Road Trip Playlist: Reckless Records, Chicago


From slingshots to sporks to a solar-powered phone charger, our latest Pop-In Shop, LET’S GO! (which shuts its doors this Sunday), has everything you need for an epic American road trip—including expertly curated tunes to fuel long hours in your #adventuremobile between points A and B.

Keep reading for classic soundtracks, from Sabbath to the Stones, for a REAL road trip—one that spans 10 full albums, at least—courtesy of Matt Jencik at Reckless Records, a London legend for 30 years that now operates three record shops in Chicago.



[Photo by Matt Jencik.]

“Coincidentally, I had just gotten back from a road trip when Nordstrom asked me to compile a mix-tape for this project. On the trip, we mostly listened to full albums in their entirety, so I thought this format might be more appropriate.” —Matt Jencik, Reckless Records


1) Exile on Main St. by The Rolling Stones. “My friend Dan always said that this was the ultimate road trip album. I think I agree. It’s all about ‘Torn and Frayed,’ though.”

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2) Decade by Neil Young. “I’m not normally a greatest-hits guy, but this collection has so much variety—and it’s really damn long. Plenty of rockers, slow stuff, whatever you’d want; plus one of the better songs about a car: ‘Long May You Run.'”

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3) Love It to Death by Alice Cooper. “On a recent road trip, I listened to this one and then two more Alice Cooper records in a row (Easy Action and Killer, if you’re wondering)—and probably could have listened to more if we hadn’t reached our destination.”

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4) Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin. “Not necessarily my favorite Zeppelin album (I tend to fluctuate on this), but certainly the one with the most variety, hence it making the list. Plus, it has ‘In the Light’! This album is incredibly deep.”

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5) Jerusalem by Sleep. “I’ve been a fan of this record ever since I heard it, but I finally ‘got it’ once when I was on a long drive. Staring off into the distance in driving monotony with this as your soundtrack will make you a believer.”

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6) The Who Sell Out by The Who. “One of the most fully realized psychedelic pop records ever conceived, this record needs to be digested in one sitting, and a car hurtling through space is the perfect spot to do so.”

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7) Ram by Paul & Linda McCartney. “I’ve played this one on a few road trips and converted a few non-believers into fans for life. One of McCartney’s most nuanced albums—his ‘mad genius’ album.”

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8) Fun House by The Stooges. “Similar to Led Zeppelin, I could really pick any Stooges album, but this is the one that I always seem to lean toward on long trips. The song ‘Dirt’ has a lot to do with that.”

Sample Track:

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9) Vol. 4 by Black Sabbath. “I think this one is the most ‘depends on my mood’ pick on here, as I love pretty much everything these guys recorded—all eras including the Heaven & Hell band. I’m only picking Vol. 4 because it’s the one I’ve been listening to the most lately. A few weeks ago, it would have been Never Say Die. Before that, who knows. I always listen to Black Sabbath on road trips.”

Sample Track:

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10) Discreet Music by Brian Eno. “This is music for when you’ve reached your destination—or at least a temporary one. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in some random hotel, or crashing on a floor, and thrown this on to help me get to sleep. One of his best.”

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For more road trip essentials,
check out our current Pop-In Shop: LET’S GO!

[Intro photos via @recklessrecords on Instagram.]

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