The 1980s was the golden era of weird outfits, cocaine, and awesome music videos.
Some of the most iconic songs ever were released in the ’80s. There is nothing like a nice, upbeat song to make you want to put your foot down or to just enjoy a nice cruise.
Here are ten of the best 1980s driving songs.
10. Down Under by Men at Work
Do you come from a land down under? I don’t, though I like Volkswagen Kombi-es and Vegemite sandwiches.
Men at Work’s 1981 hit Down Under is a classic. It’s awkwardly hilarious music video and Aussie references make for an awesome song.
9. Rub You the Right Way by Johnny Gill
Rub You the Right Way by Johnny Gill is one of the greatest R&B songs of the 80s. Well, it was sort-of from the 1980s, as it was recorded in 1989, but was released in 1990.
We’ll just gloss over that fact for right now.
For his age Johnny Gill had a very mature voice, comparable to those of Ray Charles and Otis Redding. “Rub You the Right Way” was one of the last great 1980s songs, signifying the end of an era. You know you’ve played that one in the car and loved it.
8. Word Up by Cameo
“WAVE YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR LIKE YOU DON’T CARE, GLIDE BY THE PEOPLE AS THEY START TO LOOK AND STARE/DO YOUR DANCE, DO YOUR DANCE QUICK MAMMA, COME ON BABY TELL ME WHAT’S THE WORD!”
Need I say more?
7. Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
Arguably the greatest rock band ever, Another One Bites the Dust by Queen is an all-time great, paralleled only by We Will Rock You and beat by Bohemian Rhapsody.
This one, in our eyes, is the best song for driving of their library.
6. When Doves Cry by Prince
Prince is one of the greatest pop/R&B musicians of all time, whose death shook millions of devoted fans around the world. Out of all his songs, When Doves Cry is one of the greatest, along with Purple Rain.
Its catchy beat and lyrics make it an excellent song for a nice cruise with the top down and the stereo up.
Read More: How Many 1980s Supercars Do You Recognize?
5. Apache by the Sugarhill Gang
Apache by the Sugarhill Gang is an odd song, but quite a good one. Known best for their hit single Rapper’s Delight, Apache is a nice song to play during a nice highway cruise.
4. That’s All by Genesis
That’s All is one of Genesis’ greatest songs. No song blended pop and rock as well as Genesis did with this song, a recipe for a fantastic driving song.
3. Beat It by Michael Jackson
This was arguably Michael Jackson’s best song ever. If you don’t like that, you can just…beat it.
Awful pun. I’m sorry. But in all seriousness, Beat It is a superb song that really makes you want to put your foot down.
2. The Rain by Oran “Juice” Jones
Oran Jones is a little-remembered one-hit wonder from the 1980s. He is best known for his single “The Rain,” where he tells the story of a cheating, gold-digging girlfriend.
Like any true 80s music video, “The Rain” features cigarettes, fur coats, and hilarious monologues.
We’ll count it as one of the best for driving.
1. In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins
In the Air Tonight is one of the greatest songs ever made. It tells an interesting story, a story Phil Collins himself doesn’t even know, although he did right that shortly after a divorce, for context.
This song really is it’s own genre. There is no song that sounds quite like this one, that is as beautifully written and executed as In the Air Tonight.
Plus, no better song provides steering wheel drumming opportunities than this one.
Oh, and the car karaoke potential is high with it, too.
Those are our picks, do you have better ones?