Cars and car culture have inspired music ever since the 1960s. Lots of bands have taken their names from this phenomenon, like The Cars, Drive like Jehu, At the Drive-In, and more. But that’s not where the trend ends. There are also plenty of songs with drive in the title out there.
While you might think that all “drive” songs would be fast and furious, this isn’t the case. Sure, there are speedy songs that remind you of drag racing. But what about slow Sunday drives and cruising down the boulevard?
There are songs for this kind of driving, too. And, of course, reckless driving on top of that. So buckle up because we’re going to rock out to driving songs, starting with the all-time classic…
- Top 12 Songs With Drive in the Title
- Drive – The Cars
- Drive – R.E.M.
- Drive – Incubus
- Drive My Car – The Beatles
- Baby Driver – Simon and Garfunkel
- Devil Gate Drive – Suzi Quatro
- She Drives Me Crazy – Fine Young Cannibals
- Drive Me Crazy – Ratt
- I Can’t Drive 55 – Sammy Hagar
- Ocean Drive – The Lighthouse Family
- Shut Up And Drive – Rihanna
- Drive Slow – Kanye West (feat. T.I., Paul Wall, & GLC)
- Want More Word-Specific Songs?
- Songs with Drive in the Title – Final Thoughts
Top 12 Songs With Drive in the Title
Drive – The Cars
Since we’re looking at songs with the word “drive” in the title, we’d better start with songs called “Drive.” And, of course, the first has to be by the most motoring band around – the Cars.
This track came out in 1984 on the rock band’s 5th album, Heartbeat City, and was basically the band’s biggest single.
Because it’s so sultry and sexy, silly! This song is a slow cruiser sung by the band’s bassist, Benjamin Orr. The beat is just so 80s, with a huge crunchy snare. The keyboards and bass give a great background, and the synths set a mellow, melt-into-your-set tone. The vocals are pure, plain, and simple, and I think that’s the song’s great appeal.
The theme of having someone you can always depend on is something everyone can relate to, and this is a song anyone can sing. And, of course, it has that great chorus, “You can’t go on, thinking nothing’s wrong, but now – Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?”
Drive – R.E.M.
Almost a decade later, it seems it was time for another popular song called “Drive.” This time, it was from the Art-Rock band R.E.M., who released the track on their eighth album, 1992’s Automatic for the People. This album was also their most successful in years, and “Drive” was one of the reasons why.
This is a deep, dark song…
It has a slow groove, with no beat during the verses and only picking up in the chorus. It’s slow and moody at first. But, when the guitar starts blaring through and the strings start to build up, it becomes, at least for a second, almost an anthem.
The vocals have a heavy echo on them which is weird and disorienting. And Michael Stipe sings mournfully, getting down into his low register. As with all of his songs, the lyrics are artsy and not easy to interpret.
But, they’re interesting, like the chorus, “Maybe you did, maybe you walk – Maybe you rock around the clock – Tick-tock, tick-tock – Maybe I ride, maybe you walk – Maybe I drive to get off, baby.”
Drive – Incubus
Indeed, it seems you can have a hit song called “Drive” on the charts only once every decade or so. That gave Incubus a chance with their identically named track in 1999.
This song came from the alternative rock band’s third album, Make Yourself. It was their biggest track and was their breakthrough single, bringing them lots of exposure into the early 2000s.
This song sounds very much like earlier grunge hits…
…especially Alice In Chains. This is probably what made it so accessible. The sound is nearly acoustic, with strumming guitars and a slow drum groove. But it’s set apart with some funky, low-scratching, and tight harmonies sung by Brandon Boyd and Michael Einziger.
The song is about being driven by fear and imagining a life that was free from this. So, the lyrics are freeing and uplifting, like the chorus, “Whatever tomorrow brings I’ll be there – With open arms and open eyes yeah.”
