Songs for Your Cruisin’ Playlist

Published on November 12, 2019 11:39 AM in Getting There, Before You Go
Songs for Your Cruisin’ Playlist

Rolling down the highway with your favorite song playing remains one of life’s simplest pleasures.

And nothing beats cruising--driving with minimal traffic whereas it feels like the highway is yours.

Our latest playlist focuses on cruising and the special bond we have with our vehicles.

“Born To Be Wild”, Steppenwolf.

Perhaps the quintessential ode to being ready for whatever. The first four lines say it all.

“Get your motor runnin'/

Head out on the highway/

Lookin' for adventure/

And whatever comes our way/”

Paired with a relentless electric guitar riff, the song swaggers through the speakers. Even if you’re driving a minivan to see relatives, a small part of you can imagine barreling across the landscape on a motorcycle.

“Let’s Go”, The Cars.

A story about a teenage girl’s interest in nightlife, “Let’s Go” features a simple synthesized melody and a hook defined by signature claps. It was The Cars’ first song to crack the top 20 of Billboard’s Hot 100 in the United States, and the song reached Top 10 status in multiple countries, including Canada and Australia.

“No Particular Place To Go”, Chuck Berry. 

No sentence perhaps sums up the concept of cruising--driving for the sake of driving--like this ditty from one of Rock-and-Roll’s pioneers. It’s bouncy tempo underscores the carefree nature of cruising itself.

“Cars”, Gary Numan.

While it could be argued that this is more a love song to the vehicle rather than to cruising, the music lends itself so well to carefree driving. The droning baseline and catchy synthesized riff makes the song ideal for rolling along an empty two-lane highway at night.

“Cruise”, Smokey Robinson.

This gem from Motown’s own reminds us the best part of mindlessly exploring is having someone to do it with. On top of that, it’s a song about how vital music itself is to the cruising experience.

“The music is played for love/

Cruising is made for love/”

The song concludes with a repeated chorus:

“You're gonna fly away, glad your goin' my way/

I love it when we're cruisin’ together/

Music is played for love,/

Cruising is made for love/

I love it when we're cruisin’ together/”

So what does Robinson think about “cruising”?

According to interviews related to The Guardian's 1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear supplement, Robinson said, “You'd be surprised by how many people speculate on what ‘Cruisin' means. 'Cruisin' is a word that I leave up to the listener. When you're with the person you're with, and you feel you're cruisin', it's whatever you want it to be."

“My Posse’s On Broadway”, Sir Mix-A-Lot.

This hip-hop classic is a bouncy little ditty about cruising through downtown with your friends. The bass hits hard and can be felt from a distance when pumped through a powerful sound system. Extra credit if you listen to this song while driving down Broadway in Seattle, the location where the song takes place.