It’s #NationalAlbumDay, a day to celebrate the seemingly lost art of the long play record.
From Sgt Pepper’s to Katie Melua’s Ultimate Collection, albums have made or broken our journeys. There’s an album for every occassion – heartbreak, parties, hospital visits, celebrating sport success or just that daily trip to school. A row of songs played together can take you back to a street, an event, your teenage bedroom – it actually gets to a point where you’ll hear one song and expect a certain song to follow it.
As a celebration of #NationalAlbumDay, we’ve decided to discuss our favourite driving albums. It wasn’t an easy choice, but it’d make a hell of a trip!
Hit after hit after hit, Adele’s second smash album is an immediate earworm. Littered with heartbreak, huge vocals and melachonical melodies, 21 is an album that allows you to hit to the big notes whilst the windows are all rolled up (or rolled down if you want everyone to hear you!) Plus, you can’t argue with the statistics – 31,000,000 sales worldwide.
Artist: The Charlatans
Album: Melting Pot
Remember driving round in your Peugeot 306, blasting Tim Burgess from the tape deck, polyester-clad arm dangling from the window? The good times. Melting Pot is the ‘Best Of’ that any self respecting ‘indie hipster’ wants to play. Containing the possibly the best ending trio to a compilation album – Just When You’re Thinking Things Over, One to Another, North Country Boy. Get your Adidas Gazelle’s on and off you go, reminiscent of the Hacienda!
Artist: Lucy Parham, narrated by Alex Jennings
Album: Reverie, the life and loves of Claude Debussy
Work getting to you, sick to the back teeth of hoovering and cooking? Let’s go for a real change of pace. A close friend of In The Driving Seat, Lucy Parham puts her 1984 Young Musician of the Year winning-fingers to the ivories to explore the life of Claude Debussy. Trapped between musician and adventurer, Debussy drew his inspiration from as far flung places as Japan. Draw your own inspiration from the road, whisk yourself away and get lost in 19th Century Europe. Plus it’s all narrated by The Lady In The Van star Alex Jennings!
Artist: Fleetwood Mac
Possibly the most fractiously-made album of all time, littered with back-stabbing, drug taking and excess, Rumours could quite easily be the greatest album of all time (sorry Sgt. Pepper!) Containing hit after guitar-laden hit, you’ll forget how many Fleetwood Mac songs you actually know ALL of the words too. Dreams, Don’t Stop, Go Your Own Way. Upbeat songs with unforgettable melodies, solos begging to be air-guitared – the album smashes into life with Second Hand News and finishes with Stevie Nicks sumptuous vocals on Gold Dust Woman. Plus you can pretend to be Lewis Hamilton when that thudding bassline to The Chain starts.
Album: The Immaculate Collection
You may start to think that we’re obsessed with the nineties. We are, but this album is much more than that. Sixteen top-ten singles and four number ones, this album spans from 1983 to 1991, powering through the best Madonna singles. Man or woman, you’ll begin singing at Holiday and won’t stop until you’ve finished the last note in Rescue Me. The Immaculate Collection is an album the stands up to the test of time with songs that don’t sound out of place in any vehicle. Madonna’s instantly recognisable vocals power through the 80’s synth laden, poptastic beats.
Artist: The Stone Roses
Album: The Stone Roses
Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani, Reni. Possibly the greatest four piece since a set of Bridgestone’s on an Audi Quattro. Powerful driving tunes (in both senses of the word) with songs that reveal a different layer every time you listen. From the slow-burning I Wanna Be Adored to the seven-minute, tub-thumping I Am The Resurrection, each song pushes through to its following track- taking you away from the monotony of sitting in traffic. Reminiscent of a summer in Salford in 1990.
Artist: The Killers
Album: Hot Fuss
The Killers burst onto the scene with Hot Fuss in 2004 and instantly smashed in at number one. The strength of the album is clear to see with the first-five songs on the record some of the popular rock ‘n’ roll rits of the this century. When your second song on the album is Mr Brightside, you can’t really go wrong. Just don’t take your hands off the wheel to proclaim that you’ve ‘got soul but [you’re] not a soldier.’ We know how difficult it is to resist the urge to clap!
Artist: The Rolling Stones
Album: Forty Licks
Not just a compilation album, a double compilation album! Although that makes changing the CD a little difficult (think about us motorists Mick and Keith!), this album contains every single Rolling Stones single worth listening to, every Keith guitar-lick, every Charlie Watts jazz-esque drum beat, every Mick Jagger vocal. A real steering wheel tapper! Chart the Rolling Stones timeless career from 1962 to 2002 and get out your car with a cockerel, showing your ‘moves like Jagger!’
Artist: The Smiths
Album: The World Won’t Listen
A real chameleon of a record. Rain and fog, you’ll focus on Morrissey’s lyrics, lamenting his downtrodden lifestyle and the misdemeanors of eighties Britain. Sun and blue skies, the view changes to Marr’s disco style, jangly guitar. Perfect for any time of year, The World Won’t Listen has everything a ‘Best Of’ should have – the most well-known A side’s, some obscure B-sides and some unheard demos. Don’t Panic, whether you’re on the streets of London, Birmingham or Hulme, Manchester this album is ideal for exploring your internal turmoil or just for cheery nostalgia.
Album: Martin Freeman and Eddie Piller Present Jazz On The Corner
The newest album in our list contains some of the oldest songs. Not one to fit to the norm, Martin ‘Bilbo Baggins, Dr Watson, Tim-from-The-Office’ Freeman and head of Acid Jazz, Eddie Piller choose their favourite jazz track, always favoring substance and style over the atypical. Laden with experimental seven minute saxaphone solos, classy coffee-shop vocals and a dash of soul, these songs drag you from left to right. This album is much more than just music, it’s a sonic experience!
So what’s your go-to record for #NationalAlbumDay? Favour the brashness of heavy-metal over the colourful fun of The Greatest Showman? Tell us what you listen to when you hit the road.
Plus, don’t forget to get involved with our #TravelTunesTuesday, celebrating those songs that you love to sing or have surprised you when they’ve come on the radio. We also love a musical pun!