Everybody should take a road trip at some point. The longer, the better; and if you have the stamina for a long road trip, you’re probably also young. And if you’re young, you probably don’t have a whole lot of money.
Which means your car is most likely prehistoric, and comes equipped with everyone’s favorite Hi-Fi audio system: a cassette deck.
Since Apple removed the 3.5mm audio jack, those who don’t dabble with dongles mourned the loss of the trusty gas station tape-to-AUX adapter. But all hope isn’t lost! You can assemble the best road trip playlist on tape for less than the cost of a dongle.
So if you’re heading down the highway needing some old-school tunes, hit your local Goodwill and grab these three best road trip tapes today.
Born in the USA—Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen’s 1984 album Born in the USA is perhaps the most iconic American heartland rock compilation of all time. Everybody knows the title track “Born in the USA” along with “Dancing in the Dark.” Within a couple of plays, you’re guaranteed to have a new favorite song or two.
Born in the USA Cassette Side 1:
- Born in the USA
- Cover Me
- Darlington County
- Working on the Highway
- Downbound Train
- I’m on Fire
Born in the USA Cassette Side 2:
- No Surrender
- Bobby Jean
- I’m Goin’ Down
- Glory Days
- Dancing in the Dark
- My Hometown
Best of BTO (So Far)—Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Best of BTO (So Far) is a 1976 compilation Album by Canadian rock band Bachman Turner Overdrive. This album features some of the band’s most well-known hits; most of which are prime road-tripping material. This shameless and upbeat rock album is essential for your next road trip.
Best of BTO (So Far) Cassette Side 1:
- Roll on Down the Highway
- You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
- Takin’ Care of Business
- Let it Ride
Best of BTO (So Far) Cassette Side 2:
- Take it Like a Man
- Blue Collar
- Lookin’ Out for #1
- Gimme Your Money Please
Arguably one of the best 1980s movie soundtracks, the score from the 1984 Paramount Picture Footloose contains some really well-known hits. From the title track “Footloose” to the undeniably catchy hit “Somebody’s Eyes,” the Footloose soundtrack is likely to inspire a humiliating sing-along.
Footloose Soundtrack Cassette Side 1:
- Let’s Hear It for the Boy
- Almost Paradise
- Holding Out for a Hero
Footloose Soundtrack Cassette Side 2:
- Dancing in the Sheets
- I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man)
- Somebody’s Eyes
- The Girl Gets Around
So next time you’re planning a road trip, be sure to take a minute and dig thorugh the used cassette bin. They sound better than you remember—and why let boomers have a monopoly on hard copies? Just kidding, we love our boomers and their superior music.