455 Rocket

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"455 Rocket"
Single by Kathy Mattea
from the album Love Travels
B-side "All Roads to the River"
Released January 18, 1997
Genre Country
Length 4:09
Label Mercury Nashville
Songwriter(s) Gillian Welch, David Rawlings
Producer(s) Ben Wisch, Kathy Mattea
Kathy Mattea singles chronology
"Clown in Your Rodeo"
"455 Rocket"
"Love Travels"
"Clown in Your Rodeo"
"455 Rocket"
"Love Travels"

"455 Rocket" is a song written by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, and recorded by American country music artist Kathy Mattea. It was released in January 1997 as the first single from the album Love Travels. The song reached number 21 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.[1]


The song is about a woman who owns an Oldsmobile with a 455 V8 engine.

Mattea noted of the song that the band recorded several takes, but decided to keep the first one because "no one thought they were being recorded, and everyone was just playing with abandon." She also noted that due to the nature of the recording, session musician Jim Keltner can be heard dropping his drumsticks at the end of the song and laughing.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Billboard magazine gave the song a mixed review, saying that it was "cleverly written" but that "neither Mattea's vocal energy nor the production pace infuses the song with the sass and sizzle the lyric suggests."[3]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[4] 16
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 21


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 217. 
  2. ^ Flans, Robyn (2006). The Definitive Collection (CD booklet). Kathy Mattea. Mercury Records. B0007233-02. 
  3. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 3159." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. March 24, 1997. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  5. ^ "Kathy Mattea – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Kathy Mattea.

External links[edit]