American Ride

Album: American Ride (2009)
Charted: 35


  • This is the title track and lead single from American country music artist Toby Keith's fourteenth studio album.
  • This song was penned by Joe West and Dave Pahanish and was titled "American Life," when it was submitted to Keith. He recalled to Billboard magazine: "They sent it to me to listen to and said 'You're the only guy in the world that could get away with cutting it.' I held it for about a year; it was so different I thought I'd be tired of it. I just left it on my iPod and kept listening to it, and it never got old." Keith added: "I've only ever done, like, four or five songs in 16 albums that I didn't write, and this one sounds like I wrote it."
  • Keith told Billboard that the song, "makes fun of all the wackiness that goes on in this country."
  • Here's some chart trivia for this song: This was Keith's 19th career #1 on the Country singles chart and his 16th since 2000, the most among all artists in the 21st century.
    It was the country singer's third chart-topper with "America" in its title, the other two being "Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)" in 2002 and 2004's "American Soldier."
    Coincidentally the song toppled another "American" song from the chart's pinnacle- Justin Moore's #1 single "Small Town U.S.A.."
  • Keith told Country Forever that this is a song of the times. He explained: "All it does is give you an entire list, a laundry list of all the things you see on TV, from Y2K, to Sars to Swine flu, to aliens coming across the border. From what's going on on American Idol to what's going on in the reality shows to Michael Jackson dying, just on and on, but I love my American Ride kind of thing."
  • West and Pahanish told AOL's The Boot the story behind the song:
    Pahanish: "It's kind of written in the way that Bob Dylan would have written 'Subterranean Homesick Blues.' Joe and I just put down a laundry list of things that would personally irritate us. We would find ourselves talking about something and saying, 'What about what happened this time?' or 'Can you believe that so and so happened?'"
    West: "And some of it we weren't really sure had happened. We started writing the song about the time we had seen that video on YouTube about that girl getting beaten up by her friends, and then the movie Mean Girls came out. It was just a lot of topical stuff. I never felt like the song was saying right or wrong, but absurdity or just wild. One of the things we heard was this comedian saying, 'Why are kids in the Sudan not lactose intolerant like American kids are?' Because of our culture, we have a whole sort of problems that other cultures don't. So you could say we're celebrating the absurdity."
    West: "The great thing about it is, we didn't write it for Toby Keith; it was just a funny song, and an entertaining song. We took Dave over to ShowDog (Toby's label) to play for Allison Jones to get a record deal for Dave. We ended up playing the song for her."
    Pahanish: "We told Allison the only person capable of pulling off a song like this was Toby Keith. He's the only artist who would have the inertia and size to do it."
    West: "I'd always heard that Toby had two iPods: one for business and one for pleasure. We heard that we were on both of them! So I guess we crossed over with Toby! He had it a long time, and then one day they called and said he was going to cut the song. Within a week of that phone call, he was doing it live in concert. Then we heard he was going to do a video, and I wasn't actually sure he understood everything about the song. But you can see, play by play, he had ever single thing down. It might not be as cryptic as we thought it would be, but when you look at the video it is even more so."
    Pahanish: "My publisher called me and said, 'Toby wants to talk with you. He wants to know if he can change 'American Life' to 'American Ride,' which is I guess what he heard me singing on the demo. I said, 'Are you kidding? He can call it 'Cotton Candy Surprise,' if he'll just record it and put it on the radio!"
  • Pahanish and West also penned, together with Tim Johnson, Jimmy Wayne's country #1, "Do You Believe Me Now."

Comments: 1

  • Garrett from Pittsburgh, PaBelieve it or not Dave Pahanish is my cousin. He wrote this song with Joe West, another country singer that he and Dave wrote song together. Dave als wrote "I Will" and "So Do You Believe Me now" that Jimmy Wayne sings. He Moved to Nashville from Pittsburgh a few years ago and it is absolutely rediculous he isnt huge yet but I think he just wants to reamin a singer folk song writer. check out some of his stuff on Youtube just search dave pahanish
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