The nation's favourite driving song revealed

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The nation's favourite driving song revealed

The US band’s steering wheel-tapper didn’t trouble the UK top 40 on it’s initial release in 1981. But a cover version by the cast of hit TV show Glee in 2010 gave it a new lease of life – bringing a fresh audience of motorists who now consider it the creme de la creme of car songs.

The upbeat anthem gained 18 per cent of the vote to finish above Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Go Your Own Way’ and ELO’s ‘Mr Blue Sky’, which were joint second in the independent national UK poll carried out by Select Car Leasing.

But it’s not all about old rockers when it comes to the most-loved tunes to listen to when behind the wheel.


Noughties indie darlings The Killers secured fourth place in the overall rankings with their karaoke classic ‘Mr Brightside’, while Edinburgh siblings The Proclaimers rated joint seventh with ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’.

Perhaps the most surprising result was Steppenwolf’s ‘Born to Be Wild’ – a song indelibly linked with the highway through its appearance in seminal road movie Easy Rider – only just squeezing into the top 10.

Mark Tongue, company director of Select Car Leasing who commissioned OnePoll to carry out the survey of 1,000 British motorists, said: “Many people see driving as an enjoyable and relaxing activity, and there’s no better way to make the most of it than with your favourite music coming out of the speakers.

“Some songs just seem to fit the bill when you’re on the road – be it the rhythm, anthemic lyrics that get the entire car singing along, or the imagery they conjure up.
“Our survey results show it’s mainly the older songs, rockers and power ballads from the 70s and 80s, that are still doing the business for many motorists.
“But there are some more recent tunes in there, too. In fact, I would have been very surprised if Mr Brightside had not made the top 10.” 

Women love Journey but it’s Blue Sky thinking for men

When it came to the gender split, females rated Journey as their favourite driving ditty with a whopping 22 per cent Believin’ it to be the best.

Meanwhile, males were more inclined to search for ‘Mr Blue Sky’ on their in-car entertainment system, with more than 18 per cent ranking Jeff Lyne’s creation as their top selection.

Both sexes also rated harmony-heavy track ‘Africa’ by Toto, while blokes also put ‘Highway to Hell’ by Aussie rockers AC/DC in the top five.


Yorkshire drivers look on the Brightside

Motorists in the Yorkshire and Humber region showed their more modern tastes by favouring ‘Mr Brightside’ – famously featured in hit film The Holiday where Cameron Diaz is seen enthusiastically screaming out the lyrics while dressed in her pyjamas.

In Northern Ireland, hair metal ballad ‘Here I Go Again’ by Whitesnake proved popular, capturing almost a quarter of the vote, while a fifth of Londoners opted for Lynyrd Skynyrd’s southern rocker ‘Sweet Home Alabama’.

Fleetwood Mac were the top choice in four of the 12 regions, their ode to strained relationships being the most popular in Northern Ireland, Scotland, the South West and West Midlands.

East Anglia Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey
East Midlands Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd
LondonSweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd
North EastDon't Stop Believin', Journey
North EastMr Blue Sky, ELO
North WestMr Blue Sky, ELO
Northern IrelandGo Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac
ScotlandGo Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac
South EastMr Blue Sky, ELO
South WestGo Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac
WalesDon’t Stop Believin’, Journey
West MidlandsGo Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac
Yorkshire and HunterMr Brightside, The Killers

The Select Car Leasing survey asked 1,000 UK motorists to pick their favourite fives songs from a list of 29, while also giving them the choice of “none of the above”.

Other tunes on the highway hit list included U2’s ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’, ‘Little Red Corvette’ by Prince and ‘Road to Nowhere’ by New York post-punk outfit Talking Heads.


Stevie Nicks it for older drivers

In the age groups, 18 to 24 years olds favoured The Killers and also praised ‘Shut Up and Drive’ by R&B star Rihanna, while the over-55s were bigger fans of Stevie Nicks’ vocals on Go Your Own Way.

Meanwhile, 25-34 year olds opted for The Killers, 35-44 year olds highlighted Don’t Stop Believin’ and those in the 45-54 category went with ELO.

Mark added: “While the list is obviously not exhaustive, it did give all motorists across the country a great chance to have their say about their favourite driving songs.

“It shows that if you manage to write something that strikes a chord with motorists, it can still be popular – and no doubt earning some healthy royalties – 40 years later.

“It could be argued that penning the perfect driving ditty is well and truly the road to success.”

THE UK’S FAVOURITE DRIVING SONGS

Respondents were asked: “Please select your favourite five driving songs from the list below.”

