Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pop Songs About Cars All The Way (Part II)

Rocket 88*The song was put together by Ike Turner and his band. It is a hymn of praise of an Oldsmobile Rocket 88, which had recently been introduced. The song was based on the 47 song Cadillac Boogie and was the second-biggest R&B single of 1951.

Ike Turner's piano intro to the song was later used, nearly note-for-note by Little Richard in Good Golly Miss Molly. Again, when vehicles reigned supreme and the American car symbolises sexual prowess: 'Gals will ride in style, movin’ all along...'

Pontiac Blues*
It was written by blues great Sonny Boy Williamson but when the British blues bands emerged in the 60s, they covered just about every memorable blues tune by every important blues artist.

In this case, an early edition of the Yardbirds with Eric Clapton recorded Pontiac Blues, and joined up with Sonny Boy for a live album recorded in 1963 at England’s Crawdaddy Club. And the lyrics? 'I found out what my baby likes... whole lot of loving, and a straight-eight Pontiac.'

Crocodile Rock:
It is a 1972 composition by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. The song was inspired by John's discovery of Australian band Daddy Cool and their hit, Eagle Rock, while the lyrics take a nostalgic look at early rock n roll and a relationship with Suzie. It has possibly been influenced by The Diamonds 1957 hit, Little Darlin, while the chorus resembles Pat Boone's Speedy Gonzales.

Don't forget the car, cause it's a Chevvy again, 'Me and Suzie had so much fun, holding hands... Had an old gold Chevy and a place of my own, Long nights crying by the record machine, Dreaming of my Chevy and my old blue jeans...

Hitchin' A Ride:
This song spells it all. It's a problem without a car in the US because, as the lyrics explain, 'I got no fare to ride a train, I'm nearly drownin' in the pouring rain, Hitchin' a ride, hitchin' a ride, Gotta get me home to my baby's side... Oh won't somebody stop to help a guy...' Especially if it's a male!

Vanity Fare (image), a UK based band, made this 1969 song a hit in the US, reaching No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970 and selling a million copies. It didn't do too well in the UK charts though. It was written by Mitch Murray and Peter Callander.
Steve Farram is right. There are many pop songs about cars. But the road ends here. If you know of favourites with the same theme, do contribute.

Original article: Andy Lim.


Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,

There must be hundreds of songs about cars out there. One that always sticks in my mind is the Beach Boys' 'Fun Fun Fun' about Thunderbirds.


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Steve. Just trying to remember the songs I've heard previously.

Any of our local bands having recorded some of them?

'Fun, Fun, Fun' on You Tube for you.