Mr.Classic’s Classic Rock Pick of the Day Sniff n The Tears Driver’s Seat

Sniff n The Tears Driver’s Seat

“Driver’s Seat” is a 1978 song by the British band Sniff ‘n’ the Tears that appears on their debut album, Fickle Heart. The band is considered a one-hit wonder as “Driver’s Seat” was their only hit.

The genesis of the song dates back to 1973 and a demo tape recorded for a French record label by singer/guitarist Paul Roberts for the band Ashes of Moon. However, that band broke up and, at the suggestion of drummer Luigi Salvoni, Roberts re-formed it as Sniff ‘n’ the Tears with guitarists Laurence “Loz” Netto and Mick Dyche and bassist Nick South. They shopped the demo tape and signed with the small Chiswick label in 1977.

According to Paul Roberts, “Driver’s Seat” isn’t about driving, but rather “fragmented, conflicting thoughts and emotions that might follow the break-up of a relationship”. One of the key decisions in arranging the song was to start with drums and progressively introduce other instruments.

“Driver’s Seat” reached number 15 on the American Billboard Pop Singles chart in the fall of 1979, and reached the top 10 in The Netherlands in November 1980.

A 12″ version was released on A Best Of Sniff ‘n’ the Tears in 1991. The song appeared at number 1 on the Dutch Top 40 chart that same year as a result of its use in a Pioneer commercial.

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