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Driver's Seat by Sniff 'n' the Tears

Album: Fickle HeartReleased: 1978Charted:
15
42
  • The song is not really about the joys of driving, according to the official Sniff 'n' the Tears website. Rather, it is about the fragmented, conflicting emotions that occur after the end of a relationship. The line "The news is blue. I'll never remember my time with you" points out the difficulty of imagining never being with the significant other again. (thanks, Charles - Charlotte, NC)
  • An early version of this song was demoed back in 1973 by singer/guitarist Paul Roberts' then band Ashes of Moon for a French label. However, that band broke up and, at the suggestion of drummer Luigi Salvoni, Roberts reformed it as Sniff 'n' the Tears with guitarists Laurence "Loz" Netto and Mick Dyche and bassist Nick South. They shopped the demo tape and signed with the London indie Chiswick label in 1977. Released as a single, it a relative failure in their home country, but more successful in the US where it reached #15 on the Hot 100 in August 1979. "It was a pretty massive hit everywhere apart from Britain," reflected Roberts to Mojo March 2011. "Britain is perverse in some respects, but it did get a lot of radio play. We were accused of ripping off Dire Straits. I never understood that, but I think it was more that we were different to the post-punk scene."

    Any potential break at home was derailed by outside factors. "We did Top of the Pops as a last-minute replacement for the Gang of Four, they wouldn't go on for some political reason," recalled Roberts to Mojo. The following week the EMI pressing plant (where Chiswick's records were manufactured), went on strike and you couldn't buy 'Driver's Seat' for four or five weeks."
  • Sniff 'n' the Tears consistently found an audience outside Britain - in the USA and continental Europe - until they quit in 1983. They reformed in 1992 after Driver's Seat featured in a Dutch TV ad for Pioneer Stereos.
  • The BBC DJ Steve Wright has called this song his all-time favorite record.
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Comments: 14

On July 15th 1979, "Driver's Seat" by Sniff 'n' the Tears entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #82; and on September 23rd, 1979 it peaked at #15 (for 2 weeks) and also spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
It reached #8 in the Netherlands and #17 in Canada...
Was the sextet's only Top 100 record...
When re-released in 1991 it peaked at #1 in the Netherlands.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
"Doin' alright, a little drivin' on a Saturday night."
YEA!
Sandy - Enterprise, Fl
Three chords my friends B minor A and G. Very enjoyable to just strum on the acoustic.Perhaps after enjoying some marijuana? I'm just sayin'Brian - Boston, Ma
I saw the band in concert with billy squier back in the early eighties, this song was the only reason i went to the concert. I'd forgotten it until I saw Boogie Nights and the digital media age made it possible to collect these single hit gems.Rick - El Paso, Tx
This my VERY favorite driving song, coming out when I got my drivers' licence at age 16. It's kinda cool because the video was shot in and around Vancouver, BC, and I was then in Victoria, where I grew up. My new life took me to the United States, but here's to Constable "Ticket Bob" Vallance, then of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police wherever you are now-ya never caught me booting the pedal to the floor on this one dude!Paul - Kennewick, Wa
This song is played during the Lincoln Motor Cars latest commercials as the background music (2010 models).Rick - Navarre, Fl
This Rocks!!! I'll never forget its release-I ran to the store after school and bought it-and played it and played it and played it-Lisa - Melrose, Wi
Don-KY ditto for "Last Days Of May" by Blue Oyster Cult, also featured prominently in CARRIER series, also over 30 lolz! Driver's Seat is a great tune. "A little driving on a Saturday night..." simple yet brilliant!5cats - Winnipeg, Mb
The song DRIVER'S SEAT is used in the documentary CARRIER (2008). CARRIER is a 10 hour film about life aboard the aircaft carrier USS Nimitz. The song DRIVER'S SEAT is in the 2nd hour of the series at the 10 minute mark. It is used when fighter jets are being launched off the flight deck and it ROCKS. Great use of a song from 1978, 30 years later.Don - B G, Ky
Driver's Seat!! Yeeahhhhh!! I had never heard it before until I saw Boogie Nights. I immediately found out who it was and had to have it!! Great song!Jeff - Austin, Tx
This song is a great one! Not often heard but always a pleaser!!
-Sarah, Camarillo, Ca.
Sarah - Thousand Oaks, Ca
The Bass player on this particular song (Chris Birkin) now works as a maths teacher at a secondary school in suffolk, UK.Reffa - Suffolk, Uk
This song was featuring in the 1997 blockbuster hit, "Boogie Nights" when they are celebrating New Year's Eve at Jack Horner's mansion and Colonel James and Floyd Gondolli enter the home. Definitely a classic moment.Donovan - Sacramento, Ca
Driver's Seat became a hit a number of times in several European countries because the song was used for a couple of tv-commercials for new carmodels and caraudiosystems. For exemple: driver's Seat went number one in the Dutch charts in 1991; 13 years after it's release.Caroline - Zeewolde , Netherlands