I tend to listen to music whilst in my car, mainly during the 40 minute commute each way to my place of work and also whilst travelling for business purposes, which can vary from five minute trips between different local venues to driving across to the other side of the country. I often listen to local radio but can find the random chatter just too irritating at times and like to have a decent CD to listen to and provide some distraction whilst driving.
This 5 CD collection entitled '101 Driving Songs' seems like a pretty safe bet for anybody wanting a wide variety of songs to listen to whilst driving. It was originally a Father's Day present for my other half from the kids but, somehow, it has made its way into my car and has earned pride of place in my glovebox, with one of the 5 CDs usually in position in the CD player.
With 101 songs to choose from, there is likely to be something for everybody and the selection included here is surprisingly eclectic. I particularly like the wide time period that these songs cover - with songs featured from every decade between the 60s right up until 2008, when this compilation album was released under the Virgin label. That does mean that there are no really current hits included but, despite that, the album doesn't feel at all dated.
It is difficult to define exactly what is meant by a 'driving song.' Personally, I think a true driving song should be something recognisably anthemic such as Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now' which, fittingly, is the opening track to the very first CD in this collection. There are also a fair number of songs included where the reference to driving is very explicit through the title. The classic 'Rush Hour' is an obvious choice and certainly deserves its inclusion within this collection although, for some reason, the compliers chose not to include The Primitives' 'Crash' here. I can't imagine why?
There are also a few random tracks slotted here and there which are neither anthemic songs nor explicitly relevant to driving. 'How to Save a Life' by Fray is a decent enough song in its own right but not one that I would particularly classify as a 'driving song' in any sense and its inclusion, along with several others, just seems a little random. There is certainly no shortage of variety, however.
With 5 CDs and 101 songs to cover, there are a few weaker tracks included here, although that is always subject to personal opinion. Much as Prince is a revered figure for some, I think the decision to include an extended version of his 'Purple Rain' track runs the risk of turning the album into something that will drive you mad rather than brighten up a long journey! The first minute or so is bearable but I soon find my fingers itching for the eject or skip button!
My own personal favourites include classics such as The Knack's 'My Sharona' - a song that deserves to be played on repeat, well, repeatedly. My oldest son loves Nickelback's 'Rockstar' which is one of the more recent tracks included and we often have this on repeat until I find myself also wishing that I had '...a drug dealer on speed dial!'
Despite the variety of different artists featured, there are some that are included more than once. The Proclaimers are here with their instantly recognisable 'I'm Gonna Be (500 miles)' (silly title for such an iconic track) but this is eclipsed by their lesser known version of 'King of the Road' which I don't think I'd come across elsewhere. There are also no less than three Beach Boys songs - all on the same CD. Incidentally, that is my least favourite out of the five although that may well be more appealing to a slightly older age group.
Much as I love this album, I suspect that the target audience is mostly male and with Fathers' Day fast approaching this would be worth considering for Dads aged over thirty. Younger listeners may be a little put off by the age of this album, meaning that all of the songs are at teh very least five year's old, with many being several decades older. This generous compilation album covers a really broad range of styles, artists and decades and with 101 songs to choose from there should be something to brighten up every journey.
Despite the age of this album, copies are still widely available and can be picked up from third party sellers on Amazon for less than £13 which I think is an excellent price considering the number of tracks included. Used copies are also available for considerably less.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Don't Stop Me Now
2 Rock Star
3 Gimme All Your Lovin'
4 I Drove All Night
5 Road To Hell
6 Here I Go Again
7 Rush Hour
8 The Whole Of The Moon
9 Road To Nowhere
10 Owner Of A Lonely Heart (Lp Version)