Drive My Car – The Beatles
Now that we’ve got the “Drive” songs out of the way, there are still lots of songs with drive in the title. And one of the most famous songs with the word drive in the title comes from one of the most famous groups ever – The Beatles.
This track was written by Paul McCartney with John Lennon’s help on the lyrics. It was put out on their 1956 album Rubber Soul. Although, it was dropped from the American version of this record and came out on the Yesterday and Today compilation the next year.
This is a short little fun Rock and Roll song…
George Harrison lays down a great guitar riff over a solid cowbell-led beat by Ringo Starr. Lennon sings a great harmony to McCartney’s lead, and McCartney laid down both the bass track and the piano.
The lyrics are about a female star trying to recruit a driver. At least on paper. According to McCartney, the whole song is a euphemism for sex. “Beep, beep, beep beep, yeah!”
Baby Driver – Simon and Garfunkel
Another classic song from just a little later is “Baby Driver” by Simon and Garfunkel. This swinging track was on their famed fifth and final album together, 1970’s Bridge Over Troubled Water. And it’s in great company with some of the group’s most beloved songs ever.
“Baby Driver” was written by Paul Simon and features him on lead vocals and guitar with Art Garfunkel singing harmony as usual. This is a swinging Rock and Roll number, showing Simon’s early rock influences.
And, for a group that’s known for sensitive and sad songs, this track is surprisingly fun and upbeat. Toss in a sax solo, and you’ve got a belter of a hit.
What’s it about?
Not entirely sure. But the baby driver talks about his upbringing. And, the line “I wonder how your engines feel?” – a bit of innuendo once again.
Devil Gate Drive – Suzi Quatro
Suzi Quatro is an American rocker who has been doing it since the 70s. But, she has been more popular abroad than in her home county for whatever reason.
One of her biggest hits was the jivin’ “Devil Gate Drive” from her 1974 album Quatro. This song went to #1 in the UK and did well in many other countries as well.
This song is a 70s retro Rock tune…
And it has enough swing and doo-wopping to get people up on their feet dancing. It’s a bit of a slower track, but the thumping drums keep driving the track forward. The main melody is provided by both a jive-style piano and the guitar.
And she sings this track with just enough snarl in her voice to make it sound rough and Rock & Roll. Unlike most songs on this list of songs with drive in the title, the “drive” here isn’t an action but a place.
And it’s a notorious one, according to Suzi. “When I was sweet sixteen – I was the jukebox queen – Down in Devil Gate Drive.”
She Drives Me Crazy – Fine Young Cannibals
The Fine Young Cannibals, or FYC, are up next with what I think is their best song ever. Unfortunately, this Pop-Ska-Rock group only put out two albums, but “She Drives Me Crazy” was on their second, The Raw & the Cooked.
This song was also their biggest hit and made it to #1 on the dance charts. You can definitely hear the year here – the song was released as a single in 1988 – with heavily processed beats and guitar.
This track is one of FYC’s poppiest, most radio-friendly tracks…
It has a heavy, solid beat with an unbelievable snare pop. The guitars alternate between jazz chords and grinding growls, giving the song a whole lot of texture. And, of course, singer Roland Gift’s vocals are incredible, as usual. His unique falsetto in the verse and powerful tone in the chorus is perfect.
The chorus is simple – “She drives me crazy – Like no one else – She drives me crazy – And I can’t help myself.” I think we’ve all been there.
Drive Me Crazy – Ratt
Rather than complaining, glam band, Ratt is asking for it in this track. “Drive Me Crazy” is a track the band put out on their third album, Dancing Undercover, which they dropped in 1986. This was a heavier album for the band, and this song is no exception.
“Drive Me Crazy” features a fast, rocking beat, chugging guitars and bass, and intentionally screechy vocals. It’s a pretty solid rocker, especially the post-chorus with its slamming beat.
This song is another loosely veiled song about sex – “To move me – Turn the key – And you move me to the right – Well drive me crazy tonight.” But it uses enough driving analogies that it can actually be a real driving song as well.
