I have done a lot of road trips over the years. A. Lot. Most of them involve driving to or from America’s Heartland in some shape, form or other. The company you keep and the music you play make the trip. Music is particularly important on those lonelier treks where small talk and tall tales typically shared with cohorts can’t exactly be the order of the day.
I love road trips. Like with a capital L. They make me happy. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely moments when I’m ready to get out of the car and simply be done with the whole ordeal. Highways and byways can easily become monotonous solitary trails seemingly leading to nothing more than a great big abyss, but I like the time these trips give me to slow things down, take a step back and just think about things.
Driving from Atlanta to Northern Indiana recently, I was doing just that- thinking. Certain songs are more conducive to internal contemplation and deliberation. There are definitely times when you want to roll down the window, let the wind hit your hair, and put the pedal to the metal while blasting tunes that just totally pump you up. Road trips are not those times for me. Partly because rolling my window down while going 79mph on an interstate doesn’t do my hair any favors (you’ve seen my hair on a good day, right? forget after hazardously wind-swept conditions), but also because they are the times allocated to quiet consideration and meditation. It’s the time for me to put things back in perspective because inevitably something somewhere in my life is horribly out of whack. I realized on this last 1,340 odd mile journey, that Classic Rock is it for me. It relaxes my mind. Again, it puts things in perspective. It speaks truths and allows me to reflect on what really matters.
This particular list is so expansive, I’ll likely be adding more to it along the way. In the meantime, the following songs are being officially added to The Music Challenge because every single one of them has been invaluable to expanding my mind in some small way during one of my many road trips through the years (in no particular order):
50. The Band, The Weight (1968)
51. Kansas, Carry On Wayward Son (1976)
52. Styx, Renegade (1978)
53. Bob Dylan, Like A Rolling Stone (1965)
54. Journey, Don’t Stop Believin (1981)
55. Steppenwolf, Magic Carpet Ride (1968)
56. Pink Floyd, Comfortably Numb (1979)
57. Ozzy Osbourne, Crazy Train (1980)
58. Eagles, Hotel California (1973)
59. David Bowie, Space Oddity (1969)
60. The Doors, People Are Strange (1967)
61. Elton John, Rocket Man (1972)
62. Blue Oyster Cult, Don’t Fear The Reaper (1976)
63. Buffalo Springfield, For What It’s Worth (1967)
64. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Freebird (1973)