So, I've modified my diet, been working out at the gym, take the stairs instead of the elevator and look for ways to walk and move more and as a result I've lost 28 pounds since January 7th, and I feel great about it. I look forward to my time in the gym even though it's hard work, and what keeps me going is the music on my Ipod. I can't imagine working out without music. (Or much worse, those people who read magazines while they're exercising; I love to read as much as the next guy, but if I'm concentrating on reading I'm not going as all out as I could be going.)
Anyway my "Workout" playlist is constantly being updated, songs no longer inspire me, something else will catch my ear and I'll give it a try, et cetera. But the one I've got now has been together for a while and I thought I'd take a look at it and see why.
First a word about my criteria. In the newest issue of Yoga Journal, there's an interview with a guy trying to "Americanize" yoga, and if that's not cringeworthy enough, he uses hip-hop music in his classes. When asked about some of the negative and mysogynist lyrics in those tunes, he says it's not important, people don't listen to the lyrics anyway. I do, and for me the lyrics have to be upbeat. They don't have to be romantic -- though that's a plus -- but they do have to be positive. It's also nice if they mention running or some type of physical exertion. And of course, there are always exceptions, if the beat's right or there's a certain je nais se quai that keeps me pumping away on the elliptical, it stays on the playlist. (Oh, and if anybody has any suggestions about songs to add, let me know.)
Ready? Here we go.
Don't Stop Believin' Journey (Corny, but inpirational. On days where I'm a little discouraged or tired, it's nice to be reminded right off the bat to keep the faith. )
What a Wonderful World Joey Ramone (Best of both worlds, overflowing with positivity and with a beat that defies you not to get moving.)
Rebel Rebel David Bowie (Like I said, things change all the time. But right now this is my favorite workout song -- and mostly for the beat not the lyrics, especially as a "handful of 'ludes" is not an example of performing-enhancing drugs. There was a time when I was a teenager that David Bowie was by far my favorite musician, so it's possible there's a little nostalgia involved with this one too. Whatever -- it works. Usually the first five minutes of my cardio workout is warm-up and five minutes is about how long the first two songs last, so when I have to get it going, Rebel Rebel is there to help me do so.)
Yesterday's Hero Bay City Rollers (Don't laugh, the Bay City Rollers never got a lot of respect stateside, but this one is very inspirational to an old dude trying to get back in shape:
We don't wanna BE! A yesterday's hero!
And yesterday's hero, is all that
We're gonna be if we don't get together!
Make a new plan and be constantly better!
All that we'll be if we don't get together NOW!
It's like a Men's Health article set to music.
Hot Corner The B-52s (This song is off their new comeback album, and I'm still not sure what it's about or if it's going to stay on the list. It does have some of the beehive-y feel of vintage B-52s, even if the title is a bit misleading. After all, it's not about playing third base. Ha-ha, a little baseball humor for y'all.)
Dude (Looks Like A Lady) Aerosmith (A hard-rocking tune from Steve Tyler and the guys. There aren't any dudes that look like ladies at my gym, but there is at least one lady who looks like a dude. She's actually an old friend of mine. By the way, did you know that this song was written about this particular dude?)
Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy) Big & Rich (A lot of people who know what a country music traditionalist I am and how I think rap ruined rock and roll can't figure out why I love Big and Rich, who brought rap to country, so much. To them I quote Walt Whitman, "Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am large; I contain multitudes" (Although, again, I am not as large as I was.) Even if I didn't love their music so much, I would still be a fan; I have been waiting a long time for someone to come along with the message "Love Everybody," and that's just what Big Kenny does. We'll hear from Big and Rich again before we hit the showers.
Check Yes Juliet We the Kings (I've written about this song before. It's just about perfect; second only to Rebel, Rebel as the perfect workout song. It's got high energy, the right amount of beats per minute, it's romantic, it mentions lacing up your shoes and running. What more could you ask for?)
