3 of the best songs
About Cars You'll Love If You Grew Up In The '80s
and get you in the mood [for driving]
by Bill Flitter
I’m confident you can create a list of the best songs about cars – likely that brings you back to a specific memory. Driving while rocking out has been a staple of American life for well over 60 years, and in that time, musicians have written countless classics describing their love of cars.
Some bands even named themselves after the automobile, anyone remember The Cars (whose gonna drive you home tonight)? Cars and music have a long history and many classics have been recorded through the years.
Here, in no particular order, is my list of the best songs about cars from the 80s.
The Best Songs About Cars From The 80s – That I Enjoy
Prince—Little Red Corvette
Any article about 80s music and cars would be remiss not to mention the Man in Purple, the singer-songwriter who put Minneapolis on the map, the legend who immortalized the Corvette… Prince wrote Little Red Corvette in 1982 and it’s still one of the most well recognized songs around the world. Who wouldn’t want to buy a Corvette after listening to this song?
Little red Corvette
Baby you’re much too fast
Little red Corvette
You need to find a love that’s gonna last
Many have tried to imitate Prince, but he was the only one who could capture the spirit of a racy car along with an equally provocative woman. If you ever catch a glimpse of a woman wearing a raspberry beret while driving a red corvette, you’ll know where the inspiration came from…
ZZ Top—Eliminator album
ZZ Top released their Eliminator album in 1983. The video for Legs, Sharp Dressed Man, Gimme All Your Lovin’, and others still resonate with guys. Not only do the videos contain beautiful women and rocking music, but they show the iconic bright red hot rod complete with the ZZ Top logo running the length of the car.
Billy Gibbons, the band’s singer and songwriter, had the car custom made by Don Thelan’s Buffalo Motor Cars. He chopped up a 1933 Ford that went down in history as the Eliminator coupe. It’s probably the most famous hot rod in American rock history.
Bruce Springsteen—Pink Cadillac
The year was 1984 and Bruce Springsteen released Dancing in the Dark, a single that sold over one million copies. The b-side single (back in the day when singles were still released as records) to the hit song Dancing in the Dark was Pink Cadillac. Springsteen had actually written the song in 1981 under a different title for the Nebraska album. However, it didn’t make the final cut. Pink Cadillac wasn’t recorded until 1983 for the Born in the U.S.A. album, but it was eventually bumped in favor of another song. Finally, in 1984, Pink Cadillac was released and played on the Billboard Top Tracks chart for 14 weeks. It sounds like Bruce knew what he was doing by delaying the song for the right time.
I love you for your pink Cadillac
Crushed velvet seats
Riding in the back
Oozing down the street
Waving to the girls
Feeling out of sight
Pink Cadillac is filled with innuendo of the obvious kind. It was the king of rock himself, Elvis Presley, who inspired Springsteen to use a pink Cadillac as a metaphor. Presley had owned a 1955 (pink) Cadillac Fleetwood, which is now resting comfortably in the Graceland museum.
Over to You
What’s your list of best songs about cars from the 80s? What popular album covers feature cars? You probably don’t have to think hard to come up with several. Share your thoughts in the comments below.