The motorcycle has been the perfect rock and roll accessory since Elvis dressed up in Brando gear. We had the Mod scooter era, the Easy Rider wave, and the hair metal Harley revival in the eighties.
So it’s no surprise that there have been some great (and not so great) motorcycle songs over the years. Here are a few from my playlist:
“The Motorcycle Song,” Arlo Guthrie. This isn’t a deep cut, but this claymation clip is a classic.
“Motorcycle,” Love and Rockets. From the ashes of Bauhaus came Love and Rockets, Their sound was more accessible, as this glam-flavored cut makes clear. Get out your round sunglasses:
“Motorcyle,” Iggy Pop. You can really hear the Lou Reed influence on the punk rock godfather in this one.
“Motorcycle Man,” Saxon. Your New Wave of British Heavy Metal intro into the two-wheeled sweepstakes.
“Motorcycle Ride,” Rancid. And your faux punk entry.
“Silver Machine,” Hawkwind. Pop quiz: What band was Lemmy in before Motorhead?
“Bat Out of Hell,” Meatloaf. Okay, it’s a massive classic rock song, but how many people recognize it as the greatest motorcycle crash song of all time? Songwriter Jim Steinman was channeling those sixties crash songs like “Leader of the Pack” when he wrote this one, and producer Todd Rundgren added the awesome motorcycle revving stunt guitar. Sweaty and brilliant.
That ought to be enough to get your motor running. Have any biker songs to share? I’m listening.
Motorcycle Emptiness by The Manic Street Preachers is the obvious track as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are the obvious band, but no real use of motorbikes!
Thumbs Up for Saxon’s Motorcycle Man, Hawkwind’s Silver Machine and Arlo Guthrie’s The Motorcycle Song.
Hi James. This is my motorcycle song. I hope you enjoy it. Cheers. Richard.