Various - Top Gear Anthems 2008: Seriously Hot Driving Music

Top Gear: it's fast, imaginative and funny. The show has torn across America and mocked some inland folk for their right-wing views; it has seen its presenters drive motors across Africa; and it's made an anonymous man (men?) wearing a helmet and a white jump suit a cult icon. Top Gear also releases albums of music as part of its broader franchise appeal; music that it says is perfect to drive to – an album in the spirit of the ridiculously successful programme.

It's not. It's a middle-of-the-road, double CD packed with songs you either own already or have deliberately avoided because they're completely rubbish. The first CD kicks off with a track called Rockstar by the American band Nickelback, at which point most people would press stop, then eject and put in another CD of their choice which is more appropriate to improving your mood behind the wheel. This is mistake number one by the compilers of this CD; although you can imagine Jeremy Clarkson in his tight blue jeans and purple shirt nodding his head to this 'rock anthem', it would make most drivers clamp the steering wheel to the left and head for the hardshoulder before fleeing the vehicle and running into the nearest field. That doesn't signify "seriously hot driving music" to me, that signifies utter rubbish.

There are a few good tracks on the first CD, but they're by bands who have released decent albums with other good songs – why buy a Kings of Leon sandwich with pants either side as the bread? High points on the first CD are On Call by said Southern US band, Motorcycle Emptiness by the Manic Street Preachers, Mark Ronson's Oh My God with Lily Allen and Be Thankful for What You've Got by Massive Attack.

On the second CD – did I mention there was another? It's twice the fun for your money and also mistake number 2 by the compilers – we kick-off with Rock the Casbah by The Clash. This volume of the 'hot driving music' is clearly the classic listing. Track 1 is fine, then there's the Waterboys (fine), Bowie (fine), Primal Scream (fine). You get the idea, apart from the Depeche Mode track it's all fine. But I’d rather have a Bowie album on, particularly as Ashes to Ashes isn't really a 'driving song' so you may as well ditch the concept and just listen to a decent album.

Perhaps it's because I'm not a fan of compilations, perhaps it's because I'm not a 30-something-father-of-two, and perhaps it's because I don't look like Jeremy Clarkson, but I don't see the need for an album such as this. Don't be tempted to buy it for your old man either, take him down the pub.



out of 10

Last updated: 18/04/2018 22:44:02

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