Simon’s Top 5 Tunes for Long Bus Journeys

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Unless you are rich and willing to suffer Michael Hodson’s vengeful fury by flying short-haul everywhere, most of us travellers will have to go through the very modern hell of extended bus trips from time to time. Like the adaptable human beings we are, we all develop our own methods of coping.

For me, it’s a large pot of Pringles, a bottle of Coke and pre-95 dance music.

Here are my top five tracks.

Autobahn by Kraftwerk Kometenmelodie 2, Kraftwerk—Autobahn

It’s on an album called Autobahn.

Leftism by Leftfield Storm 3000, Leftfield—Leftism

Melt is by far my favourite Leftism track, but it’s much more suited to daydreaming in fields than surviving torturous bus journeys.

This one is a little more euphoric and mixes well with the stimulants required to keep you awake so that your bag doesn’t get nicked.

And by stimulants I mean Caffeine. Obviously.

Brown Album by Orbital LUSH 3-1, Orbital—Brown Album

I could listen to the high-pitched doo-weee-ooohs forever. The drummer in me loves the way they play with the rhythms and their mildly hypnotic effect helps distract me from all of the potholes.

Leftism by Leftfield Passenger, Deftones, White Pony

Not only is the name entirely appropriate but it’s full of positive forward-looking travel advice like “Who cares what’s behind?” and “Drive faster.”

(Most bus drivers in South America don’t really need that last one.)

Leftism by Leftfield Heliosphan, Aphex Twin—Selected Ambient Works 85-92

This one conjures up images of flying in to futuristic space ports.

Granted, the Bangkok bus terminal isn’t quite the same thing but it still adds a certain amount of ‘I’m in an exciting, alien, and possibly dangerous new place’ gravitas.

Recommend Me Some

As you can probably tell by the fact that basically all of these tracks are over TWENTY years old (and you have no idea how much this fact depresses me), I don’t listen to a lot of dance music but I’ve found it to be the most soothing for those long and bumpy road trips that we as travellers are destined to suffer from time to time.

I am therefore very interested in recommendations for other albums along similar lines (I guess ambient? Electronica? I have no idea what the kids are calling it these days). I would like to get my collection up to at least 8 hours.

Ideas in the comments.

Coming soon: Simon’s Top 5 Tunes for Sitting In A Field

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Your top 5 bus travel tunes in the comments below, please.

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  1. It can be kind of quiet, but especially for overnight bus trips, I enjoy Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports. 1/1 and 2/2 are the best tracks, as the other two have some weird synthesized vocals, but it’s worth it for the other two. I also use this to focus when working.


  2. I’d recommend bringing a kindle, they have a huge battery life and take up nearly no space plus they can hold thousands of books and cause little to no eye strain. Though typically I just go to sleep on bus or train rides.


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