Whether or not you'll be first in line for the new Fast & Furious movie this weekend, the movie's release confirms what we've long suspected: It's officially car season. Popular music has been occupied with all things automotive for ages, but particularly since the COVID pandemic started, cars have been everywhere in songs, videos and performances -- unsurprising, given our crescendoing desire to hit the road to just go somewhere, anywhere this past year-plus. And now, with the world reopening, there is absolutely no time like the present to (responsibly) pile into the nearest ride and (safely) hit the highway for some quality road tripping.
In honor of this moment -- as well as Billboard's recent digital cover story on the musical impact of the Fast & Furious franchise -- we've compiled a list of our staff's 100 favorite driving songs, spanning each of the past 10 decades of auto tunes. Most are of course road-focused, but not all; we wanted to pay tribute to the car's place in music history as not just a transportation tool but a status symbol, a metaphor for excitement and escape, and a place for whatever backseat business needs to be accomplished. Truck songs were also considered, though not bus or motorcycle, and while not all songs are explicitly (or entirely) four-wheel-focused, all need at least some specific lyrical mention of cars or driving and riding to be counted.