CarTunes returns—for this week, anyway. In the ’70s, British blues/glam rockers Mott the Hoople scored big in the USA with catchy tunes like this one: “Drivin’ Sister,” an ode to the 8-track tape player. Crank up your 6x9s and listen.
As a car song, Mott the Hoople’s “Drivin’ Sister” has everything, even a reference to the in-car 8-track player. (Who of the era doesn’t remember those trusty low-fi music machines?) But here’s something we never noticed listening to the band way back when. Looking over the 1973 album, Mott, on which the song appears, now we recognize that much of the record was about cars, traveling, and the road. Other tracks include “I’m a Cadillac/El Camino Delo Roso” and of course, one of the classic rock and roll road songs, “All the Way to Memphis.”
Many of Mott the Hoople’s most memorable songs, like “All the Way to Memphis,” were composed by the group, including singer/guitarist Ian Hunter and guitarist Mick Ralphs. However, some were created by the top songwriters in the business, for example “Sweet Jane” by the late Lou Reed, and “All the Young Dudes” by David Bowie, who passed away only last week. On “Drivin’ Sister,” Hunter and Ralphs are credited as the songwriters. From the band’s YouTube Vevo channel, here’s a nice live version. Enjoy.