The Best Albums for Long Road Trips

Driving can bring up very different images regardless of your location. Driving has always been a hectic game of Frogger as a major city native; parallel parking, endless traffic jams, and a symphony of car alarms seem to highlight the greatest hits of city driving. One major perk of being from the Midwest are the long scenic drives. I like to drive to a soundtrack, especially for long trips that can be a little lengthy to spend with talk radio personalities. I love to write, and one easy way to get my creative juices flowing is to mix a long drive with some inspiring music. Usually, listening to an album is much more fulfilling in this regard than just tuning into FM or Satellite radio. This way you get a collection of songs that are from the same group often arranged to tell a story or capture a particular feeling. Here are a few of my personal favorite albums to play while on a road trip.

Queens of the Stone Age – Songs for the Deaf

What album is better for a road trip than an album that takes us into the sonic pleasure of a road trip through Southern California? Sonically, Queens of the Stone Age are a rock band in an era that has very few true rock bands. Josh Homme fronts a group that manages to perfect a balance between melodic and downright aggressive. Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters lends his drumming skills to the group and takes them to a new stratosphere. The singles “No One Knows” and “Go with the Flow” may be familiar to rock radio enthusiasts, but the lesser known “God is on the Radio” and “A Song for the Dead” will provide listeners with some of the more complex and haunting rock songs of the new millennium.

The Minutemen – Double Nickels on the Dime

Probably best known for “Corona,” the theme song to the MTV’s Jackass, this album takes the listener through a rock and roll variety show with 43 short but impactful songs. The album is funny, brutal, intelligent, and will please listeners of every rock genre. The talent of the musicians allows for an ambition beyond many punk albums, but the intensity and witty writing of the greatest punk bands are not sacrificed in the slightest. In fact, it may be one of the finest examples of the punk attitude on record.

Queen – Night at the Opera

This classic album seems to be obvious due to the now iconic Wayne’s World jam session to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” However, this isn’t my only basis for this selection. Queen’s musical diversity and the otherworldly talent of Freddie Mercury make each Queen album a unique experience. This may be the band at the height of their power, which is saying a lot. Songs such as “I’m in Love with My Car” and “Sweet Lady” are other standout tracks in this epic by one of the hall time greats.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Let Love In

This album is one that I wish I could go back and hear for the first time. Cave’s brooding lyrics, his unique singing style, and his musical experimentation make this album one that keeps the listener guessing. “Loverman,” “Red Right Hand,” and “Do you Love Me” all provide the audience with songs that can be listened to over and over again, each time finding a new way to enjoy.

These are just a few examples of Albums that will bring out the best in any road trip. I encourage you to listen to these albums and find your examples to take with you on your next long drive.