Saturday, May 30, 2009

Top 10 Workout Songs

Borrowing a page from the Shelvis playbook and his love of top 10 lists, or list lust if you will, I bring you the top songs to get your blood pumping for a good workout. The order is subject to change without notice, but as of today here's how it all shakes out.

10. We'll start with the classic Eye of the Tiger. If it's good enough for Rocky, it's good enough for me. The one down side to this one is that thanks to one anonymous co-worker, it now reminds me of work. When I complained that his standard motivational catch phrase, "leverage for excellence" had grown stale and he needed to come up with something new, he obliged and made the switch to, "Eye of the Tiger." Hopefully this will not ruin the song for me.

9. The Jurassic Park Theme. I absolutely love this song and think that John Williams is hands down the greatest composer of our generation, if not of the century. It also doesn't hurt that conjuring images of running for my life from dinosaurs helps me kick the workout into an extra gear when I'm wearing down. It could be argued that his songs from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, or any of dozens of other films are better, but this one to me is particularly beautiful and emotional. The way it starts out slowly and by the end builds into melody is masterfully done. I never get tired of hearing it.

8. A Change of Seasons. I love Dream Theater, they have been my favorite band for years, and A Change of Seasons is one of the most amazing songs I've ever heard. But since it's 23 minutes long I can't find a full length clip of it, so here's Puppies on Acid instead.

7. Ten Thousand Fists is just a good, old fashioned rock song that gets the adrenaline pumping.

6. Tool has a lot of songs that are up tempo and motivating, but in my opinion Jambi is the cream of the crop. It's unbelievably intense and heavy. I have absolutely no idea what it's about and have no interest in reading the interpretations of the crazed Tool fans. I made that mistake when trying to get to the bottom of 46 & 2 and decided to never again step into that trap. If you don't want to listen to the whole thing, do yourself a favor and fast forward to the 3:58 mark and listen up through 5:25 or so for a good taste. Actually, you should probably just listen through to the end from there, you won't be able to stop once you start. Shine on benevolent son.

5. I've never been a big fan of Ozzy, but love No More Tears. Zakk Wylde turns in perhaps the greatest guitar solo in history in this song. And I absolutely love how the song slows at about the 3:30 mark to some melodic piano as whale sounds are added, then orchestra, then Ozzy speaking some gibberish building up into the solo.

4. Them Bones. Local boys Alice In Chains philosophical musings on the transience of life is short and sweet from the first note to the last grips you and doesn't let go. "Some say we're born into the grave, I feel so alone, gonna end up a big ol' pile of them bones." Kierkegaard couldn't have put it any better himself. Come to think of it, he probably could have.

3. The Korn songs that get me pumped up may change from day to day, but as of this moment I can't get enough of Evolution. I don't necessarily agree with their view on mankind's animalistic nature, but it is still a good song.

2. Panama. Van Halen is arguably the greatest rock band of all time and this is my favorite of their songs.

1. Too Close To Hate. I love Sevendust and this song about negative people trying to bring you down is one of the greatest songs I've ever heard. 'Nuff said.

1. Because I apparently can't count, Queensryche gets to share #1. Jet City Woman is one of my all time favorite songs. I love everything about this song, from the opening base line I'm hooked. The guitars join in and are followed by Geoff Tate's haunting vocals. I think he may have the greatest voice I've ever heard. This is a song I have to listen to whenever I'm away from home for more than a week. I absolutely love the video, with high speed camera views of the Seattle skyline with wispy clouds flying by overhead. It always reminds me of home. And seeing this song played live was an amazing experience. And getting off tangent just a bit, seeing Queensryche and Dream Theater share a stage was absolutely unbelievable.
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