Great music to run to
September 21, 2010 9:03 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend music I can listen to while I run! The more intense, the better. Video game music often works, but I'm open to anything that makes me feel like I never want to stop. Examples of what I love best inside.

When I'm running, I want very fast, intense music with a strong beat that pulls me along and doesn't give my mind any space to wander. If the music slows down, gets repetitive, goes on too long or feels too soft, I get distracted. The music I really, really like for running is so different from what I normally listen to that I don't know how to find more. Here are some examples of what works best for me:
SSH's combination of two songs from Final Fantasy VI and Metal Max
Archetype, from the Castle Crashers soundtrack
Best of Shape's remix of Asellus' last battle from SaGa Frontier

If I had a pool of songs similar to those three for my playlists, I would be in running heaven!

The examples are all from video games; I find video game music works really well for running in general, so Earthbound, Rez, Cave Story, The World Ends With You and so on all figure pretty prominently in my playlists. But it's definitely not a requirement -- my playlists also have Motown, Lady Gaga, jpop, anything that feels like it might be fast enough. These are just three of the songs that I feel like I could run to forever. Also, these songs are all instrumental, but I really like having lyrics to listen to as well, because it's another element to focus on. I'm learning Japanese, and I'd especially like music with Japanese lyrics so I can get that virtuous little multi-tasking thrill -- but again, not a requirement. I don't care what language it's in if it's got that feeling I like.

I've gone through the other questions about running music, too, I'm just open to as many suggestions as possible. I hate getting bored, so I like to throw together a new playlist every time I go running.
posted by shirobara to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Based on #1 and #3, you probably want some sort of instrumental power metal. I'm not that into the genre (because the vocals on the non-instrumental stuff are annoying), but start here:
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:07 AM on September 21, 2010

Dizzee Rascal is probably not to everyone's taste but Fickle is my favorite running song.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:10 AM on September 21, 2010

In retrospect, it should have been obvious, but I recently discovered that the soundtrack to Run Lola Run is really good to listen to while running.
posted by deanc at 9:12 AM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

podrunner is often all instrumental, but generally pretty good. also, constant bpm.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:23 AM on September 21, 2010

DragonForce is very fast and video-gamey. If I were a runner, I would probably try that. They are a bit repetitive, however. Also, cheese level: extreme.
posted by AugieAugustus at 9:30 AM on September 21, 2010

Girl Talk's Feed the Animals has a great aerobic beat. It's sort of instrumental without being instrumental. Since it's all pop based I don't know if it would be your thing, but it's something potentially new and interesting to listen to, at least.
posted by maryr at 9:38 AM on September 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

When I run, I play the Run, Lola, Run soundtrack. It was, quite literally, written for running!
posted by xingcat at 9:40 AM on September 21, 2010

I definitely 2nd maryr's Girl Talk suggestion-- even if it's not *exactly* what you asked for. It's not a genre I love, but that album is the best running soundtrack I've come across for years. It doesn't ever get boring (which is the big problem with most mash-ups, in my opinion).

Also going for it is the fact that is pretty seamless, even on shuffle, so you can never really anticipate the starts/ends of songs.
posted by activitystory at 9:42 AM on September 21, 2010

Bit Shifter!
posted by ghostbikes at 10:05 AM on September 21, 2010

buckethead can be pretty close to this.
posted by lester at 10:17 AM on September 21, 2010

Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 2 OST!!
posted by luvcraft at 10:52 AM on September 21, 2010

also the Shatter soundtrack.
posted by luvcraft at 10:56 AM on September 21, 2010

If it's video game music ye seek, go to Galbadia Hotel.
My personal recommendation for heart attack inducing music is the soundtrack to
Tempest 2000.
posted by No Shmoobles at 12:16 PM on September 21, 2010

Blood smells loud (click on more tracks- it's #12) from Warhammer.
posted by get off of my cloud at 1:15 PM on September 21, 2010

To mix it up a bit, you might like some things from early Stereolab albums, such as Refried Ectoplasm or Peng!. Caribou's first album (as Caribou) also has a very video-gamey quality. For more of a metal feel, there is always Dungen or High On Fire (be careful with the last one if you're running, though, as the tempo may push you to up your cadence and over-exert yourself).
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:38 PM on September 21, 2010

Yeah, seconding power metal. The examples you posted fit right in with Sonata Arctica, Helloween, Gamma Ray, and yes, Dragonforce.

If you don't dig the falsetto, maybe try Therion or Dalriada?
posted by gueneverey at 5:55 PM on September 21, 2010

Based on #1 and #3, you probably want some sort of instrumental power metal.

Also since you mention video game soundtracks, the soundtrack from Guilty Gear XX springs immediately to mind. It's actually, no joke, the best power metal album I know of, partially because there are no vocals at all.
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:03 PM on September 21, 2010

Aphex Twin, Melodies from Mars.
posted by pollex at 9:45 AM on September 22, 2010

It's more electronic, but I love fast-paced walking to capsule's MORE! MORE! MORE! album.

Jumper (give it a couple minutes to hit its stride)

I'll throw out some of other the stuff that I listen to when I walk or exercise, since a lot of it's Japanese, even if it's not exactly along the same lines. Hope some of it clicks.
Susumu Hirasawa - The girl in Byakkoya
Yoko Kanno - Stamina Rose
Utada Hikaru - Devil Inside (remix) (it's actually in English, heh)
Vanessa Mae - Toccata & Fugue in D Minor (not Japanese at all, but lots of her modernized electronic violin music is great for exercise)
Odoru Daisousasen, AKA Bayside Shakedown Rhythm and Police, was a Japanese police drama with an outstanding soundtrack--I can't find any videos with the real thing (the "go! go!" doesn't add to it) but it's, um, undoubtedly available in its entirety online.
Tokyo Jihen - Denpa Tshuushin
Towa Tei - Batucada (not in Japanese, LOL)
Yoshida Brothers - Rising and Ibuki (takes a moment to gets started) -- both instrumental
Miyavi - Aho Matsuri (good for grudge-exercising...)

The others are either fast-paced but instrumental jazz or electronica (try the Cowboy Bebop and Read or Die soundtracks, another electronica artist named immi [not quite as good as capsule, but pretty good]) ... or they're still upbeat but slightly slower-paced (Utada Hikaru's Heart Station album, Halcali, Bonnie Pink, Ulfuls, Beat Crusaders, Namie Amuro's recent dance stuff, e.g. "Fast Car," etc.).

Antennasia would be good for a cool-down. :)
posted by wintersweet at 12:07 PM on September 22, 2010

For something different, instrumental and still so intense and exciting, try some Explosions in the Sky.
posted by scrawlyman at 1:29 PM on September 22, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you all so much! This is really great, and I feel like I have no excuse to get bored of running now. I've already started checking out some of the suggestions, and I'm really looking forward to going through them all and truly enjoying my trips to the Y thanks to your answers. It's also good to have terms for some of the music I like but I'm not familiar with. (Instrumental power metal... now there's a string of words I never thought would be applied to my taste in music.)
posted by shirobara at 9:31 PM on September 28, 2010

I'm late to the party The Blue Hearts have been my weapon of choice in the gym for several weeks now:
Train Train

The singer enunciates rather well while screaming, so it's surprisingly easy to follow along with the songs.
posted by lucidprose at 11:51 PM on October 7, 2010

« Older what's the best electric blanket for a massage...   |   Rockabilly First Dance? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.