2021 Song Draft- Round 3 Pick 1- Hinoeuma selects ‘Driver’s Seat’- Sniff ‘N’ The Tears.

Driver's Seat RYM Image One
Image Credit: Rate Your Music

I can’t recall the first time I heard Driver’s Seat but, the song entered Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart on July 21, 1979. I was twelve and I was immediately hooked. It was released in 1978 but, took a while to gain any traction. It managed to get to #15 for a couple of weeks, sandwiched between Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) by Robert Palmer and Born To Be Alive by Patrick Hernandez. It was the first track from Sniff ‘n’ The Tears, debut album Fickle Heart and was the band’s only hit despite fifteen albums, spanning 1978 to 2020.

The history of this British rock band is a little sketchy. Colin Larkin, the British Editor-in-Chief of The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, stated in the 1997 edition that they “had been gigging in England as early as 1974” but, an Athens Calling interview in 2018 reflects 1972. A Jason Ankeny, writing for All Music, stated that lead singer/songwriter Paul Roberts dissolved the band after not being able to get a record deal. Drummer Luigi Salvoni talked Roberts into re-forming the band with Mick Dyche, Loz Netto, Chris Birkin and Alan Fealdman. Ankeny has the actual musician line-up all wrong in comparison to the official website. There is also no mention of Noel McCalla as backing vocals for the time period. The name of the band apparently came from their manager, as Roberts had hay fever and sniffed a lot.

The band is still active as of 2001 as a quartet, with Roberts & Salvoni still working together. ~Vic


Top of the Pops 1979 (Proper Line-Up)

Official Video


  1. Now that’s a song I can get behind! Love it , one of the best of the 70s “one hit wonders”.
    Roberts briefly went to be the lead singer of the Stranglers after Hugh Cornwell quit, but soon left them (apparently to rejoin Sniff’ from what you say) and was replaced by Baz Warne who’s had the gig longer than anybody else now.

    • there’s not a huge amount about Sniff n The tears out there, in my experience. By the way, coincidence – I heard the song today in background of a credit card commercial! Never heard it used in ads before.

    • The song’s Wiki page has a list of things from popular culture but, there are no citations. There is an IMDb page on the band & the song.

      It seems to have gotten more popular with age. Found this:

  2. I heard this on the local rock station back in the day- and went out and bought the album on the next trip to the record store. Great song and I listened to the album recently again and its not bad either. Great selection- and an out of the blue one at that.

  3. Catchy. Sounds like a more rockin Al Stewart. Can hear why this one grabs you. I remember hearing this and liking it. Im learning all sorts of stuff here. The Stranglers connection? You just never know.

  4. I remember this song but don’t think I ever knew who sang it (other than what a DJ may have announced that wasn’t remembered.) I really like that continuing progression that goes through the whole song. Nice keyboard flourishes and guitar work.

  5. This brings back fun memories. I loved the name of the group, too. I didn’t ever know anything about Sniff N The Tears. Interesting that the details of their early years are murky. It’s very cool that some of the group is still together.

  6. This was on my list…I love this song and it does bring back memories of cruising. Great pick Vic…I’ve always loved the song.

  7. Frankly, I don’t know anything about Sniff ‘N’ The Tears, but this is a great pick! I haven’t heard that song in ages! I remember very well listening to it on the radio back in Germany, where it got decent airplay. Then it kind of fell off my radar screen.

    • If I recall correctly, that would have been in 1991? It got as high as #4 in the Netherlands in 1980 and returned to #1 in the Netherlands in 1991. It is very rare that I hear it played over the air. It has showed up in the movie Boogie Nights, on an episode of The Walking Dead and was used as bumper music on C2CAM. Heh.

  8. Wow this transports me back to high school – don’t think I’ve heard it since then but remember enjoying it at the time. Sniff and the Tears has to be on the list of most unusual band names. Thanks for the memory trip – great pick!

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