The Mustang & Music

Cars Culture

The car that inspired more music than any other?

Since April 17th 1964 the Ford Mustang has been influencing people by its iconic design, prestige and luxury. With projected sales of less than 100,000 units in the first year, Ford was quickly inundated, surpassing a million units within 18 months of launch. The Mustang was owned by a wide demographic, from celebrities to your average Joe – most likely because it looked great, had great performance and you did not need a Rock Star’s salary to own one.

As a result of the Mustang being so influential, very soon musicians started writing about it. Truly it was so popular from the start it became a household name in no time. One of the first songs to be recorded referencing the ‘Pony Car’ was by Chuck Berry. In 1966 he released ‘My Ford Mustang’, a song quite literally dedicated to his own 1966 385bhp Mustang. This was a vehicle he loved and a vehicle he knew the American public loved too – a simple recipe for a great song and great sales.

Later that same year Wilson Pickett released his cover of ‘Mustang Sally’, a cover of a song originally made by Mack Rice in 1965. However, the song only rose to international fame after Pickett’s cover. The ‘Mustang Sally’ story is about a sugar daddy wanting to change someone’s life, by buying them a Mustang. They then totally forget he exists because they are driving around in their very own Mustang. The car was changing lives, in real life and in music.

Some years on and the Mustang was still influencing popular music. In 1991 Vanilla Ice released ‘Rollin’ in my 5.0’. Vanilla Ice was known for his somewhat iconic Fox Body Mustang, so knowing how popular the Mustang was, he utilised it for musical success. Keep in mind that even in 1991, after countless revisions, Ford were still selling nearly 100,000 Mustangs each year.

The musical influence didn’t stop there. Artists such as Keith Urban, Katy Perry, Elton John, Rod Stewart, The Beach Boys and even Fergie mentioned the car. The Mustang proved to have the capability to reach anyone, anywhere, who listened to any genre of music. Rock to Pop, Country to R&B – artists were singing about the Mustang because it was a car everyone knew or aspired to own.

Jumping forward to 2019, Ford decided to ensure that the music listening experience inside the Mustang was good enough to allow owners to appreciate all the music inspired by it. B&O were tasked with utilising a cabin architecture which already existed, unable to change speaker placement or channel count. This was a seriously big task to undertake. B&O focused on ensuring clean, crisp and punchy audio – even with the windows down. Through their expert adaptation of the cabin and use of Rock music in development, the result was a perfectly balanced and dynamic audio system which worked exceptionally well even with the physical constraints given to them by the Mustang’s interior.

Turn the audio up and you will now hear a soundtrack that is as good inside as outside. Whilst the V8 symphony could entertain you on the backroads, until now the interior audio quality was not comparable. With 1000 watts of power, 12 speakers and a truly linear design, the internal audio can finally showcase the multitude of songs the car has helped create.

When first setting out on a search to discover the history of the Mustang and how it had influenced music, there was no clue as to how extensive the artist list would be, how many years it would cover or just how insane the popularity of the ‘Pony Car’ would be . Songs listened to for years without question were found to have direct Mustang influences – even Eminem talked about the respect given to the Mustang in his track ‘Echo’.

For many years, Ford had a fabulous car with significant popular culture influence but until recently did not have the audio to complement it. Now it has something insane. Each time you turn the key of a Mustang, you will smile. The V8 sounds incredible and it lights a fire in your heart. Now you are able to continue that feeling for the entire journey, listening to music in epic and powerful clarity.

No matter what you choose to listen to, the audio sounds great – but it sounds even more superb with Mustang influenced music.