I refer, of course, to Bobby Troup's "Route 66" -- the only song to have been recorded by Nat King Cole, The Rolling Stones AND Depeche Mode. And a song that, as those who know me best are aware, looms particularly large in my legend (both as listener and occasional performer. That last, of course, is a subject for another time).
In any case, "Route 66" has probably inspired more really good covers than any other comparable number in the history of what Casey Kasem refers to as the Rock Era. That being the case, here are two I particularly like, submitted for your listening pleasure.
From 1965, please enjoy the angry young Them (seriously -- that was the name of the album, The Angry Young Them), featuring the dimunitive Van Morrison, and their charmingly snarly version. With an amazing piano part, which I stole early and often.
And from 1977 and one of the great live bootlegs of all time, dig Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on KSAN-FM radio with their authoritative take on the tune.
The above mentioned bootleg, by the way, is absolutely brilliant from stem to stern. For my money, it was recorded on an evening when TP and company were pretty clearly the greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world, but that too is a subject for another time.