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The 10 Best 1980s Driving Songs

The 1980’s was the golden era of weird outfits, cocaine, and awesome music videos.

Some of the most iconic songs ever were released in the 1980s. 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.

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?

NEXT: A COMPLETELY UNSCIENTIFIC LIST OF THE 5 BEST NASCAR DRIVERS OF ALL TIME

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