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Top Ten Albums You Need For Any Road Trip

Updated on October 27, 2011

Have you ever planned what was supposed to be THE road trip? You know the one I'm talking about. The one you have built up in your mind to be the most epic, over-the-top, and insane trip you and your "compadres" have ever (or will ever) gone on. The one that people will tell stories about due to the non-stop debauchery and chaos it will cause, and the destruction left in its wake. You will remember this trip for the rest of your days. That is of course if you survive the trip, because it's going to be SO awesome!

The trip commences and everyone in the car is ready to party right NOW. The conversation is fun, the mood is awesome and the excitement is at a fever pitch. Someone decides that they need to "crank up the tunes," so they go for the radio and find nothing but utter garbage. You get static, unfunny and overly talkative radio personalities, and commercials about funeral homes. A quick search of the car finds TWO CD's. One of which is a Michael Bolton CD that you swear your Mom left in there (Liar, it's yours). The other is Van Halen III, the one they did with Gary Cherone. Not David Lee Roth. Not Sammy Hagar.

Yep, you better call that funeral home you just heard about during that radio commercial because your road trip just DIED.

It is amazing how music can add so much life to something, and having the wrong music (or no music) has the ability to suck it all away.This scenario does not have to happen to you. If and when a proposed road trip should arise, make sure you take the responsibility to be packing a fine supply of music when you head on down the road. Listed below are the top ten must have albums (or CDs) you need to consider for your next road trip. They span a variety of music that hopefully has a taste of something that would please everyone in the car. I also do not apologize that many of these selections are "greatest hits" compilations and not technically "albums." It just makes sense if you have a collection of great music on one CD, you have to include it.

10. Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin IV

Call it whatever you want, Runes, Symbols, or even Sticks. This was THE Led Zeppelin album everybody wanted, and for anyone who loves to "get the led out," holds this album in high regard. Eight songs. Eight arguable hits, even though only two were released as singles. "Black Dog," "Rock and Roll," and the song that became to be only known as "Stairway" rule side one of this LP. Side two has the great "Misty Mountain Hop" and "Going to California" to keep you going. Vic Dimone in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" even speaks highly about this album, so I shouldn't have to continue. Granted he said "side one" was for "making out," but I digress. I don't think you are going go make out to "Rock and Roll." But if you do, well I'm not judging.

9. Bryan Adams: So Far So Good

This is another greatest hits album with an arsenal of songs you can't help but admit you like. "Cuts Like a Knife," "Summer of '69," and "Somebody" will keep the mood alive during the drive. Again, the slower ballad tunes are mixed in nicely and do not crash the party.

8. AC/DC: Back in Black

Argued by many to essentially be a greatest hits record of sorts, this album has 10 songs of awesomeness. Brian Johnson had the unthinkable position of replacing the departed Bon Scott at the lead vocals, and came through like no one could have imagined. Reportedly the world's second best selling album behind Michael Jackson's "Thriller," "Back in Black" crushed all criticisms on Johnson's addition to the band. "Hells Bells, "Shoot to Thrill," and the title track can be heard daily on classic and modern rock radio stations. If you are asking why I haven't mentioned "You Shook Me All Night Long" yet, I shouldn't have to. Everyone KNOWS that song and seemingly knows the words. That song is a road trip in itself.

7. Garth Brooks: The Hits

Every road trip is unfortunately going to have one person on board who is a country fan. So I am going to throw that person a bone here by including Garth. Many would argue Mr. Brooks is not "country," to which I would say most so-called "country" artists today aren't either. Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and Merle Haggard: THAT'S country. Anyway, Garth has some quality up-tempo numbers, including the "Ain't Goin' Down Til' the Sun Comes Up," "Calling Baton Rouge," and "American Honky-Tonk Bar Association." God forbid you have alcohol in the car, because then everyone will be singing "Friends in Low Places" and you will have to admit you kind of like Garth.

