Music for jogging
December 16, 2004 9:00 AM   Subscribe

What are the best songs to jog to?

Right now, I'm partial to one of two types: songs with an irresistible beat -- "The Jump Off" by Li'l Kim being exemplary of the genre, and moody, evocative, cinematic songs, that make it seem like I'm a character in a movie during some sort of wistful montage (e.g., "The Blower's Daughter" by Damien Rice; this sort of song doesn't necessarily have to have a beat to get me going).
posted by grrarrgh00 to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Those are generally the two genres I prefer for running, and I usually gravitate to LONG songs... 9-10 minutes plus. I used to really enjoy the live disc from Pink Floyd's Ummagumma, oddly enough, which was four great atmospheric tracks from their psyche days: Astronomy Domine, Careful With That Axe Eugene, and the like. I guess the idea is that I'm apt follow the epic structures of the music and, bam, two songs are done and I've done a couple of miles.

I'd also strongly recommend "The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place" album by Explosions in the Sky; it fits squarely in your latter category.
posted by The Michael The at 9:07 AM on December 16, 2004 [1 favorite]

Well, I was doing a really hard run last night with my iPod on full-shuffle. In the 5th mile, I was really flagging, and was resorting to making deals with myself about finishing (it was supposed to be a 6-mile run). And then the Imperial March bubbled up and I felt like a badass, and finished in style.

So the Imperial March is a good running song.

Other than that, the Flaming Lips' The Soft Bulletin is a moody, evocative, cinematic album and makes a good running soundtrack.

And if you need to dump adrenaline into your system, it's hard to go wrong with Van Halen.
posted by COBRA! at 9:12 AM on December 16, 2004

U.S. Army Rangers Run to Cadence CD. Hear hillbilly drill instructors unimaginative "I don't know but I've been told..." cadences to gangs of young men who wish to hell they were anywhere else. Some of the voice you hear may have already been killed in combat.
posted by Faze at 9:15 AM on December 16, 2004 [2 favorites]

Eye of the Tiger baby, . . Eye of the Tiger.
posted by petebest at 9:40 AM on December 16, 2004

I have been jogging with the DFA Compilation's #1 and #2, with some songs removed for lack of awesomeness.

That and "What You Waitin' For?" on repeat. That song gets me hype.
posted by Quartermass at 9:44 AM on December 16, 2004

Volcano Girls by Veruca Salt
Run Like Hell by Pink Floyd
Acceleration by Machines of Loving Grace
I Come From the Water by Toadies
Chariots of Fire by Vangelis
posted by sciurus at 9:53 AM on December 16, 2004

The theme song from Rocky.

Gonna fly now!
posted by ludwig_van at 10:30 AM on December 16, 2004

Come on, people...SLAYER. "South of Heaven" and "Reign in Blood" are great workout albums.
posted by baphomet at 10:36 AM on December 16, 2004

Run Lola Run soundtrack.
posted by smackfu at 10:54 AM on December 16, 2004

It's tough to beat "Going the Distance" by Cake:

As they speed thru the finish the flags go down /
The fans get up, and get out of town.
The arena is empty except for one man /
Still driving and striving as fast as he can

The sun has gone down and the moon has come up /
And long ago somebody left with the cup,
But he's driving and striving and hugging the turns /
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns.

Here's a few other good ones:

(1) "Down Together" by the Refreshments
(2) "You're The Best" by Bill Conti (from The Karate Kid): cheesy but oh-so-effective
(3) "Warm Fuzzy Feeling" by Fastball
(4) "Mass Romantic" by New Pornographers
(5) "Sugar" by Stretch Princess (I first heard this song in a Mary Kate and Ashley movie, absurd as that is, but it rules)
(6) "Hearts on Fire" by [not sure who], from Rocky IV
(7) "Praise Chorus" by Jimmy Eats World and
(8) "Come Baby Come" by K7. This one is great.
(9) "Callin' Baton Rouge" by Garth Brooks

That's a short list, but those will all get you going. Even Garth Brooks.
posted by AgentRocket at 11:07 AM on December 16, 2004 [1 favorite]

I'm dating my 1980s ass here, but...BILLY IDOL. Plus you can burn extra calories doing those lip curls.
posted by butternut at 12:01 PM on December 16, 2004

Goa A.K.A Psychedelic Trance.
posted by lorbus at 12:40 PM on December 16, 2004

Cornershop has a nearly-15 minute ragga called "Spectral Mornings." I have four cds that I run to, but I have one that is Spectral Mornings four times. Because while I like running to 15 or 16 different songs over the course of the run, I can know approximately how far along I am in the run after I use the CD a few times. And on the days where I am not enjoying myself, knowing that (for example) The Specials "Guns of Navarone" means another 12 songs is discouraging. I tend to see each song as a milestone, so 15 minutes is more palatable that way. Especially when I can't tell where in the song I am after a minute or so.

