Put the Chicago back in my marathon (music suggestions)
August 27, 2020 8:54 PM   Subscribe

Please help me find upbeat music somehow related to Chicago. The more specific the suggestion the better. This can include songs about the city, songs by artists famously from the city, songs that somehow remind you of something Chicago-adjacent...

I have been training for the Chicago marathon despite the event’s cancelation, and would like a playlist to keep me going as I attempt to run 26.2 miles this October in a Boston suburb.

posted by rip to Health & Fitness (36 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Frank Sinatra: My Kind of Town and Chicago!
posted by Rash at 8:59 PM on August 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

Sufjan Stevens, Chicago.
posted by stillmoving at 8:59 PM on August 27, 2020 [6 favorites]

Sunday Never Comes - Dan Bern (about the Chicago Cubs)
posted by Redstart at 9:24 PM on August 27, 2020

Rachel Ries' Chicago is the one that comes to mind when the city comes to mind.
posted by wotsac at 9:25 PM on August 27, 2020

Sweet Home Chicago (Zoom Celebrity Version) -- you can pull an MP3 of it
posted by metabaroque at 9:48 PM on August 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

You have a city with many talented artists, so you might go with Ministry, or Herbie Hancock.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:55 PM on August 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

If Industrial music is your jam, Wax Trax! Records was a notable Chicago label with a ton of energetic musicians on it, including Ministry (also from Chicago), KMFDM, Front 242, VNV Nation, Front Line Assembly, and more.

That's a bit of a tenuous connection to Chicago though for most of them. There's a bunch of musicians in the Chicago House genre actually from Chicago - Frankie Knuckles, Phuture (more acid house than Chicago house), Steve "Silk" Hurley, etc. A lot of them sound pretty dated compared to modern EDM as far as energy.

On a much different musical note, Sweet Home Chicago, performed by many blues musicians but probably most famously by the Blues Brothers.

There's a wealth of Chicago Blues and related music - Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Sonny Boy Williamson II..

I never much cared for them, so I can't suggest songs but the band Chicago has dozens of albums.

Andrew Bird is from Chicago and has at least one song referencing it and has songs that range from mellow to energetic.

The Tossers' song titled Chicago isn't very energetic, but they're from Chicago and energetic in many songs.

The Smashing Pumpkins are from Chicago and a few songs make reference to it - Tonight, Tonight, only touches on it but is pretty much made for an inspirational training montage scene.

Chance the Rapper has a few songs about Chicago.

Less Than Jake


The Hold Steady

Screeching Weasel

Kanye (and others)

Alkaline Trio (and others)

Cherry Poppin' Daddies

posted by Candleman at 10:32 PM on August 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

Lakeshore Drive
posted by cyndigo at 10:58 PM on August 27, 2020 [7 favorites]

Lincoln Park Pirates
posted by abeja bicicleta at 1:02 AM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Born to Run plays at the start of the Chicago Marathon.

Disclaimer: I haven't been in years - I'm assuming this is still true because it's just too perfect to change.
posted by she's not there at 2:39 AM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Chicago-based DJ Chrissy Murderbot has an hour long mix of 1980s Chicago house tracks available for download here.

For something from this century, he also has a Chicago juke mix here.
posted by rollick at 3:33 AM on August 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

Patrick Stump of Fallout Boy, This City; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGGIQQKKD0Y
posted by poppunkcat at 4:46 AM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

This song makes me smile, as does this classic. Different era...
posted by papergirl at 6:07 AM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

This one is cheesy and classic but hits the idea of road running. The marathon might even hit Lake Shore Drive.
posted by blackjack514 at 6:46 AM on August 28, 2020

Pretty much anything from the Ferris Bueller soundtrack, especially this one.
posted by little king trashmouth at 6:52 AM on August 28, 2020

At a concert (in Chicago) Jenny Lewis said that Rilo Kiley's "With Arms Outstretched" is about Chicago. It's a great song, so I'll take it.

The Fratellis, "Chelsea Dagger" (for hockey reasons)

The Mountain Goats, "Cubs in Five" (for baseball reasons)

Graham Nash, "Chicago We Can Change the World"
posted by goodbyewaffles at 6:53 AM on August 28, 2020

All these Cubs-related songs and no Go Cubs Go yet?
posted by Fuego at 6:59 AM on August 28, 2020

The unofficial White Sox anthem for their championship run was Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'"

"Holiday Road" by Lindsay Buckingham. Don't hate me for the earworm.
posted by Constance Mirabella at 7:50 AM on August 28, 2020

“Goodbye Hollywood” by Richard Marx is about moving his family back to Chicago.
posted by ChristineSings at 7:55 AM on August 28, 2020

Anytime I hear a mention of Humboldt Park, I think of Urge Overkill -- Sister Havana and Positive Bleeding would be good for running.
posted by jabes at 8:37 AM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

And the Replacements are from MN but they broke up on stage at the Taste of Chicago. Maybe Alex Chilton or Can't Hardly Wait.
posted by jabes at 8:44 AM on August 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

tom waits has a rollicking song about chicago with keith richards playing guitar...
posted by tarshish bound at 8:55 AM on August 28, 2020

How about Born In Chicago by the Pixies? It's a cover of a Paul Butterfield song.
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 9:18 AM on August 28, 2020

I love the Led Zeppelin song, "When the Levy Breaks," because during the end section, there is a joyous shout of, "Going to Chi-cag-go!" :)
posted by tiny frying pan at 9:59 AM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also the song by Hank Snow, called, I've Been Everywhere, again only tangential but starts his list with Chicago.
posted by tiny frying pan at 10:01 AM on August 28, 2020

My dad wrote a West End musical with composer Tony Macauley called "Windy City". The title track would fit the bill.
Someone seems to have posted the whole album to youTube
posted by w0mbat at 10:57 AM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Surely Chicago: Chicago IX would be a pleasant interlude when you’re in stride?
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 11:00 AM on August 28, 2020

Chicago at Night by Spoon is not only a great song that references the city, but it's possibly my single favorite thing to listen to on Lake Shore after dark.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:00 AM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

We're All Crazy in Chicago

For those of us of a certain age who were raised in Chicago, Jonathon Brandmeier was the man. I fully understand how corny this song is now.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 11:53 AM on August 28, 2020

How ‘bout J.D. McPherson’s “North Side Gal”?
posted by armeowda at 12:52 PM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

The first 30 seconds aren't so good for running, but the song itself is a great : "Chicago, Illinois" from Victor, Victoria.
posted by sonofsnark at 1:05 PM on August 28, 2020

Sirius by The Alan Parsons Project
posted by Constance Mirabella at 6:55 PM on August 28, 2020

I used to enjoy running to Kanye West's Homecoming.
posted by sigmagalator at 9:16 PM on August 28, 2020

Michael McDermott's 620 W. Surf album has a title track that's about a Wrigleyville address, and a lot of other great songs.
posted by NumberSix at 9:10 PM on August 29, 2020

The early Rolling Stones - 2120 South Michigan Ave (which was the address of the Chess Records studio).
posted by Rash at 9:38 PM on August 29, 2020

Count Basie - Going To Chicago
"Sorry but I can't take you"
posted by Rash at 9:43 PM on August 29, 2020

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