The 1970s was a decade with a lot of ups and downs, and this was no different for the car manufacturers, with federal regulations cracking down on the design process. Sports cars were being overtaken by compact cars like the Pinto. On the music front, bands like The Doors were ruling the charts.
Rev-Up Radio is a series that blends music and cars together to reflect the history of a certain era. It features a list of songs that can be played while you’re on a long drive and you feel like stepping back in time. Here is a playlist to recapture the feeling of the 1970s.
L.A. Woman By The Doors
Released in 1971, L.A. Woman is the quintessential travelling song. It depicts a man arriving in Los Angeles and finding a woman who he loves, but isn’t sure if she feels the same. The city is painted in a vivid way. You can imagine driving through it and being taken in by all the bright lights and promise of Hollywood.
Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen
If there was ever a song for a contemplative drive in the middle of the night, then Thunder Road is the one. The song is about a woman named Mary, her boyfriend and their last chance to be real together. There are numerous meanings to the lyrics, from learning how to grow up, to being able to accept a person for their flaws.
One Piece At A Time by Johnny Cash
A good choice for Cadillac drivers, One Piece At A Time is about a man who used to install wheels on Cadillacs and eventually restored one for himself. Johnny Cash’s gravelly voice works best when you’re driving down a country road on a warm, sunny day.
I’m In Love With My Car by Queen
The lyrics to this song were inspired by one of Queen’s roadies, Johnathan Harris, who owned a Triumph TR4. He considered it ‘the love of his life’ and many car fans will agree how easy it is to get attached to your beloved roadster.
American Girl by Tom Petty
American Girl has an upbeat rhythm that goes well with whatever car you’re in. It’s about celebrating youth and making the most of every moment. The song has a forward momentum that’s ideal for driving down a long road.
Always Crashing In The Same Car by David Bowie
Always Crashing In The Same Car is a song about making the same mistakes over and over. David Bowie has the kind of voice that can be listened to at any time, whether you’re driving to work in the morning, or going out to meet a friend. The song references a real life incident when Bowie was driving around in his 1950s Mercedes in an underground car park.