You’ve got an hour or so’s drive ahead, on good roads, and need a soundtrack for it, so what do you choose?
This coming Saturday is the first ever National Album Day – and to celebrate the momentous occasion the AA polled its members to find out which one they think is the best to listen to on the move.
The survey had 20,650 responses from head-nodding and steering wheel-drumming drivers who wanted to cast their vote on which album is their favourite.
And the winner was Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, which includes The Chain, the song whose riff features on the iconic BBC F1 theme.
Best driving albums: A total of 20,650 motorists have voted on their favourite album to listen to alone in the car
The panel of drivers was asked which album they would most likely choose to listen to if they were alone in the car.
Rumours, released in 1977 came out on top.
The AA said this was largely because of one track on the album being synonymous with motor sport.
But for those who like to belt out the words to songs at the wheel, Rumours also features a host of classic rock tracks, including Don’t Stop, Go Your Own Way and You Make Loving Fun.
The Chain became the them tune for BBC1’s coverage of Formula One a year after the album was released.
It’s even been retained by Channel 4 since it bought the rights to cover the sport on terrestrial channels in 2016.
The top 10 list comprised of a combination of classics and modern favourites.
The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band from 1967 came second in the poll, followed by Ed Sheeran’s Divide, which was released half a century later.
Top 10 favourite driving albums according to poll of 20k motorists
*according to AA members
1. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
2. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
3. Ed Sheeran – Divide
4. Paul Simon – Graceland
5. Adele – 21
6. David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
7. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
8. Bruce Springsteen – Born toRrun
9. Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
10. U2 – The Joshua Tree
Fleetwood Mac – seen here in 1980 – came out on top for their 1977 album Rumours
One of the main reasons for Rumours taking top spot is that it features the song The Chain, which has the iconic riff used at the beginning of BBC1’s F1 coverage for decades. Murray Walker (left, who turned 95 this week) was the face of the show, with fellow commentators including ex racers such as Jackie Stewart (right) and the late James Hunt
The AA also revealed which albums proved most popular among drivers of different age groups, with some obvious bias.
For instance, Ed Sheeran was the top choice for 18 to 34 year olds, while those aged 55 and over preferred the likes of The Beatles and Paul Simon.
Pink Floyd also commonly featured among the favourites of older drivers who pinned their flags to Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Her’.
What was consistent across all age groups, though, was the appearance of Rumours in the top three (as you can see below).
Rumours was the second most liked album for drivers in the youngest age group, and topped the charts for older generations.
Favourite three albums for different age groups
18-34 year olds Playing time
1. Ed Sheeran – divide (19%)
=2. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (9%)
=2. Greatest Showman soundtrack (9%)
35-54 year olds
1. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (12%)
2. Ed Sheeran – Divide (8%)
3. U2 – Joshua Tree (7%)
55-65+ year olds
1. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (15%)
2. Beatles – Sergeant Pepper (10%)
3. Paul Simon – Graceland (8%)
Younger drivers preferred modern albums, with Ed Sheeran’s Divide rated highly
The Beatles and their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was rated by the older motorists
Interestingly, older drivers were more likely not to listen to an album at the wheel than younger drivers – perhaps counter-intuitive in the age of streaming music.
While 90 per cent of the youngest drivers said they would listen to an album at the wheel, just 71 per cent of motorists over 65 said the same.
Percentage of drivers who WOULDN’T listen to an album in the car
18-24 year olds – 10%
25-34 year olds – 11%
35-44 year olds – 13%
45-54 year olds – 12%
55-64 year olds – 14%
65+ year olds – 29%
Commenting on the poll results, Edmund King, AA president – and self-proclaimed owner of all the top ten driving albums – said cars are the ‘perfect environment’ for listening to albums as you can choose one that ‘reflects your journey, mood or indeed type of car’ you’re in as well as reduce boredom.
He added: ‘Some academics warn that up-tempo loud music may not be as safe as slower, quieter tracks.
‘We are told that if music is above 60 beats per minute, listeners experience a faster heart rate and increased blood pressure which could lead to them taking more risks.
‘Classical music may not be as fast as dance music, but the number of notes, combined with the repetitive crescendo and diminuendo can have the same effect.
‘The driver blasting out Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ may react in a similar way as the head-banger booming out Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’. It is all down to the speed of the beat of the music.
‘Luckily our driving top ten albums are all good and safe to drive to.’
AA president Edmund King sent This is Money this picture to prove he has all the albums that feature in the top 10 among members
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