Last year the UK Automobile Association asked drivers their favourite classic albums to listen to on the move. The results were, as Professor Denzil Dexter might say – disappointing.
The Top Ten
- Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
- The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
- Ed Sheeran – Divide
- Paul Simon – Graceland
- Adele – 21
- David Bowie – The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
- The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
- Bruce Springsteen – Born to run
- Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
- U2 – The Joshua Tree
The AA said one reason why the 1977 album Rumours tops the driving charts may be because one track is synonymous with motor sport. And that is The Chain.
The guitar solo from that track became the theme tune to BBC 1 Formula One coverage in 1978 and was retained by Channel 4 in 2016.
Or perhaps it refects an amazing lack of musical imagination on the part of UK car drivers.
What’s extraordinary about Rumours is that its popular right across the age groups from 18-34 up to 55-65 year olds.
18-34 year olds
- Ed Sheeran – Divide (19%)
- Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (9%)
- Greatest Showman soundtrack (9%)
35-54 year olds
- Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (12%)
- Ed Sheeran – Divide (8%)
- U2 – Joshua tree (7%)
55-65+ year olds
- Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (15%)
- The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (10%)
- Paul Simon – Graceland (8%)
Other adventurous choices included Oasis, Abba, Bon Jovi, Queen, Status Quo and George Evra.
“The car can be the perfect environment for listening to these classic albums. You can select an album to reflect your journey, mood or indeed type of car you are driving,” said Edmund King, AA president.
“Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in California in a convertible Mustang accompanied by The Eagles ‘Hotel California’ album is perhaps my perfect combination.”
No clichés for our Ed then, and one must wonder how many times he does this. I once drove down the Pacific Coast Highway. It was in a dreadful Avis barge that almost understeered into the sea at the first bend. I had only driven European cars before.
I do remember listening to a radio station that was playing non-stop Beatles, and that seemed to go well with the ocean and sunshine. The next day it was non-stop Rolling Stones, which didn’t.
As for what I listen to when driving, I can say that only Ziggy Stardust makes the cut from the AA’s faves. My most recent drive featured an UNKLE compilation and Bowie’s Diamond Dogs – both chosen to suit my miserable and bleak mood on the day. Most often it will be Discover Weekly on Spotify or my own playlists.
Surely though this AA list can’t be representative of Britain’s drivers? I refuse to believe that we are a nation of car lovers who always opt for Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours on the stereo. Or worse – Ed Sheeran.