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October 22, 2017


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GARY PIG'S ALL-TIME TOP TEN CAR TUNES
By: Gary Pig Gold

Summer having arrived yet again, it's now as good a time as any to compile:

GARY PIG'S ALL-TIME TOP TEN CAR TUNES

1. "I GET AROUND" by THE BEACH BOYS (1964)
Instrumentally (the arrangement and production effectively trounced all comers that summer... even you-know-who!), lyrically (though one can safely interpret "I'm gettin' bugged drivin' up and down the same old strip, I gotta find a new place where the kids are hip" as B.Wilson's hint at the non-sun, non-hit, B.Boy phase to come), and atmospherically THE hands-down, Number One car tune Of All Time. And, backed as it was on its original seven-incher with "Don't Worry Baby", just maybe the greatest single single of all time!

2. "CRUISIN' MUSIC" by (THE) RASPBERRIES (1974)
The not-lately great Eric Carmen's definitive Brian Wilson tribute; the logical descendant of "I Get Around" (by way of "Do It Again"), and quite possibly the finest car/radio tune of its decade (ie: it always sounds best when the top's down). Should've been revived by the Lemonbabies on the Pulp Friction soundtrack.

3. "I WANT TO BE YOUR DRIVER" by CHUCK BERRY (1965)
The Great Chuck could arguably be said to have invented not only the duck-walk and the ding-a-ling, but the Car Tune too (eg: "Maybellene", "You Can't Catch Me", et all!)... yet this little-heard wonder was cruelly denied hit status - even after Lennon & McCartney re-wrote it as "Drive My Car".

4. "CYCLE ANNIE" by THE BEACHNUTS (1965)
Another rockin' lil' undiscovered gem that deserves to go Top Ten even more now than it did over thirty years ago. Odd to ponder the author of this masterpiece, against which all other sickle-songs pale greatly, later went on to foist such inanities as "Heroin", "I Wanna Be Black" and "My Red Joy Stick" onto the airwaves.

5. "SCHLOCK ROD, Parts One and Two" by JAN & DEAN (1964)
The last - and funniest - word in 1960's hot rod songs: As always, give the self- styled "Laurel and Hardy of the surf crowd" a fad and they'll wickedly yet oh-so- skillfully deflate it quicker than you can say "Flo & Eddie".

6. "DODGE VEG-O-MATIC" by JONATHAN RICHMAN (1977)
"Schlock Rod, Part Three".
(Honorable Mention: Jonathan's immor(t)al and much-covered "Roadrunner")

7. "BILLY AND SUE" by B. J. THOMAS (1966)
The automobile looms large in the annals of Death Rock ("Teen Angel", "Dead Man's Curve"...), but this morbidly moody number contains all the necessary ingredients (a railroad crossing, a stalled car, an on-coming train, and your fianc?e) - and then some! (ie: cheesy "Runaway" organ, sounding appropriately ominous herein). Sounds Good Even On CD, such is the magnitude of this timeless tone poem.

8. "HITCHIN' A RIDE" by VANITY FAIR (1970)
Lack of one's own wheels at the turn of that decade did little to dissuade the restless masses from spending their summers alongside the nation's thoroughfares, thumbs erect. As a result, a spate of hitch-hikin' ditties suddenly materialized, of which this remains my personal fave. Sure fit perfectly amongst "Yellow River", "Going Up The Country" and, yes, "Sweet Hitch-Hiker" back in Grade Ten, I'll tell ya fer shure.

9. "HIGHWAY STAR" by DEEP PURPLE (1971)
I know, I know: it's hard to believe these bozos made a decent record after... after... well, at all, but this here "molten slab of heavy-duty ROCK", as AOR DJ's still refer to it, picks up nicely where "Born To Be Wild" left off, helping motorvate Car Tunes confidently into the dreaded Seventies.

10. "THERE'S NO ROOM TO RHUMBA IN A SPORTS CAR" by ELVIS PRESLEY
As always, the last word on the subject goes to The King.

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