Rose Royce – Car Wash

First Hit #1: January 29, 1977

Pop music can be about anything, even if it’s mostly about a small number of things. For an example, here’s Car Wash, about working at a car wash, which a perfect little dance song about the joys and sorrows of washing cars. The most impressive thing about Car Wash isn’t the chorus that everyone knows, it’s that it actually finds time to be an honest portrayal of car wash employment. It depicts the job as something it is – occasionally fun, often attracting a variety of customers, but for low pay and long hours. The chorus makes it seem more fun than it is, but Royce isn’t depicting employment at a car wash as the greatest experience in the history of the world. Everyone just remembers the chorus, but there’s more going on here.

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