Reading week roadie playlist

With Reading Week fast approaching, most of us are planning some sort of trip. Whether it’s a week-long jaunt with some buddies to Montreal or just a long drive back to your hometown, no trip is complete without the right music.

Great songs don’t necessarily make for great driving songs. A perfect tune for the road is fun to sing along to and probably has great guitar riff.

I’ve always found that classic rock songs tend to be the best for long drives, so here’s a list of five songs to throw on your iPod for wherever you’re headed this break.

“American Girl” — Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Any road trip that doesn’t kick off with this song shouldn’t really count as a road trip. It’s not meant to get you over-excited; instead it just ensures that the long trek in front of you won’t be an impossible task to complete. The jangly guitar riff at the start of “American Girl” has to rank among the best of all-time. The chorus is just as catchy and makes for an awesome sing-along song.

“Free Bird” — Lynyrd Skynyrd

Skynyrd are the kings of driving songs. “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Simple Man” and “Tuesday’s Gone” are all classics, but none of those can come close to topping “Free Bird”.

Clocking in at over nine minutes — more than half of which come in the form of an unreal dual guitar solo — it’s by far the longest song you’ll have on your playlist, but it’s perfect for late-night driving. The song’s intro is instantly recognizable and while it feels like it takes some time for the song to kick into high gear, the lyrics are perfect for anyone yearning for a little freedom over the break.

“It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)” — AC/DC

As Queen’s students, there’s a special place in our hearts for bagpipes — or at least in mine. “It’s a Long Way to the Top” might be the only great song to prominently feature the instrument, doing a call and response with Angus and Malcolm Young’s guitar work. Bon Scott’s growling vocals aren’t the easiest to mimic, but with AC/DC’s typically infectious sound, you’ll be trying to do so by the second or third verse of the song.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” — Queen

Although a cliché at this point, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is still the best song to sing along to in any situation. I doubt there’s anyone who doesn’t know every lyric off by heart.

It’s best-suited to driving with some buddies, since you’re going to want to work in tandem to hit all the notes. Throw in the chance to mimic Wayne’s World and you’ve got a near-perfect driving song.

“Radar Love” — Golden Earring

“Radar Love” takes the best parts of the other four songs on this list and adds lyrics that are actually about driving. It’s such a well-regarded tune that Top Gear magazine named it the second-best driving song of all-time.

Any song that’s about communicating with your significant other via telekinesis and has an amazing guitar sound has to be on your playlist, no matter what. It’s an undisputed must-have if you plan on driving anywhere — even just around the corner.

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