Songs About Cars, Vol. I – Radiohead, Built to Spill, Beck, Iron & Wine, The Beatles, The Cure, The Replacements, CAKE

Last Sunday, at the end of the mix for “Red Songs” (songs with ‘red’ in the title), we asked for song suggestions to help us create today’s S-25 Mix, “Songs About Cars.”  IRC readers stepped up and provided more than a couple of dozen prime picks, ranging from Arcade Fire and David Bowie, Radiohead and Blind Melon, R.E.M. and Built to Spill, and Tom Waits to Beck, to name just a few. While some of IRC readers’ suggestions were already on our draft list, many others were not.

In our own playlist collections, we have hundreds of songs about cars – and activities commonly related with cars – so it was a challenge, to say the least, to choose which would be included in this playlist mix.  Some artists have more than one song about cars that will be featured – like Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Cake, Belle and Sebastian, The Kinks – and in those cases, there will be just one in each installment. In fact, there are so many excellent car songs, that we had to break this mix into two volumes. The second mix will be posted next Sunday, so make sure to check back for that.

For the most part, we decided to focus on songs that actually have the words ‘car’ or ‘drive’ or ‘automobile’ in the title (with a few exceptions like Led Zeppelin and Tom Waits) since, as you can imagine, there are loads of songs about cars, driving, road trips, racing, plus not to mention dozens upon dozens of songs about non-car vehicles (depending on your definition of what is and isn’t a car), like trucks (including pick-ups, trailers and 18-wheelers), vans, jeeps, limousines, and other ‘vehicles’ like motorcycles, scooters, and even some bicycles.

One of the best parts of the S-25 Mix series is that it’s not restricted to just indie music, but can include songs from any genre, and any era, of music. Every Sunday, we post a S-25 mix that is centered around a subject or theme, and then scour our music collections to find the best songs we can related to whatever the theme is.

Over the past few months, there have been very popular S-25 Mixes about Egypt, Love, Winter, and others.

Other popular S-25 Mixes have not had a theme, but instead featured a profiled band, along with a mix of various favorite songs from classic rock and punk, folk and new wave, alternative rock and golden oldies. Some of those S-25 Mixes highlighted bands like The Strokes, The Clash, The Decemberists and Beach House. But for right now, it’s all about cars. 

“No Cars Go“Arcade Fire from Neon Bible (2007)

“Car“Built To Spill from There’s Nothing Wrong With Love (1994)

“Mint Car“The Cure from Wild Mood Swings (1997)

“Killer Cars“Radiohead from The Bends (Collectors Edition) [Explicit] (1995)

“Someone Take The Wheel“The Replacements from All Shook Down (1990)

“Drivin Sister“Mott The Hoople from Mott The Hoople (1973)

“Drivin“The Kinks from Arthur Or The Fall and Decline of The British Empire (1969)

“Race Car Ya Yas“Cake from Fashion Nugget (2001)

“Rental Car“Beck from Guero (2005)

“Drive“The Cars from Heartbeat City (1987)

“Drive My Car“The Beatles from Rubber Soul (1966)

“The Back Seat of My Car“Paul McCartney from Ram (1971)

This single from Paul McCartney followed not long after The Beatles announced to the world that they would be disbanding. As he apparently felt about many of the songs on RAM, John Lennon is said to have believed the protagnonists’ lines: “We believe that we can’t be wrong” in “The Back Seat of My Car” were directed by McCartney at him and Yoko Ono. The song peaked at No. 39 on the U.K. charts.

“Car Seat (God Presents)“Blind Melon from Soup (1995)

“Route 66“Depeche Mode from Route 66 (2004)

“Low Rider“War from War (1975)

“Drive“ R.E.M. from Automatic For The People (1992)

“Cars”Gary Numan from The Principle Pleasure (1979)

“Always Crashing In The Same Car“David Bowie from Low (1997)

“Cars Are Weird“Human Television from Human Television (2004)

“Car Radio“Spoon from A Series of Sneaks (1998)

“Car Crash“Telekinesis from 12 Desperate Straight Lines (2011)

“Two-Tone Car (An Auto-Body Experience)“Chuck Weiss from Old Souls And Wolf Tickets (2006)

“Vegetable Car“Joshua Radin from Simple Times (2008)

Make sure to check back next Sunday for the second volume of “Songs About Cars.” There are lots of fantastic songs in volume two as well.

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  2. hi, its nice to see snow patrol on the mix, i like indie music the most but theyre my favorite band although theyre not totally indie.. hehe
    and would you also do a ‘songs about trees’ mix? i love trees

  3. you should have Road Runner by Johnathan Richman and the modern lovers
    Old blue car by Peter case
    Big black mariah by tom waits
    just saying 🙂

    1. Hey Everyone, in answer to Ruth and other suggestions – remember there is still part two set for next Sunday. Cheers.

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