When you hear John Mellencamp’s “Hurts So Good” twice on the car radio — in a span of 15 minutes — you know it’s summer. And if you’re like me, someone who’s spent the last 10 years on public transportation, here’s what you’re thinking: Damn, that sounds so good in here that I might actually be brave enough to take that road trip I’ve been talking about (for years now) if I had a playlist of songs just like it. So, PopWatchers, since these Village Voice suggestions didn’t do it for me, I turn to you. What tracks will get me on the road? Here are a few already wooing me:
• Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road”: The perfect song to coax me out onto a four-lane highway. (Worked for Bruce, seen here in 1975, at about the time he recorded this song.) I would have taken this trip a long time ago, Boss, if two lanes really could take us anywhere.
• Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “American Girl”: I’ll just try to block out that line about “if she had to die….”
• Shooter Jennings’ “4th of July”: Followed by George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” naturally.
• Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere”: It will have to be the live Dance version, so it has the heavy drum after “Oh I…(BUMP BUMP) I…(BUMP BUMP).”
• Rod Stewart’s “Some Guys Have All the Luck”: So I can be sad that I’m alone on the trip, but not too sad.
• Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero”:Perhaps it’s best that I’m traveling solo. No one needs to hear me dothose background vocals. It’ll also be good for when I’m falling asleepat the wheel. Has there ever been a bigger explosion of sound?
• Steve Earle’s “Guitar Town”: Maybe I’ll find a good rockin’ daddy down from Tennessee.
• Hanson’s “MMMBop”: If you can’t listen to this song in the summer, people, when can you listen to it? (New album out July 24!)
• Melanie C’s “I Turn to You”:I can’t believe I like a song with the line “I turn to you/Like aflower leaning toward the sun” in it. Also, is this the only songthat’s ever used the word anxiety?
• Aerosmith’s “Cryin’ ”: I’d take Kelly Clarkson’s version, too.
• George Strait’s “Carrying Your Love With Me”:I know he sings about going from West Virginia to Tennessee, but Idon’t think life would get any better than listening to this fromMontana to Wyoming.