Paul appeared on BBC Radio Humberside in 2014 with James Hoggarth to talk about driving songs. The combination of being a petrol head and a radio presenter means it’s a subject that gets him hot under the collar.
So, following the BBC feature, we thought we’d share with you Woody’s top ten songs you should be driving to, along with Youtube clips so you can sing along. As Paul explained to a radio audience, it does depend on what dashboard you’re staring at, but generally any self-respecting petrol head should be able to recall driving to these ten anthems…
10 Robert Tepper – No Easy Way Out
From the infamous Stallone Lamborghini montage in Rocky 4 comes this thrilling rock song. You don’t have to be a fan of Rocky Balboa to appreciate the song’s rhythm and obvious synergy with a good B-road blast. But it helps.
You can even enjoy it complete with the afore-mentioned movie scene on this link…
9 Feeder – Buck Rogers
From the soundtrack of another great film – this time featuring fighter jets, you just have to listen to the first line of this song to understand why it’s made Woody’s top ten. Oh, and by the way – if you haven’t seen Behind Enemy Lines yet – go watch!
Not many songs start with a line about buying a new Jaguar. We need to treasure moments like this…
8 Dandy Warhols – Bohemian Like You
Ok, it’s low hanging fruit in driving song terms as it, too features a car in the opening line, (though this one breaks down). But this great anthem has another motoring claim to fame – it once adorned the credits of a popular game for the Playstation based on the world’s greatest endurance motor race, Le Mans.
Given that Woody doesn’t have time to play video games anymore, this song not only provides the perfect accompaniment to 7,000 rpm, it’s also a chance to relive his petrol head youth.
Oh, and tenuous car-related fact – the band named themselves after the artist Andy Warhol, who produced a BMW ‘art car’. Enjoy number eight…
7 Alistair Griffin – Just Drive
This isn’t the only Formula One theme song to feature in Woody’s top ten driving songs. But it’s possibly the only one that has featured on Formula One credits for two separate channels; finding fame on the BBC before providing the Sky F1 channel soundtrack.
Alistair Griffin is from Paul’s home county of Yorkshire, and performed a set at a local rally driver’s wedding, so he’s not short of a few petrol head points.
But the biggest pat on the back of all has to be the brains behind the music video. Here’s how Paul suggests the creative meeting went:
“Hey guys, I’ve got a great idea for the video – let’s drive a ’67 Ford Mustang along a road.”
6 Fleetwood Mac – The Chain
See – we promised Just Drive wasn’t the only song in Woody’s top ten that was made famous by Formula One. This one, though probably owes its entire existence to racing cars, so much so we doubt anyone outside of the band would recognise the first half of the song, (only the end was used in the F1).
One piece of advice from Paul though, as heard on BBC Radio Humberside – don’t hit traffic just as you hit the end part of the song. “That’s a day ruiner”.
Here is the intro of the 1979 South African Grand Prix, complete with Murray Walker sound bite. Thank you BBC Sport. No really – thank you…
5 M People – Search for the Hero
Woody’s number five has – on paper – a pretty rubbish claim to motoring fame; it featured as the soundtrack on the Peugeot 406 launch adverts. Remember ‘the drive of your life’?
Well the slogan might not have been true (not even close! – Woody), but in picking this song, Peugeot did at least award the car with two backs (or was that the 405?) one cool point. Because it is, a cool song…
4 Lighthouse Family – Ocean Drive
OK, so the ‘drive’ in the title of this song refers to a location, not a pastime. But for those with a grand tourer and a penchant for a lifestyle of someone rich and famous, this is a great song to play in the car on a sunny day.
Not many of the entries in Woody’s top ten driving songs are relaxing, chill-out candidates, so Paul’s allowed you this one. Check the weather forecast and the bank balance (in that order) then get it turned up nice and loud…
3 Propaganda – Jewelled
As the title music to the ’90s Top Gear Rally Report, this song reminds Paul of a childhood hero; Colin McRae. For that reason alone (even if it had have been a rubbish song) it belongs here.
Luckily it’s not a rubbish song, and it usually comes round in the playlist pretty quickly if Woody’s driving. Here it is, complete with a rally photo montage. Thanks Youtube…
2 Cyndi Lauper – I Drove All Night
OK, we’re well aware that Roy Orbison was the original singer of this song. And don’t get us wrong he did a great job, the concept was there.
But Cyndi Lauper brought a few things to the table that made this number more suited to a spirited drive on your favourite bit of twisty tarmac. Namely a sexy beat, a voice that actually makes you want to drive all night, and an eerily raunchy Anne Summers-style Cruella Deville outfit. (Don’t judge me! – Woody)
Ok, so the video’s strange, and Cyndi looks like one of those girlfriends you had that made you think twice before introducing her to your Mum. But it’s a great song, enjoy…
1 Bryan May – Driven By You
Woody would nail any colour to any mast on this claim; this is the best driving song ever written. It helps that it was written – and performed – by one of the greatest rock artists of all time, too.
But what helps more than any of that, is that it was actually written for a car commercial. Ford took their marketing and image seriously enough in the ’90s to commission Mr. May to write them a song. (Perhaps that’s not quite how the story goes, and we’d be delighted to hear from Bryan if he’d like to amend the “record”)
We’ve had to share two clips with you for Woody’s number one driving song. You see, as retro and cool as it is, the Ford commercial has some pretty naff lyrics. But it does feature a Sierra Sapphire Cosworth rally car, which as we’re sure you’ll agree makes it a pretty epic minute-and-a-half.
So to give you a real feel for this song (and its strong connection to arguably the most iconic rally brand ever dreamt up), we’ve included a link to a promotional video for the Escort Cosworth.
This time the lyrics are as they appear on Bryan May’s album, so rally driver Miki Biasion provides the cheese (check that thumbs up!)…
Hopefully you enjoyed Woody’s top ten driving songs countdown. If nothing else, it was an excuse to watch some great Youtube clips.
If you’ve got something to say – agree or not – Paul would love to hear your thoughts…