Try out this epic playlist and see how it compares to the glory days of old. We created it with our friends at Graveyard Carz, the only MOPAR show on television. Like us, they enjoy driving with the top down and the music loud!
Muscle Cars are America’s gift to the automotive world.
Europe makes elegant, famously fast vehicles, and America found its own way to make a mark in typical fashion. Loud, fast, mildly aggressive, and oozing sex appeal – the late 1960s gave the first taste of muscle. These magnetic vehicles gave their driver a sense of swaggering independence like no other.
The 1960s were a time of emotional, social, and political turmoil. It was only natural this was reflected in pop culture. The 1950s encouraged the rise of Rock & Roll, and the lifestyle that accompanied this. Rock & Roll was an undeniably American art-form. A fusion of roots-country, old jazz, rhythm & blues, and a little taste of the new generation – Rock & Roll was loud. It was messy. It was fierce, rough and tumble, and it was not backing down. Sound familiar?
A fast car goes a long way… but half of the experience is the soundtrack backing up that cruise.
We’ve curated 20 songs that provide a contemporary take on the classic MOPAR driving sound. Not all of the lyrics are car-related, but we promise they sound so good you won’t mind the change of pace.
Muscle Car Romance… Small body, and massive power!
Both were trademarks of the Muscle Car intrigue. They were originally known as “Supercars,” but that title must have been too refined to apply to the automotive beasts the Chrysler Group introduced to the world from the mid-60s to mid-70s. Eventually, the term “Muscle Car” took over. They were sold at affordable prices, which meant they were easy to get. Even better, they were definitely intended for street use – especially the occasional drag race. They were a “product of the American car industry adhering to the hot rodder’s philosophy of taking a small car and putting a large-displacement engine in it.”
In 1930, the Galvin Corporation jumped ahead of the curve as one of the first to market radio receivers for cars. From that day on, the game was forever changed. The beauty and freedom of the open road was provided a soundtrack. The sound, the style – both were intertwined in Rock & Roll. For the American people, especially teenagers and young adults, Muscle Cars were a natural extension of the same. Audacious, small, and powerful, they embodied the gritty perseverance that people held on to in the face of the mass upheaval roaring its way through the country.
A modern muscle car playlist from J&S Transportation & Graveyard Carz
Whether you have a Muscle Car or not, we hope this playlist helps you get a modern taste of what it feels like to have a good old-fashioned cruise. Fast or slow, embrace your inner rebel.
- Lowrider (On The Boulevard) – Frost, War, ATL, Mellow Man Ace ~ Retro meets modern feel-good with a funky beat and some good old fashioned low-riding car references.
- The Healing – Gary Clark Jr. ~ Gary Clark Jr.brings a soulful take on classic rock n’ roll. Let his voice tame the beast within.
- No Good – Kaleo (Vinyl on HBO version) ~ Hailing from outside Reykjavik, Iceland, Kaleo fuses an Americana-roots sound with a good old-fashioned rock band – think the Rolling Stones meets Chris Stapleton.
- River – Bishop Briggs ~ Keep an eye out for this one. With the vocals of a true female powerhouse, Bishop Briggs is a Londoner bursting onto the big-time music scene.
- Miss You – The Rolling Stones ~ Hands down, one of the best Rolling Stones songs to drive and sing along to with the windows down.
- Way Down We Go – Kaleo ~ Settle in for a good one. With stirring vocals, pounding drums, and driving guitar riffs, Kaleo blows you out of the water while simultaneously making you very, very happy to be having the pleasure of driving while listening to this track. (Insider tip: check out the music video they filmed in a volcano – its AWESOME).
- Gypsy Woman – Jonathan Tyler, The Northern Lights ~ Classic rock meets wild sex appeal in this ode to a Gypsy Woman and that classic electric guitar sound.
- Virgin – Manchester Orchestra ~ Need to get back in touch with your inner rebel? Try this one on for size. This band may be small, but they are mighty.
- Should I Stay Or Should I Go – KT Tunstall ~ KT Tunstall covers The Clash and keeps your attention fixed on her with each sultry note of her guitar. All while making it very clear that she is equally fine, with or without you.
- Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene – Hozier ~ A storytelling master, let Hozier set the tone for the next couple miles.
- Arabella – Arctic Monkeys ~ UK-based Arctic Monkeys brings a “hybrid of swaggering indie rock and danceable neo-punk” out of the shadows for all to enjoy.
- Trouble – Hamish Anderson ~ Releasing his debut album in 2016, it becomes clear very quickly that this man has learned how to pay homage to the old blues legends, as well as keep up with the best rock & rollers of the bunch.
- Holding Me Down – Ryan McMullan ~ Ever heard of Ed Sheeran? Irish singer-songwriter Ryan McMullan is joining him on tour this year, and he has a rocking, soulful sound all his own. Be sure to check out the rest of his material.
- Arsonist’s Lullabye – Hozier ~ In case you haven’t noticed yet, Hozier tells some dark stories. But who doesn’t like to take a ride on the dark side every once in a while?
- Baby, Why’d You Love Me? – Jefferson Clay ~ Austin-based singer-songwriter shows even rock & roll can have a slightly refined edge sometimes. Much like a sophisticated muscle car.
- Bad To The Bone – George Thorogood & The Destroyers ~ Like a powerful V-8 hiding under the hood of a small sports car, what better way to be bad to the bone than driving that car like you stole it?
- Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked – Cage The Elephant ~ It can’t be a coincidence this band is from the same Bowling Green, Kentucky, that houses the Corvette Museum.
- R U Mine? – Arctic Monkeys ~ Seething angst makes the heavy guitar and drums on this track balance each other out perfectly. A classic tale of unrequited love, frontman Alex Turner asks his lover if she’s his – or maybe he’s talking about the car of his dreams.
- El Camino – Frankie Ballard ~ Slightly reminiscent of Lynyrd Skynyrd, let Frankie Ballard tell you about the simple things that make his life better.
- Howlin’ For You – The Black Keys ~
Thank you for joining us on this musical journey. The Black Keys take it away and drive it on home with this edgy rock & roll heartbreak anthem.
We’ll be adding 5 new songs each week leading up to the season finale of Graveyard Carz on June 13th! If you have a song you think we should add, use #moparmuscle to let us know, and enjoy!