Runaway Train Soul Asylum (I'm not sure how this one has stayed on the playlist so long. It does mention the word "run" or "runaway" anyway, but it's not very fast or upbeat (in any sense of the word). As an admirer of mixed metaphors, I love the first verse:
Call you up in the middle of the night
Like a firefly without a light
You were there like a slow torch burning
I was a key that could use a little turning
And as a fan of repitition passed off as rhyme, I enjoy the second verse as well:
So tired that I couldn't even sleep
So many secrets I couldn't keep
Promised myself I wouldn't weep
One more promise I couldn't keep
but not enough to keep the song. It's coming off or at least moving way farther down.)
No Surrender Bruce Springsteen (After slowing things down with Runaway Train, I need somebody to kick my ass and convince me to gear it up again. The Boss does just that.)
Everyone's In Love Will Kimbrough (A reiteration of me and Big Kenny's philosophy:
Everyone's in love with everyone
So don't you fret.
Everyone's in love with everyone
They just don't know it yet.
Could be a little faster for workout purposes, but the extra credit earned keeps it on the list.
I'm Still Here Paul Thorn ( I love Paul Thorn; this ex-boxer slash poet is the perfect combination of toughness and romanticism. At least one of his songs -- "Where Was I?" never fails to make me well with tears, but as in baseball there is no crying in the gym, so I go with this anthem of survival.
Go All the Way The Raspberries (Probably one of the most underrated rock bands ever. All they did was invent power pop -- later popularized by bands like Cheap Trick and Styx. I don't care how tired you are at this point, this erotic rock track will keep you running.)
We Got It Going On Bon Jovi with Big and Rich (See I told you Big and Rich would be back, and here they are with Bon Jovi. Great workout song.
I rarely get much past this on my workout but here are the other songs on my current playlist:
Janie's Got A Gun Aerosmith
Going Mobile The Who
Here I Go Again Whitesnake
Jeannie Needs a Shooter Warren Zevon
Don't Touch Me There The Tubes
On A Night Like This Trick Pony
I'll Be Your Shelter Taylor Dayne
The Pass Rush
Jessie's Girl 3:14 Rick Springfield Hits Of The 80's Alternative & Punk 14 3/31/2008 9:11 AM
Come and Get Your Love 5:00 Redbone The Essential Redbone Rock 11 3/31/2008 9:16 AM
We're a Happy Family 2:39 The Ramones Weird Tales of the Ramones Alternative 4 3/31/2008 9:19 AM
Mission Temple Fireworks Stand 3:33 Paul Thorn Mission Temple Fireworks Stand Country 8 4/10/2008 12:19 PM
Rise Up 3:48 Paul Thorn Mission Temple Fireworks Stand Country 4 3/31/2008 9:26 AM
Everybody Looks Good At The Starting Line 4:36 Paul Thorn Mission Temple Fireworks Stand Country 8 3/29/2008 5:48 PM
Green Grass and High Tides 9:46 The Outlaws Best of The Outlaws: Green Grass and High Tides Rock 5 3/31/2008 9:36 AM
The Slow Descent into Alcoholism 3:57 The New Pornographers Mass Romantic (Remastered) Alternative 16 3/31/2008 9:40 AM
I Melt With You 4:12 Modern English After the Snow Alternative 11 4/4/2008 5:41 PM
I Run for Life 4:24 Melissa Etheridge Melissa Etheridge: Greatest Hits - The Road Less Traveled Rock 5 4/4/2008 5:45 PM
The Angels 4:40 Melissa Etheridge Brave And Crazy Rock 5 4/4/2008 5:50 PM
