The Secrets for Making Great Playlists for the Road

It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to summer vacations. Naturally, you’re going to want to take some tunes on the road. But which ones? The BBC has some advice on how to create the perfect playlist for that roadtrip.

Music has a keen ability to trigger memories, to conjure images and sensations from the listener’s life. It is partly why for many motorists, crafting the perfect playlist for a road trip is as essential as checking a car’s oil level.

There are, of course, as many opinions about what makes a good road-trip playlist as there are musical styles, so to help crowdsource an optimal mix, we queried members of, the online question and answer community. Of course, compiling such a list has its inherent risks, and while does not explicitly endorse these selections, some may strike a chord.

For Quora user Ken Miyamoto, the key to building a successful road-trip playlist is planning: “You usually have to distinguish between what you listen to on road trips based off of whether you’ll be alone or if you’ll be travelling with others.” For instance, when travelling with the family, he notes, a “soundtrack approach” is required. Although he concedes that back-seaters of a certain age are likely to be engaged with their gadgets, younger children may enjoy singing along to the soundtracks of favorite movies.  “My boys, ages 9 and 6, prefer the soundtracks to Ghostbusters and Back to the Future,” says Miyamoto.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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