Editors’ Notes Cars and rock music are twins of a particular American ideal—the search for personal freedom rendered in speed, sound, and muscle. In that spirit, here’s a playlist of the most spirited, freewheeling rock classics of all time, with a few more crucial contemporary tracks mixed in—songs that aren’t just perfect for the open road, but that evoke the feeling of the open road itself: Fast, carefree, a little dangerous, and crackling with possibility.

SONG
ALBUM
Start Me Up
3:33
 
Born to Run
4:29
 
Thunderstruck
4:52
 
The Boys Are Back In Town
4:26
 
Life In the Fast Lane
4:46
 
Sweet Emotion
4:34
 
Go Your Own Way
3:43
 
Little Red Corvette
4:56
 
Jack & Diane
4:14
 
Rock and Roll
3:40
 
Slow Ride
8:14
 
Sweet Child O' Mine
5:56
 
Hello, I Love You
2:16
 
Crazy Train
4:56
 
Sharp Dressed Man
4:18
 
Living After Midnight
3:30
 
Livin' On a Prayer
4:09
 
Rockin' Down the Highway
3:23
 
Get Back
3:07
 
Truckin'
5:06
 
Midnight Rider
3:00
 
Caravan
5:00
 
Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long Long Time)
4:41
 
Bohemian Rhapsody
5:54
 
Rebel Rebel
4:30
 
Highway to Hell
3:28
 
Strutter
3:12
 
Panama
3:30
 
Radar Love
6:26
 
Surrender
4:15
 
Take It Easy
3:31
 
Runnin' Down a Dream
4:51
 
Take the Money and Run (Remastered 2017)
2:47
 
Gimme Three Steps
4:31
 
Should I Stay or Should I Go
3:08
 
Tom Sawyer
4:36
 
Rock You Like a Hurricane
4:12
 
Born to Be Wild
3:30
 
Eye of the Tiger
4:03
 
L.A. Woman
7:49
 
We're an American Band
3:27
 
Two Tickets to Paradise
3:57
 
Just What I Needed
3:43
 
Walk This Way
3:41
 
4:06
 
The Passenger
4:42
 
Stay With Me
4:39
 
Interstate Love Song
3:13
 
Thunder Road
4:49
 
Sugar Magnolia (Live In Paris)
7:10
 
Under My Wheels
2:51
 
Highway Star
6:06
 
You Really Got Me
2:36
 
La Grange
3:52
 
4:21
 
White Line Fever
2:37
 
Bang a Gong (Get It On)
4:27
 
Paradise City
6:45
 
All the Way from Memphis
5:02
 
8:41
 
Running On Empty
4:58
 
All Summer Long
4:56
 
Mississippi Queen
2:31
 
American Woman (Remastered)
5:07
 
Hold the Line
3:55
 
I Can't Drive 55
VOA
4:14
 
Barracuda
4:21
 
Turn Me Loose
5:37
 
Sleeping Bag
4:05
 
Rock Steady
3:14
 
Highway Tune
3:00
 
Me and Bobby McGee
4:31
 
One Way or Another
3:37
 
Roll on Down the Highway
3:57
 
Hot Blooded
4:28
 
Hocus Pocus (US single version)
3:24
 
The Stroke
3:37
 
Back In the Saddle
4:40
 
Space Truckin'
4:32
 
Hold On Loosely
4:40
 
Bad Motor Scooter
3:41
 
3:41
 
Black Betty
4:00
 
Hair of the Dog
4:09
 
Flirtin' With Disaster
4:59
 
Easy Livin'
3:05
 
Drivin' Wheel
5:13
 
Locomotive Breath
4:26
 
Holiday Road
2:11
 
3:07
 
Sympathy for the Devil
6:17
 
Mountain Jam (Theme from “First There is a Mountain”) [Live At The Fillmore East, March 12 & 13, 1971]
33:38
 
Into the Great Wide Open
3:42
 
Baba O'Riley
4:59
 
Fearless
6:07
 
Turn the Page (Live In Detroit/1975)
5:01
 

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