Sniff ‘n’ the Tears – Driver’s Seat ….Power Pop Friday

This song took a few listens but then I started to like it. It peaked at #15 on the Billboard 100, #17 in Canada, and #42 in the UK charts. The song ended up being Sniff ‘n’ the Tears biggest hit.

The song was a failure in the UK but more successful in the US where it hit the top twenty in 1979. It was a hit almost everywhere but in the UK. In the UK they were set up for success. They managed to snag a Top of the Pops appearance when it came out. They filled in for the Gang of Four who dropped out at the last moment.  The week after it was released… the EMI pressing plant went on strike and you couldn’t buy Driver’s Seat for four or five weeks.

An early version of this song was demoed back in 1973 by singer/guitarist Paul Roberts’ then-band Ashes of Moon for a French label. However, that band broke up, and, at the suggestion of drummer Luigi Salvini, Roberts reformed it as Sniff ‘n’ the Tears with guitarists Laurence “Loz” Netto and Mick Dyche, and bassist Chris Birkin.

They shopped the demo tape and signed with the London indie label Chiswick in 1977. Sniff ‘n’ The Tears found a good audience outside the UK until they broke up in 1983. They reformed in 1992 after Driver’s Seat featured in a Dutch TV ad for Pioneer Stereos. They were truly a one-hit-wonder in the US. They did have a single to peaked at #108 called New Lines on Love.

Paul Roberts (singer): It was a pretty massive hit everywhere apart from Britain, Britain is perverse in some respects, but it did get a lot of radio play. We were accused of ripping off Dire Straits. I never understood that, but I think it was more that we were different to the post-punk scene.

Driver’s Seat

Doing all right
A little jiving on a Saturday night
And come what may
Gonna dance the day away

Jenny was sweet
She always smiled for the people she meet
On trouble and strife
She had another way of looking at life

The news is blue (The news is blue)
Had it’s own way to get to you
What can I do? (What can I do? )
When I remember my time with you

Pick up your feet
Got to move to the trick of the beat
There is no elite
Just take your place in the driver’s seat
Driver’s seat, driver’s seat, yeah
Doing all right
A little jiving on a Saturday night
And come what may
Gonna dance the day away
Driver’s seat, driver’s seat, yeah
Jenny was sweet
There is no elite
Pick up your feet, pick up, pick up
Pick up your feet, gonna dance the day away
Driver’s seat, driver’s seat, yeah
Driver’s seat, driver’s seat, yeah

Driver’s seat

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

19 thoughts on “Sniff ‘n’ the Tears – Driver’s Seat ….Power Pop Friday”

  1. I’m glad to be reminded of this fun song. I never knew anything about it, but it was just right for that era, where a few bands were starting to break through the wall of disco with something resembling rock and roll, and a little nod to the mid-60s. Didn’t this song get picked in the song draft too?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yep, classic one hit wonder. I thought the name, Sniff ‘n’ The Tears was a great name- it stuck in my brain even if the song got sorta forgotten. It’s usually the other way ’round with me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Our music tastes do overlap, here & there. You like the 60s more than I do but, I like the 80s more than you do.

        We overlap in Surf & Drag music.

        We both like Beatles but, I am more early stuff & you are more later stuff.

        We can meet in the middle. 🤩

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I like the 80s mor”e than you do.” lol that is like saying the sun comes up lol. I do like some though…like Bruce, Tom, John, and Prince.

        I need to post more early Beatles…I think my next one will be early.
        We always do!

        Like

      3. There are parts of the sixties I didn’t like…the Paul Anka and the pre-Beatles stuff. I do like the surf songs…you know that

        Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: