As race fans get revved up for the Indy 500, they have one verb foremost in their minds. Before that word can actually be performed, however, the announcer will have to issue his classic line, “Gentlemen, start your engines.”
The fans at the Speedway will have plenty of time time to kill between parking and the start of the race, so here is a list of songs that would seem appropriate for the occasion. All twenty of them have the word “Go” in their titles.
Even though the band’s name is perfect for this event, I have omitted the Cars’ “Touch and Go” and “Let’s Go.” The cars at Indy should be racing, not singing.
“I Can’t Go for That” by Hall and Oates: Daryl Hall never directly states the titled antecedent on this hit from Private Eyes , but the song knocked Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” from the number one spot after ten straight weeks.
“Go Now” by the Moody Blues: Years before “Nights in White Satin” and a succession of hits that would go on to define the Moody Blues, Justin Hayward and John Lodge’s band scored with this 50ish sounding pop single.
“Go All the Way” by the Raspberries: Young Eric Carmen and his band hit the music scene with a lot energetic rock, as evidenced in this hit as well as “I Wanna Be with You.”
“Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac: This Lindsay Buckingham classic was the first of a half dozen top ten hits from the well-known Rumours album.
“Most Like You Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine” by Bob Dylan: This song could be a perfect title for any of Dylan’s break-up songs, the best of which are found on Blonde on Blonde .
“He’ll Have to Go” by Jim Reeves: “Put your sweet lips a little closer to the phone,” begins this country classic by the legendary crooner who had one of the finest voices in the history of the genre.
“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee: Both artists were at the peak of their 70s success when they recorded what has become the most famous duet in pop music.
“Where Will You Go?” by the Minus Five: Scott McCaugghey assembles this outfit every few years, and each reunion results in a fine album. This pop-rock track comes from their best, Down with Wilco .
“Don’t Let Go the Coat” by the Who: Face Dances may lack the rock of the band’s earlier albums, but this track is indicative of just how good the quartet could be when they tried a pop approach.
“Let Me Go” by Heaven 17: The video, which shows the new wave group walking through a deserted town, helped propel the song onto the Billboard chart.
“Go Away Little Girl” by Steve Lawrence: In today’s era of sexual paranoia, Lawrence would most likely be arrested for even addressing his sexual feelings for someone so young. Back them, however, this hit was merely a beautiful ballad about forbidden love.
“I Go Blind” by Hootie and the Blowfish: The band’s success was short-lived, but classics like this and “I Only Wanna Be with You” are still regularly heard on oldies stations.
“I Go Crazy” by Paul Davis: The singer-songwriter found appreciated airplay with this folksy love ballad.
“Just a Song Before I Go” by Crosby, Stills and Nash: Graham Nash penned this single from CSN , a short but catchy number about breaking up.
“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” by Elton John: One of many, many hits the pop pianist created with Bernie Taupin, this track from Caribou contains one of the greatest opening lines: “I can’t light no more of your darkness.”
“I Go to Extremes” by Billy Joel: Though the Piano Man had passed his prime by the release of Storm Front , this single proved that he still had a few hits left in his keyboard.
“Sunshine (Go Away Today)” by Jonathan Edwards: Known primarily as a folk singer before and since, Edwards gained immortality with this anti-authority hit from the early 70s.
“Everytime You Go Away” by Paul Young: The singer’s name became synonymous with slow love ballads, and this top ten hit is probably his most well-known.
Don’t Go Away” by Oasis: The Gallagher brothers slowed the tempo down on this first single from Be Here Now , a sad breakup song where the lover watching as “the plane flew away.”
“(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea” by Elvis Costello: Any fan of the Red-Shoed new waver has to wonder how this electric gem was originally left off of the U.S. release of This Year’s Model. Fortunately, it was included in the CD release twenty years later.