OVERALL

1. Don't Stop Believin’, Journey - 18%

= 2. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 16%

= 2. Mr Blue Sky, ELO - 16%

4. Mr Brightside, The Killers - 15%

5. Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd - 14%

6. Africa, Toto - 13%

= 7. Highway to Hell, AC/DC - 11%

= 7. I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), The Proclaimers - 11%

= 9. Here I Go Again, Whitesnake - 10%

= 9. Born to Be Wild, Steppenwolf - 10%

FEMALE

1. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 22%

2. Mr Brightside, The Killers - 19%

3. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 17%

4. Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd - 15%

5. Africa, Toto - 14%

MALE

1. Mr Blue Sky, ELO - 19%

2. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 14%

= 3. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 12%

= 3. Africa, Toto - 12%

5. Highway to Hell, AC/DC - 11%

AGE GROUPS

18-24 year olds

1. Mr Brightside, The Killers - 30%

2. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 26%

3. Africa, Toto - 24%

= 4. Shut Up and Drive, Rihanna - 22%

= 4. Highway to Hell, AC/DC - 22%

25-34 year olds

1. Mr Brightside, The Killers - 21%

2. Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd - 19%

3. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 18%

= 4. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 14%

= 4. Shut Up and Drive, Rihanna - 14%

35-44 year olds

1. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 20%

2. Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd - 18%

3. Mr Brightside, The Killers - 15%

4. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 13%

5. Here I Go Again, Whitesnake - 11%

45-54 year olds

1. Mr Blue Sky, ELO - 20%

2. Africa, Toto - 18%

3. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 17%

4. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 15%

= 5. Road To Nowhere, Talking Heads - 14%

= 5. Here I Go Again, Whitesnake - 14%

55+ year olds

= 1. Mr Blue Sky, ELO - 20%

= 1. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 20%

= 3. Layla, Derek and the Dominos - 15%

= 3. Born to Be Wild, Steppenwolf - 15 %

5. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), The Proclaimers - 14%

REGIONS

East Anglia

1. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 27%

= 2. Africa, Toto - 19%

= 2. Mr Brightside, The Killers - 19%

= 2. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 19%

5. Mr Blue Sky, ELO - 18%

East Midlands

1. Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd - 18%

= 2. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 14%

= 2. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 14%

= 4. Highway to Hell, AC/DC - 13%

= 4. Born to Be Wild, Steppenwolf - 13%

London

1. Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd - 21%

= 2. Layla, Derek and the Dominos - 18%

= 2. Road to Nowhere, Talking Heads - 18%

= 4. Drive, The Cars - 13%

= 4. Born to Be Wild, Steppenwolf - 13%

North East

1. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 29%

= 2. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 18%

= 2. Mr Blue Skye, ELO - 18%

4. Here I Go Again, Whitesnake - 16%

= 5. Shut Up and Drive, Rihanna - 12%

= 5. Africa, Toto - 12%

= 5. Layla, Derek and the Dominos - 12%

North West

= 1. Mr Blue Sky, ELO - 19%

= 1. Mr Brightside, The Killers - 18%

3. Highway to Hell, AC/DC - 18%

4. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 17%

5. Africa, Toto - 14%

Northern Ireland

1. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 29%

2. Here I Go Again, Whitesnake - 24%

= 3. Africa, Toto - 19%

= 3. Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd - 19%

= 5. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 14%

= 5. Highway to Hell, AC/DC - 14%

Scotland

1. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 19%

2. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 15%

= 3. Africa, Toto - 14%

= 3. Mr Brightside, The Killers - 14%

5. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), The Proclaimers - 13%

South East

1. Mr Blue Sky, ELO - 20%

= 2. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 15%

= 2. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), The Proclaimers - 15%

= 2. Mr Brightside, The Killers - 15%

5. Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd - 14%

South West

1. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 20%

2. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 19%

3. Mr Blue Sky, ELO - 18%

4. Mr Brightside, The Killers - 15%

= 5. Highway to Hell, AC/DC - 14%

= 5. Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd - 14%

Wales

1. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 24%

= 2. Africa, Toto - 21%

= 2. Mr Blue Sky, ELO - 21%

4. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 20%

5. Mr Brightside, The Killers - 18%

West Midlands

1. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 15%

2. Mr Blue Sky , ELO - 14%

= 3. Highway to Hell, AC/DC - 12%

= 3. Africa, Toto - 12%

5. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 11%

Yorkshire and Humber

1. Mr Brightside, The Killers - 22%

2. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey - 20%

3. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac - 17%

= 4. Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd - 14%

= 4. Here I Go Again, Whitesnake - 14%

= 4. Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd - 14%

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