fashion, the track segues into a trippy version of psychedelic staple "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane that would make Hunter S. Thompson proud.

2. War - "Low Rider"

To say that War's "Low Rider" is anything less than an anthem is an insult. With its funky rhythm and tooting horns, it's no wonder the infectiously catchy track is a favorite for samplers and soundtracks. War takes those old cars that DIY-ers are, if you will, pimping out and super-sizes them into a lifestyle deserving of only honor and praise. And a very cool lifestyle at that.

1. Fu Manchu - "Superbird"

That low rumbling of the opening guitar riff of Fu Manchu's "Superbird" could easily be substituted for an engine idling on a drag strip. From the band's solid debut album, which coincidentally was produced by then future Fu Manchu drummer and former Kyuss drummer Brant Bjork, "Superbird" is a stoner burn-out that pits a Superbird against a Camaro. Needless to say, the Plymouth wins.