Thursday, 21 February 2013

What is the best petrolhead album ever recorded?

IN REALITY it was a cold, drizzly night somewhere in Southport but in my head it was a sunny afternoon in southern California.

That's what music does for your motoring - ever since someone Hillman fitted a radio, quaintly titled the Melody Minx, to one of their cars back in the Thirties stereos have been lifting the moods of drivers ever since. So what, pop pickers, is the single best bit of petrolhead music ever recorded?

Music, of course, is even more divisive than cars themselves are, so from the starting grid this is going to be an entirely subjective thing - I, for example, struggle to understand the appeal of N-Dubz, but I appreciate a lot of other people do. It's also true that, in the same way white wine goes with fish, some music and some cars just belong together, for all sorts of boring cultural reasons that belong in supplements in The Sunday Telegraph. What I'm after is music of the particularly petrolhead variety - tunes which just go with chewing up a winding bit of road in a great car.

In a post last week I pointed out I'm a Fleetwood Mac fan, and I think there's an argument to say a certain Anglo-American rock band's biggest seller is the best bit of petrolhead pop ever recorded. For starters it's got The Chain on it - the de facto Formula One theme music since the dawn of time - but it's also packed with catchy melodies and lyrics which ostensibly cover the traumas of dumping someone but in fact seem like mantras for thrill-seeking motorists. Don't stop, you can go your own way!
Even Rumours, I reckon, isn't the most petrolhead album ever recorded, because that honour goes to some chaps in Texas with big beards. You don't even have to listen to ZZ Top's Eliminator to know it was created by chaps who've got Castrol R coursing through their veins, because its cover star is ‘34 Ford given the full hot rod treatment. Then you stick into your CD player and you're treated to what must be one of the most full-throttle rock riffs of all time; the opening notes of Gimme All Your Lovin'. Then you're treating to another tyre-smoking tune, and then another, and then another. Subtle it ain't but I can't think of any album which goes better with the rewards you get from doing a challenging bit of driving and doing it just right.

Disagreements from N-Dubz fans to the usual address, please.

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