Road To Hell (Part One)

Album: The Road To Hell (1989)

Songfacts®:

  • Chris Rea was stuck in traffic on the M4 motorway in England when he got the idea for this song, where he imagines the ghost of his mother approaching the vehicle to warn him that he is on "the road to hell." His mother died in 1983.
  • Rea loves driving - he has a passion for vintage cars and once raced in the International Toca Shootout - but he despises traffic, or anything that represents stagnation for that matter. Finding himself bogged down in a commute made him realize that he had made some wrong turns that put him on a bad road: the one everyone else takes.
  • This is the first of a two-part song that opens Rea's 10th studio album. Part One begins with a long drone over which Rea tells his story with some slide guitar in the mix. Part Two kicks in with full instrumentation - this is the part that was released as a single and the best-known version of the song.
  • The track opens with a soundscape simulating the traffic on the M4. We hear rain, windshield wipers, and a series of disjointed traffic reports in different languages, including one that states the delay will last about four hours.

Comments: 2

  • Rita Thomson from Australia One of the best singer songwriters ever. Saw him live 3 times in Belfast. Absolutely brilliant.
  • Neil Shearer from Middlesbrough Chris is my favourite singer/songwriter and he is a boro fan like me and Road to Hell Is my favourite song
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