Natalie had a massive comeback hit with this track following groups such as Manfred Mann's Earthband, Pointer Sisters & Big Daddy who all had hits with songs written by Bruce Springsteen... charted at No. 49 on 20/3/88, peaked at No. 5 on 17/4/88...Yes, the motoring theme continues. In fact, calling this a comeback is if anything an understatement, as this was only her second Top 40 hit in the UK (she'd also had a Top 50 hit with the tenuously related 'Jump Start', which was re-issued as the follow-up to this). It really was a comeback in America, though, where a run of hits in the second half of the 1970s had been curtailed by drug problems. Back in 1988, I'd never heard the original Springsteen version (I now own it on the flipside of 'Dancing In The Dark') and I didn't really get the innunedo either.
Apparently it was because of this double-entendre about the song title that Springsteen vetoed a version by Bette Midler in 1983, thinking it unsuitable for a female singer (surely rather a failure of imagination). By now, his own version had already been released so he had no way of stopping this one even if he'd wanted to: in any case, he was apparently pleased with it. Perhaps he was biased, but he didn't have too much to object to. To be sure, it sounds every bit as old as it is, and it's not exactly packed with gravitas but then neither was the original. As a throwaway pop record it's nowhere near as good as I thought it was when it originally came out, but it does the job in a pleasantly cheery way.
Also appearing on: Now 14, 15
Available on: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1