Best And Worst Beats

What drivers tune-in or tune-out while driving

Andy Bolig - January 13, 2014 09:00 AM


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we can surmise that the ideal driving songs would be duets with Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift singing old Journey favorites commissioned a survey of 2,000 drivers and asked them to choose the best and worst songs for driving, as well as music that they secretly listen to in the car. 

Respondents were split evenly between males and females and distributed across age groups according to Census data on age distribution. The online-panel survey was fielded in October 2013. Percentages for best and worst songs total more than 100 because respondents were allowed to choose up to five songs in each category.

Rounding out the top five were Queen's 1975 rock-opera "Bohemian Rhapsody," AC/DC's classic "You Shook Me All Night Long," another Journey tune from the 80s, "Any Way You Want It" and Tom Cochrane's 1991 hit "Life is a Highway." Respondents could also provide their own picks for songs that make you want to crank up the volume when behind the wheel. "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC , "Radar Love" by Golden Earring and "I Can't Drive 55" by Sammy Hagar topped the list of write-in choices.

"Some people mock the Bay Area balladeers, but there's no denying Journey has a fan base, given they took two of the top five spots for songs that people enjoy when driving," said Michelle Megna, managing editor of

The following percentage of voters chose these songs as the best:

  • • "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey: 30 percent
    • "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen: 27 percent
    • "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC: 22 percent
    • "Any Way You Want It" by Journey: 22 percent
    • "Life is a Highway" by Tom Cochrane: 21 percent
    • "Dancing Queen" by ABBA: 19 percent
    • "American Girl" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: 16 percent
    • "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" by Michael Jackson: 15 percent
    • "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen: 14 percent
    • "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival: 14 percent
    • "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire: 13 percent
    • "Every Day is a Winding Road" by Sheryl Crow: 13 percent
    • "California Love" by 2Pac: 13 percent
    • "Drive My Car" by the Beatles: 13 percent
    • "Little Red Corvette" by Prince: 13 percent
    • "Runnin' Down a Dream" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: 12 percent
    • "This is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan: 11 percent
    • "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers: 9 percent
    • "Holiday" by Madonna: 9 percent
    • "London Calling" by The Clash: 6 percent
  • (Percentages total more than 100 because respondents were allowed to choose up to five songs.)


The Baha Men, country-crossover superstar Taylor Swift and the iconic Cher take the top three spots for songs that make drivers want to change the station immediately. Drivers were also asked to write in the names of songs and artists that make them want to tune out immediately. "Baby" by Justin Bieber, "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus and "any type of rap" were among the most popular losers. 

The following percentages of voters chose these songs as the worst:

  • • "Who Let the Dogs Out?" by The Baha Men:  29 percent
    • "We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift: 25 percent
    • "Believe" by Cher: 22 percent
    • "Feelings" by Morris Albert: 20 percent
    • "Papa Don't Preach" by Madonna: 18 percent
    • "Firework" by Katy Perry: 18 percent
    • "Mambo #5" by Lou Bega: 18 percent
    • "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt: 14 percent
    • "Arms Wide Open" by Creed: 13 percent
    • "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor: 12 percent
    • "Let's Hear it for the Boy" by Deniece Williams: 12 percent
    • "Caribbean Queen" by Billy Ocean: 10 percent
    • "Maneater" by Hall and Oates: 10 percent
    • "We Built this City" by Jefferson Starship: 8 percent
    • "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler: 8 percent

When asked what bands ,artists  or stations they listen to when driving that they don't make known to others, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga were knotted up in the top three spots. Among drivers who have guilty-pleasure listening favorites, here are the top picks:

  • • Bruno Mars: 12 percent
    • Taylor Swift: 12 percent
    • Lady Gaga: 11 percent
    • Journey: 9 percent
    • Katy Perry: 9 percent
    • Coldplay: 8 percent
    • Justin Bieber: 7 percent
    • Madonna: 6 percent
    • NPR: 6 percent
    • Rush Limbaugh: 5 percent
    • Howard  Stern: 4 percent

“Strictly from data analysis we can surmise that the ideal driving songs would be duets with Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift singing old Journey favorites,” said Megna.