Hang On Sloopy 3:54 The McCoys Hang on Sloopy - The Best of the McCoys Rock 100 20 4/4/2008 5:54 PM
I Feel Lucky 3:31 Mary Chapin Carpenter The Essential Mary Chapin Carpenter Pop 4 4/4/2008 6:01 PM
Shut Up And Kiss Me 3:41 Mary Chapin Carpenter The Essential Mary Chapin Carpenter Pop 4 3/16/2008 3:41 PM
Fire On the Mountain 3:55 The Marshall Tucker Band Searchin' for a Rainbow Rock 9 4/4/2008 6:06 PM
Any Way You Want It 3:24 Journey Journey's Greatest Hits Rock 4 4/11/2008 5:11 PM
Wheel In The Sky 4:13 Journey Journey's Greatest Hits Rock 5 4/4/2008 6:13 PM
Centerfield 3:54 John Fogerty Premonition Rock 19 4/11/2008 5:34 PM
Hey Tonight [Live] 2:33 John Fogerty The Long Road Home Rock 9 4/4/2008 6:20 PM
Passionate Kisses 3:22 Mary Chapin Carpenter The Essential Mary Chapin Carpenter Pop 9 4/4/2008 5:57 PM
Have You Ever Seen The Rain? 2:39 John Fogerty The Long Road Home Rock 2 4/4/2008 6:23 PM
Badlands 4:04 Bruce Springsteen Darkness On The Edge Of Town Rock 5 4/3/2008 5:58 PM
How Much Love 4:41 Vixen Rev It Up Rock 7 4/3/2008 5:46 PM
Uptown Girl 3:18 Billy Joel The Essential Billy Joel (Limited Edition) Rock 39 3/22/2008 5:41 PM
Almost Saturday Night [Live] 2:28 John Fogerty The Long Road Home Rock 6 4/11/2008 5:07 PM
Up Around The Bend 2:41 John Fogerty The Long Road Home Rock 11 4/5/2008 12:22 PM
Fortunate Son 2:20 John Fogerty The Long Road Home Rock 11 4/5/2008 12:24 PM
They're Everywhere 3:35 Jim's Big Ego They're Everywhere! (Explicit) Rock 5 4/5/2008 12:28 PM
Centerfold 3:38 J. Geils Band Hits Of The 80's Alternative & Punk 6 4/11/2008 5:37 PM
Never Been Any Reason 5:11 Head East 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Head East Rock 15 4/10/2008 12:31 PM
I Fought the Law 2:47 Green Day I Fought the Law - Single Alternative 11 4/5/2008 12:43 PM
Bad Time 2:56 Grand Funk Railroad Grand Funk Railroad: 30 Years of Funk - 1969-1999 The Anthology (Box Set) Rock 14 4/11/2008 5:14 PM
Footstompin' Music 3:48 Grand Funk E Pluribus Funk Rock 5 4/5/2008 12:49 PM
Stacy's Mom 3:18 Fountains of Wayne Welcome Interstate Managers Alternative 5 4/5/2008 12:53 PM
Bad Things 2:44 Jace Everett Jace Everett Country 7 4/5/2008 12:31 PM
Flowers on the Wall 3:29 Eric Heatherly Swimming in Champagne Country 15 4/5/2008 12:56 PM
Should I Stay Or Should I Go 3:09 The Clash The Essential Clash [Disc 2] Alternative & Punk 2 4/5/2008 1:00 PM
Rock The Casbah 3:43 The Clash The Essential Clash [Disc 2] Alternative & Punk 2 4/5/2008 1:03 PM
Train In Vain 3:11 The Clash The Essential Clash [Disc 2] Alternative & Punk 3 4/5/2008 1:07 PM
I Fought The Law 2:39 The Clash The Essential Clash [Disc 1] Alternative & Punk 3 4/5/2008 1:09 PM
Don't Ask Me How I Know 4:16 Bobby Pinson Don't Ask Me How I Know - Single Country 13 4/5/2008 1:14 PM
Love Train 3:47 Big & Rich Horse Of A Different Color Country 3 3/22/2008 5:45 PM
Six Foot Town 3:48 Big & Rich Horse Of A Different Color Country 3 3/22/2008 5:52 PM
Wild West Show 4:21 Big & Rich Horse Of A Different Color Country 3 3/22/2008 5:56 PM
Rollin' 4:50 Big & Rich Horse Of A Different Color Country 3 3/22/2008 6:01 PM
One Week 2:50 Barenaked Ladies The Buzz Rock 6 3/16/2008 3:04 PM
Revival 4:05 The Allman Brothers Band Dreams (Box Set) Rock 10 3/16/2008 3:26 PM