From Latin jazz beats and Cuban rhythms to country and western tunes to bring out your inner drifting cowboy, this list of 10 classic albums make for the perfect music to backpack to. Enjoy…
Hotel California (1976) The Eagles
Just one glance at the original EP cover of The Eagle's most acclaimed studio album should be enough to reveal that this is the perfect disc to accompany any travel trip. Two palms stand silhouetted against the pink-red sunset of Hollywood – it's like an invitation to kick start a road trip if there ever was one. The sounds don't disappoint, with
Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991) Red Hot Chili Peppers
There's nothing like the funky base slaps and twangs of Flea from TRHCP to get the knee a-twitching. Yep, this masterwork from the early 1990s is the perfect backing track to play as you rumble on jeepneys over the dirt tracks of South America in search of that next beach town along the Pacific Ocean. Songs like 'Give it Away' and 'Under the Bridge' offer an emotional, snare-snapping rollercoaster of riffs and sounds that are bound to keep you tapping that foot in line with the Latin potholes.
Takk... (2005) Sigur Rós
In the typical dream-inducing, mystical style of Icelandic masters Sigur Rós, the 2005 studio album Takk… offers something a little more cerebral for travelers looking some tunes to accompany their globetrotting. The long and plaintive ditties within are the sort to lose yourself to; the sort that go perfectly with thoughtful bus journeys over the Andes Mountains; the sort to match with morning meditation sessions in the shadow of the Himalaya. You get the idea.
Highway 61 Revisited (1965) Bob Dylan
It seems as if Bob Dylan couldn't write a song for the whole of the 60s that didn't touch on at least one of the themes of traveling, moving and living life without caution. That's probably why his iconic album from 1965 is the embodiment of his going electric moment. And while contemporaries might have been stunned by the Nobel prize winner's abandonment of the acoustic sound, today it's seen as one of the watershed albums of all American folk rock. Oh, yea, and it's got 'Like a Rolling Stone'. Classic.
For a Few Dollars More [Soundtrack] (1965) Ennio Morricone
Nothing says adventure like the silhouette of Clint Eastwood in a saddle; the sun blazing across the open plains of Arizona (or was it Spain?); the whitewashed Mexican pueblos in the distance; the lone cacti on the hills. If you're intending on saddling up and heading out as a lone rider this year, then perhaps the famous soundtrack to the hit Spaghetti Western For a Few Dollars More will prove the perfect accompaniment.
Bird on 52nd St (1957) Charlie Parker
No list of the top albums to listen to while traveling could possibly be complete without at least a nod to the muse of the beatnik generation: Charlie Parker. With his loose jazz beats and flair for creative improv trumpet solos, his songs are perfect for summertime road trips or lazy days sipping cold ones on the beach. This album is one of the most famous, known for its flickering backing sounds and buzzing (a product of the tape recorder on which Parker made it back in the 50s), and includes the masterful trumpet work of one Miles Davis!
The Darjeeling Limited [Soundtrack] (2007)
What better suggestion for travelers making their way to the dusty deserts of Rajasthan, the palm-fringed beaches of Kerala or the snow-topped peaks of the Himalaya than a compilation soundtrack that was put together to accompany a film about three brothers traveling India? If you haven't yet seen The Darjeeling Limited, it's bound to make you want to pack the bags and hit the sub-continent, And the music to go with it is pure class, too!
Pet Sounds (1966) The Beach Boys
The lazy shanty mashups and the Psychedelia themes of this 1966 album by the perennial enemies of The Beatles is now nothing short of legendary on the pop-rock line-up of its age. It's also the perfect soundtrack for travelling to, especially if you've got the surf-washed beaches of Bali, Nicaragua, the Central American Caribbean, Panama's hot surf spots, or any other salt-sprayed, seaside places on the compass.
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash (1970) Johnny Cash
If your wanderlust is stoked by the alternating base rhythms and desert-crossing, cowboy-drifting lyrics of good old classic country and western music, then you could do a lot worse than choosing this iconic gold-selling album by Johnny Cash for the changer. Packed with his trademark ballads about down-and-out American folk with hardly any money and a hefty dousing of whiskey, it's perfect sing-along material for those travel trips. And it's go that appropriately named track: 'Sing a Traveling Song'. You'll be pining after the cacti-spotted Sonoran or the plains of Texas in no time…
Buena Vista Social Club (1997) Buena Vista Social Club
Crack out the rum and light up a fat Cuban cigar because the samba-infused, steel drum-ringing riddums' of the Buena Vista Social Club's most notable album are sure to get you pining for a trip to the Latin lands of the Caribbean and its surrounds. And we're not just talking about the age-stained town centre of Spanish-style Havana either. We're talking the whole South American and Central American domain. Yep, you'll be twirling the 'Chan Chan' and humming the boleros of 'El Carretero' from the cloud forests of Monteverde to the sands of Brazilian Copacabana!
Of course, there are loads and loads and loads of awesome classic albums that are perfect to go with traveling. We'd love to hear your own suggestions in the comments below!
We believe that travel is not a reward for working, but the most valuable and impactful form of education for life. We aren’t just a travel company; we were built to introduce you to the rest of the world. LBW Travel is about more than taking vacation time. We connect you with people and offer experiences that will change the way you look at your world. Travel reminds us what is truly important: family, friendship, love, exploration and adventure.
Sign up for newsletter & get travel guides