Biker bar music: the best and most favored songs for riders
While most riders would like to think motorcycles are what make the world go round, a huge part of the riding experience and culture is the music you listen to. There’s something about cranking up the tunes when you’re riding down a road during sunset or listening to your favorite songs at your favorite biker bar with a cold one in your hand.
Just as not all motorcycles are aimed towards certain styles of riding, not all songs are good riding songs. I mean, no judgment, but can you image riding your bike down your favorite roads, the engine vibrating through your bones, and listening to Beethoven?
Actually, that might be a good idea. I’ll tuck that away for later use. When you get down to the nitty-gritty, some songs just aren’t driven enough to get your blood pumping on your ride or be selected as your favorite biker bar music. But there are some songs that will forever stand out in the mind of a majority of riders, and these are the classic songs worth mentioning.
Music is entirely based on taste, so throw me a bone if some of your favorites don’t end up on this list. I’m tryin’. Here are the top 10 songs that riders love to hear on the road while riding, love to turn up at the biker bar, and have fond memories associated with them. I ranked them the best I could. But, honestly, it’s tough to pair these songs against each other. Some things you just can't do!
Remember what I said about these not being ranked in any particular order? This is a prime example. This is a classic rock song that most can agree really gets the heart pumping, and it’s by one of the most beloved bands of all time. AC/DC is no stranger to hit rock songs, and “Highway to Hell” had to make it on this list. This is especially true if you’re listening to this and riding in traffic because let’s be honest, traffic really is hell.
7. Wanted Dead or Alive: Bon Jovi
Yes, I know there are going to be some Bon Jovi haters out there. But let’s try to remove that bias and seriously think about how his songs make us feel. While Bon Jovi’s music might have become popular hits with college students screaming it at the top of their lungs at bars, we will not let that be where it lingers. Bon Jovi gave us some awesome riding music, including this song, and we’re not going to let anyone claim it as anything other than that. See, now the song is stuck in my head and I just want to ride. Behold, the power of music!
6. Motorcycle Mama: Neil Young
Yep, this one is a serious crowd favorite, because it’s actually impossible to get through this song without smiling at least once. Sure, it might not have the same heavy intensity that some of the songs on this list can claim, but it’s such a pleasure for a most of us, and it makes the list. It has a laid-back feel to it, and when you want to pair it with some other favorite, it offers a great balance for any ride or any biker bar.
5. Ghost Rider: Rush
While this song has a great tune, it’s what’s behind it that really earns its place on this list, as well as its place in the heart of riders everywhere. Neil Peart, the drummer and lyrics writer of Rush, lost his 19-year-old-daughter in a car accident in 1997. Just months after that, his wife lost her battle with cancer. What did Peart do during this unimaginable pain and heartbreak? He rode 54,680 miles on his motorcycle through the US, Canada, and Central America. This song was the outcome of that. And as if this song doesn’t resonate with you on an emotional level enough without this story, hopefully, you have a box of tissues nearby. It makes the list. Enough said.
4. Ezy Rider: Jimmy Hendrix
The reason this song makes the list is because it’s timeless. Seriously, it just doesn’t seem to age at all. Jimmy Hendrix’s voice just seems to roll through notes with no effort at all, and it’s got a mean guitar in it. It really gets the blood pumping and gives you that spurt of adrenaline that everyone is looking for when they go on a ride. Plus, when you play this in almost any bar, it’s almost always received very positively because of how much we all appreciate this song. A+ in my book!
If the guitar riffs in this song don’t make you a happy rider, I’m not exactly sure what will. While the general masses might not be as familiar with this song, the fact of the matter is that this song is loved within the riding culture. You might be one of the people that do not see the interest, but the lyrics themselves resonate with everyone I know. This song focuses on how riding can quickly become someone's life and the one thing that they define it by. And while riding might not be as important of a staple in some lives, some of us really do live to ride. And for us, this song is icing on the cake.
2. Bad to the Bone: George Thorogood
You didn’t actually think we’d near completing this list without throwing this song in here, right? I don’t care how cliche some riders might think it is, because the general masses love this song. And maybe the reason why is because it comes across as a little cheesy and corny? When the average, everyday person thinks of motorcycle riders, this might be one of the songs that pop into their head. Whether this is because of movies that have established that, or even lyrics, the reason is really the important part. This song makes us feel badass, and when you’re speeding ahead of cagers in traffic, this is a great song to be playing in the background.
1. Start Me Up: Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are easily considered one of the best Rock n’ Roll bands of all time, and that doesn’t just happen because of luck. This song might also have one of the most memorable guitar riffs of all time, and when you start up this song and your bike at the same time, it almost promises for a really enjoyable ride. Plus, when this is played at the bar, you almost never see anyone frown. It’s a crowd favorite, and for that, it has claimed its spot.
There’s an endless selection of songs that are missing from this list, but it’s impossible to please all riders. You’re going to have personal songs that you associate with riding, playback memories, and nostalgia, but this list portrays the most popular and well-known songs out there.
If you think there’s a song that should belong on this list, comment and let us know. Ride on and enjoy!
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