Summer Party Tip – Brian’s road-trip playlist

Sure, gas prices suck. But if you think it’s bad here, talk to someone that lives in California or the Northeast.

The wife & I are actually trying to plan a road trip back to New England either this fall, or (more likely) next Spring. Try to stop at the Rock & Roll HOF and a few other spots along the way, catch a game at Fenway, eat LOTS of fresh seafood, visit my mom & friends.

And if you’ve ever driven cross-country, you know that terrestrial radio stations can be difficult to find in some areas. Sirius & XM can help, but the service can be spotty at times. When I drove out here in 2003 in my Buick LeSabre, I didn’t have satellite radio…shit, I didn’t even have a CD player in that piece of crap. Just a radio & a tape deck.

When we drove back to the East coast a few years ago, we did have a CD player, but no satellite, and cell service wasn’t the best at the time. That’s why I always make sure I load up my jump drive with tons of music for a lengthy road trip.

Of course, I’ve got tons of Metallica, Megadeth, Biohazard, Type-O, and the occasional Vanilla Ice tune. But for every heavy duty banger, there’s gotta be something unique…something a bit off the beaten path. Sing-alongs, air guitar, drums on the steering wheel. All of it!

And these are a few of my favorites:

“Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane – You MUST have the original. Not that Rascal Flatts bullshit. If I hear that version, I might drive off the road into a tree. Disgusting. This song is a “sing it out loud at the top of my lungs with the windows open” kinda tune that can really start a long-ass road trip on the right foot.

“Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO(Electric Light Orchestra) – I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again…if I’m ever in a bad mood, feeling down, sad, etc…I crank this f**ker up and my worries fade away. Love me some ELO, and this jam is like air conditioning on a 105° day!

“Girlfriend” by Matthew Sweet – This was a HUGE hit in the early 90’s. MTV couldn’t play the video often enough. The rest of the CD was actually really good, but this guy’s career never really took off the way I’d hoped. Thankfully, I saw him in concert once back in the day, and I love to crank this song when I’m driving.

“Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen – You can keep your “Bohemian Rhapsody”, I’ll take this jam from Queen. Maybe it’s the scene in the Winchester in “Shaun of the Dead”, or maybe it’s the piano…whatever it is, I absolutely adore this song and even though I might mess up a word or two here & there, I will ALWAYS make sure I hear this at least once on a road trip. It’s upbeat, it’s energetic, and it’s just the right length(that’s what she said).

“Escape(The Pina Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes – How can you NOT love this tune? A guy & his girl are sick of each other’s shit and start looking for love in all the wrong places, only to find out that if they’d just be a bit more open & honest with one another, they could probably have a great relationship!!!??!??!?! Just watch out for making love in the dunes – might get some sand in your naughty bits!

“Peaches” by the Presidents of the United States of America – If you listen to the show, you know I LOVE this jam. It’s 2:49 of awesomeness with a hell of a breakdown.

“Are You In?” by Incubus – I’m a BIG Incubus fan, and I’ve been lucky enough to see them about a dozen times over the years. During the “Morning View” touring cycle, they used to finish their set with “Aqueous Transmission”, and my friends & I would always spend the extra 10 minutes or so just standing there in the darkness, listening to the frogs and sorta calm ourselves down after a sweaty evening on the floor. Hell of a good time. But my favorite jam from that album is “Are You In?”

“Bad Luck Blue Eyes” by the Black Crowes – There are MANY great songs from the Crowes, and most of them come from their second album, “The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion”, including this gem!

“I Ain’t Comin’ Home” by Silvertide – I always felt like this band had SO much more music to give, but they eventually sorta broke up & the members formed some other bands & went their separate ways. This was their biggest single, and I try to sneak it onto the air every once in awhile. I also put it on my road-trip playlist!

“But Anyway” by Blues Traveler – Not their biggest hit, but definitely a sing-along jam for road trips. Of course, seeing them perform it every time I watch “Kingpin” cements it’s place in the “happy memories” part of my brain.

“Only” by Anthrax. I don’t care what anyone says. I LOVED this album. Black Lodge, Hy Pro Glo, Potter’s Field….all AMAZING songs by one of the Big Four. And it’s not that I don’t love all their previous albums, but given the choice, I’d throw “Sound of White Noise” in my discman almost ten times outta ten. My favorite track from the album starts with Charlie’s incredibly catchy drumming and when James Hetfield calls a song “perfect”, you MUST include it on your road-trip playlist.

“Deliverance” by Corrosion of Conformity – Such a great band. Obviously some HUGE hits from this album, but if I’m in my truck and this song starts playing, the volume goes to eleven.

“You Get What You Give” by the New Radicals – Yes, I know….I know. But, I like this song, and I refuse to apologize for it. This dude made one album & then dipped….and went on to write some HUGE songs for a bunch of other artists including Enrique Iglesias, Geri Halliwell, Melanie C, Rod Stewart, Hanson and more!

I’ve got a ton of other songs that are on my road trip playlist, including “Sister” by the Nixons, “Hole Hearted” by Extreme, “F**k Her Gently” by Tenacious D., “I Wish” by Skee-Lo, and pretty much anything by the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones!

Whatever you choose to listen to, make sure you crank it up to ELEVEN if you’re traveling somewhere this summer!

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Brian Simpson

Unapologetic fan of the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins & Celtics. Lover of powerful, dark beers. Married with NO kids. Ever. Lover of doggos. Not so much cats.

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