I had a mate at school who was an absolute Slade fanatic and claimed to have seen Flame 13 times. He used to tell me what a great (and loud) live band they were and watching this I believe him.
Unlike a lot of men I’m not really a car person. Living in London I didn’t need to drive and didn’t learn how until I was 30 and had moved to Florida where you have to if you want any sort of life. As a result I don’t really equate them with freedom or girls like in the Springsteen songs and see them mostly as things to get you from A to B. Not that I don’t appreciate a beauty of a classic car like an E-type or Mustang (and wouldn’t say no to owning one), but I don’t get erotically aroused by them like the bloke in Queen’s “I’m In Love With My Car”.
There are a lot of pop and rock songs about cars but few make them as blatantly sexual as this. Written by drummer Roger Taylor, it’s hysterically over the top but there’s something gloriously ecstatic about it that I’ve always loved. With its lines about “pistons a pumpin'” and “my hand on your grease gun” it’s almost, um, Ballardian in its erotic fetishization of cars.
I first heard this when it was the b-side of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and kids at school would sing “I’m In Love With My Bike” to it. We knew all the girls loved a nice Chopper.
Download: I’m In Love With My Car – Queen (mp3)
This is pretty much the Platonic Ideal of Rock Music: Chunky riffs, long hair, tight jeans, guitar solos, bluesy vocals, dancing groupies, and a song about “doing it”.
Whatever happened to white singers with voices like Paul Rodgers?
This track is probably my guiltiest of guilty pleasures, God help me I love it. I also confess I have a playlist of this sort of 70s Pomp Rock on my iPod that is my favourite soundtrack to workout to at the gym.
Another surprising bit of trivia I just discovered is that Marc Bolan plays guitar on the studio version of this.
I always loved this big riff monster. ELO were heavier in their early days. They also wore more capes.
Speaking of the macho posturing of rock music, this is pretty much the dictionary definition of it — even though they all look like girls with that hair.
For all their ludicrous faults, Led Zep did have a killer rhythm section. I can forgive them a lot for that.
Wolf Alice are a rock band from London who have only released one EP and a handful of singles so far. I don’t feature much new guitar-driven rock music here because frankly I find a lot of it boring and predictable, but I can still be turned on by some big noisy riffage like these these tracks from their latest EP Creature Songs out later this month.
It’s all very “alternative rock” and won’t win any prizes for pushing envelopes but sometimes crashing guitars and a big chorus can still really hit the spot.