Best Rock Songs for the Open Road

Young couple driving convertible at sunset
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Nothing quite gets the blood pumping on a long road trip like a good rock and roll playlist, and no road trip is complete without a killer lineup of tunes to get the driver and passenger through particularly boring stretches of highway.

The following playlist of driving songs for the open road features a number of great tracks from the 1960s through 1990s, classic rock songs which have stood the test of time and still provide relevance to everyday life in America and abroad.

Songs A Through G

"All Right Now" by Free, "Bad Boy For Love" by Rose Tattoo "Evil Ways" by Santana are all great for sing-alongs and rocking through long portions of road of the open road that might otherwise be a bit boring, but there's perhaps no better sing-along car song than Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," which passengers often sing along to—especially the high parts!

For a country vibe that's still fun to sing along to (once you know the lyrics), "Frankenstein" by Edgar Winter Group or "Footstompin' Music" by Grand Funk Railroad are both sure to get the entire care involved in the sing-along while "Fire" by Jimi Hendrix and "Gimme Three Steps" by Lynyrd Skynyrd would get passengers on their feet—if only they could stand!

Rounding out the first portion of the playlist is a song that features what some consider the second greatest rock organ solo of all time, "Green Eyed Lady" by Sugarloaf. 

Songs H Through N

Speaking of organs, "Highway Star" and "Hush" by Deep Purple and "Hold Your Head Up" by Argent all feature some of the most rocking organ solos in music history, great for powering through a long-stretch of a boring highway while the Allman Brothers' "Jessica" provides a great rock instrumental for sleepy stretches of unbending roads.

If you're cruising toward Los Angeles, "L.A. Woman" by The Doors features a rocking chorus that's sure to get the pedal to the metal, much like "Misty Mountain Hop" by fellow rock-star Led Zeppelin might, or for more of a hip-hop vibe, you might want to listen to "LaGrange" by ZZ Top or for a country vibe listen to the "chuck-a-chuck-a-chuck" of "Locomotive Breath" by Jethro Tull.

The title track from Uriah Heep's album "Look at Yourself" is great for cruising at any speed, as are most songs from the rest of the album, and this song rounds out the list of driving songs from H through N. but if you're really looking to crank up the volume, check out the rest of this playlist in the following section.

Songs O Through Z

If you're looking to crank the volume, "Outa-Space" by Billy Preston is the best one in this portion of this playlist, which concludes the alphabetical listing of great rock and roll songs for powering through the longest portions of the open road.

"Radar Love" by Golden Earring features lyrics like "the last car to pass and here I go," which could inspire drivers to speed—though we advise against it—while " Resurrection Shuffle" by Ashton, Gardner & Dyke seem to encourage reckless behavior because it's just a means to another incarnation while "Rock & Roll, Hoochie Koo" by Rick Derringer also celebrates the raunchiness and danger of the genre.

For more mellow listening, "Woodstock" by Crosby, Stills, and Nash may be the best go-to hit for a little adventure on the open road, but I'm personally a fan of the style of the Doobie Brothers' "Steamer Lane Breakdown" instead.