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Driver's Seat - Sniff 'n' the Tears

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Uploaded on May 9, 2010

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"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, and "Driver's Seat" was that hit.

Sniff 'n' the Tears are led by singer/songwriter Paul Roberts, the band's sole constant member. Roberts, a noted painter, is also responsible for painting all of the band's album covers.

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 reformed 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. One of the key decisions made during the recording of "Driver's Seat" was to start the song with Roberts' acoustic guitar and drums and gradually fade in other instruments.

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".

"Driver's Seat", a hit in many countries including #15 on the American Billboard Hot 100 charts in the fall of 1979, and reached the top 10 in The Netherlands in November 1980. The exception was the UK itself where a problem with EMI's pressing plant meant that the single was not available following the band's appearance on Top of the Pops and it peaked just outside the Top 40. It reappeared at #1 on the Dutch Top 40 eleven years later as a result of use of the song in a Pioneer commercial.

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