6. Motley Crue: Dr. Feelgood

I was torn on this one and a greatest hits album from the band, but this one has songs that need to be heard. "Sticky Sweet" and "She Goes Down" are the forgotten winners on this album. The known winners like "Dr. Feelgood," "Kickstart My Heart," and "Same '╦ťOl Situation" will have the heads banging and probably have off-key harmonies from the backseat. "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)" will bring everyone together over that girl in high school that ruined your life. You know who she is.

5. Aerosmith: Pump

This 1989 album completed Aerosmith's resurrection from the ashes of the drug and alcohol fueled band they had turned into during the late 70's and early 80's. "Love in an Elevator" and "F.I.N.E." will have the car rolling. Every song on this album is not only listenable, but infectious. "What it Takes" and "Janie's Got a Gun" add a nice compliment to the mix. The so-called "B-side" songs on here like "Don't Get Mad, Get Even" and "The Other Side" are great tunes that are still heard on the radio today.

4. KISS: The Very Best of KISS

You could probably insert one of the many KISS greatest hits compilations out there as most of them house the songs you need for the trip. I suggested this one due to its inclusion of Ace Frehley's version of "New York Groove" taken from his "solo KISS" record (Each member put out a solo record at the same time). It is a great song hands down. Throw in the standards: "Detroit Rock City," "Deuce," "Strutter," "Lick it Up," "Heaven's on Fire," and most obviously "Rock and Roll All Nite" -- and you have yourself a rocking, tongue showing good time.

3. Def Leppard: Vault-The Greatest Hits

This album is great for anything. However, parties and road trips are what this record was made for. "Pour Some Sugar on Me," and "Rock of Ages" should be staples on any road trip song list. Def Leppard was all over the radio and MTV for an entire generation growing up. Everyone knows these songs whether they like them or not. I would make a prediction now that if you have a car full of people, there will be "one guy" who will do his best Rick Allen-one armed drumming impression. It never fails.

2. Van Halen: The Best of Both Worlds

One of the greater debates in rock music has to be "which version of Van Halen was better: David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?" Well, you can continue the argument as this 2-CD collection has the greatest hits of the Dave and Sam eras all mixed together. The Dave fans will have "Janie's Cryin'" "Eruption," "Panama," and "Jump" to base their arguments around. Meanwhile, Sammy fans will have "Poundcake," "Best of Both Worlds," "Finish What Ya Started," and "When It's Love" to stand solidly on. In the end everyone wins because it all rocks, and the "Gary Cherone era" is neither represented, nor mentioned in the liner notes. Amen.

1. Bon Jovi: Crossroad

I personally do not know a man, woman, or child who can resist the classic sounds of Bon Jovi. While they have maintained their presence over the years and continued to put out great music, they will never top the music they featured on this greatest hits disc from 1994. "You Give Love a Bad Name," "Wanted Dead or Alive," and the speaker blasting "Living on a Prayer" will keep the good time going. The power ballads included on this disc even keep the party going as they are the "cheese" sing along tunes you hate to admit you like. Speaking of singing along, I defy anyone to try to listen to the song "Bad Medicine" and not find themselves singing the phrase "That's what you get for falling in love" in their head. Can't. Be. Done.

That's my list. Again, these can all be debated to the ends of the Earth. But that is the beauty of it. Music affects us and shapes our lives in so many ways it is incredible. Go out and find something that makes you want to take the road trip to end all road trips. Merry travels.


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    • Mookie5150 profile image

      Mookie5150 6 years ago from Midwest

      I love that compilation (Red and Blue). The Beatles are great anytime, any place.

    • Doc Sonic profile image

      Glen Nunes 6 years ago from Cape Cod, Massachusetts

      Nice list. I'd add one of the Beatles compilations, maybe the "Blue album" (1967-1970), or "1", especially now that they've been digitally remastered.

    • arunii profile image

      arunii 6 years ago from Delhi

      i am going for a road trip after a week so this is very useful for me !