I Can’t Drive 55 – Sammy Hagar
I’ve got one more rocker for you, this time a really well-known one. This is “I Can’t Drive 55” from the Red Rocker, Sammy Hagar. He continued to sing this song as the second vocalist for Van Halen into the 90s.
But, the original version was a solo recording from his eighth album, VOA, released in 1984. Legend has it that Hagar wrote this hit song while being written up for a ticket for breaking the 55 mph speed limit in New York State.
The song is a hard rock staple…
It has all the right elements – a slippery bass line, double-time rock beat, snarling guitar riffs, a chant-able chorus, and, of course, a screaming guitar solo in the middle. As a driving song, it’s perfect and makes you want to shout out in agreement, “I can’t drive 55!”
(Note: For our metric friends, 55 miles per hour is the same as 89 km/h. Too slow, right?!)
Ocean Drive – The Lighthouse Family
If you need a break from Rock or just life in general, this next track is for you. “Ocean Drive” is a hit song from the British easy-listening duo The Lighthouse Family that comes from their debut album, also called Ocean Drive.
It came out in 1995 and, well, just sounds like it. It has that popular beat (see “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia), which was an adult contemporary staple of the time. The sweeping strings and perfectly produced vocals made this an ideal 90s radio hit. But at least it stands out for its cool trumpet solo.
The song is sweet and light, and comforting…
It’s about an ambiguous tough situation that’s getting someone down. But the lyrics are there to pick you up. They tell you, “When that day arrives we’ll live on Ocean Drive – Don’t know why you’re so blue – The sun’s gonna shine on everything you do.”
So, “Ocean Drive” is another place of happiness and serenity, not piloting an automobile.
Shut Up And Drive – Rihanna
If you want a more modern song about driving, Rihanna’s got a track for you. Her “Shut Up And Drive” was a part of her 2007 album Good Girl Gone Bad. And, to be honest, this song is a bit of a surprise for her.
It’s actually a mix of Pop, Rock, and New Wave that comes together with a really fluffy, silly feel. Kind of out of place for this star. The beat is danceable but very poppy, as are the synth sounds throughout the song.
The lyrics are full of hardly veiled innuendo. Lines like “Can you handle the curves, can you run all the lights – If you can, baby boy, then we can go all night” leave little to the imagination.
Drive Slow – Kanye West (feat. T.I., Paul Wall, & GLC)
Most of our drive songs have been in the Rock realm, so here’s a Hip-Hop track to balance things out a bit. It’s from none other than Kanye West, featuring T.I., Paul Wall, and GLC as well. This comes from Kanye’s 2005 album Late Registration.
This is a really chilled-out, laid-back track with a jazzy feel to it. The beat is chill, and a great muted trumpet loop sets a fantastic mood here.
The song is about players and the game, with Kanye warning people to take it safe and slow, so they don’t get played. “You need to pump your brakes and drive slow homie!”
Want More Word-Specific Songs?
Well, check out our on thoughts on the best Songs With the Word “Heart” in the Title, Songs With Train in the Title, Songs with the Word Star in the Title, Songs With Blue in the Title, and Songs With “Sunday” in the Title for more incredible song selections.
And you will need to hear those tunes. So, take a look at our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music, the Best Headphones for Hip-Hop, the Best Headphones Under $200, plus the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones that you can buy in 2023.
Songs with Drive in the Title – Final Thoughts
If you were looking for songs with “Drive” in their names, you’ve got a solid dozen here. Admittedly, most of them are Rock songs, but this makes sense since cars and Rock have been going together for decades. But we also have Hip-Hop, Pop, Easy Listening, and even Folk represented here.
While the word “drive” can be taken literally in some songs, it’s also very often used to represent sex as well. That or “Drive” as in the name of a road.
But anyway, it’s intended, driving is a powerful activity that represents moving quickly and moving forward, and I think that’s why all these songs resonate.
Until next time, happy listening.