I recommend the song because it's relatively fast and has a consistent beat, but it has some themes that change and you can just get lost in it. Another good thing about listening to the same song is that the tempo's not going to change and trick you into speeding up and losing your pace.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:54 PM on December 16, 2004

I always go for completely beatless stuff when running - Beats sometimes really fuck up my stride/breathing rythm.

On the running playlist right now:
Takagi Masatatsu
Oren Ambarchi
Keith Fullerton Whitman
Brian Eno
Pauline Oliveros
posted by soplerfo at 1:05 PM on December 16, 2004

Best Running Songs. Plus, if your pace doesn't pick up at the end of Freebird, you ain't human.
posted by Frank Grimes at 1:49 PM on December 16, 2004

I found that Malcoml McLaren's Duck Rock was the absolute best CD for running. Consistently high-energy, up-tempo music with just enough change ups to keep me interested.

Kind of dated, though.
posted by rtimmel at 2:09 PM on December 16, 2004

I put my mp3 player on "random" and go. My favorite running songs are at least 4.5 mins long. I particularly like Snoop Dogg.
posted by Juicylicious at 2:32 PM on December 16, 2004

Rush, Marathon.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:43 PM on December 16, 2004

I'm one of those people who needs a strong beat. I've found old-school Michael Jackson really gets me going, and I've recently re-discovered the Beastie Boys. Otherwise, I just pick fast-paced songs by my favorite bands and put them on my mp3 player. Current favorites include Pinback, the Postal Service, Jimmy Eat World, and Modest Mouse.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 3:53 PM on December 16, 2004

"Go", Devo.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:42 PM on December 16, 2004

I really like it for driving, for the same reasons I think I would like it for jogging, assuming I did that, which I don't, and now-crap!- I have no idea how to get this sentence back on track so it ends now.

Anyway, The Sweat Descends by Les Savy Fav.
posted by hughbot at 6:01 PM on December 16, 2004

Running Away - Frankie Beverly and Maze.
posted by euphorb at 6:28 PM on December 16, 2004

She's a Maniac by Hall and Oates. Maybe I'm stuck in the 80's but this song really gets the blood flowing. If not that, how about the Rocky III soundtrack or Born in the USA by Springsteen? You might even substitute the Springsteen hit with Cheech's Born in the East L.A.

Yeah, stuck in the 80's for sure.
posted by kartooner at 6:53 PM on December 16, 2004

Back in the day, I used to pound the Stairmaster to Sugar's "Copper Blue" quite often. Great big guitar sound and some crazy hooks - I love that record. I'd be trying to sing "Hoover Dam" while gasping for breath, sweat pouring off me.
posted by davebush at 7:09 PM on December 16, 2004

I'll second the psychedelic trance suggestion, mostly because its extremely energetic without necessarily having a beat that you have to match, and because you can find mixes that are 20-180 minutes long and constantly change but never let up. Get your hands on a good DJ set - which, after all, was originally geared to keep people dancing for hours - and you're golden.
posted by googly at 8:25 PM on December 16, 2004

Culture Club: Church of the Poison Mind
Kurtis Blow: The Breaks
Edwin Starr: Twenty-Five Miles
Frankie Smith: Double-Dutch Bus
Prince: Controversy
Parliament: Bop Gun

posted by davidmsc at 8:27 PM on December 16, 2004

Awesome question. I second Mayor Curley's suggestion. Cornershop's Spectral Mornings is perfect.

Fight Without Honor and Humanity, on the first Kill Bill soundtrack, is great - very Eye-of-the-Tigerish. The Saint Esmerelda song right after it is also excellent.

Life During Wartime by Talking Heads always gets my blood flowing.
posted by painquale at 12:28 AM on December 17, 2004

About 15 lbs of some weight loss 3 years ago was owed exclusively to running to Ani DiFranco's "Not a Pretty Girl" (I kept putting it on repeat). Everclear's whole album So Much for the Afterglow is also good to run to, as is Buffalo Tom's Big Red Letter Day.
posted by onlyconnect at 1:33 AM on December 17, 2004

Queen - Radio Ga Ga
posted by XiBe at 5:16 AM on December 17, 2004

Life During Wartime by Talking Heads always gets my blood flowing.

That's funny-- that's the song I would have suggested after Spectral Mornings.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:35 AM on December 17, 2004

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