Positive Music Place

Men’s Health’s Top 100 Workout Songs

Posted by dlockeretz on January 7, 2012

Note: This is a simulblog, posted on both Positive Music Place and 20,000 Calorie Man.

If you’ve made any kind of fitness-oriented New Year’s Resolution, music might help you achieve it – at least according to a recent article from Men’s Health, which ranks the top 100 workout songs of all time.

This is obviously a matter of opinion, but I like the list.  It’s not that every song would make my own personal playlist, but I appreciate that there’s good variety and that not all choices are obvious.  For example, we all remember Faith No More’s “Epic” (#36 on the list), one of the first metal/rap hybrids, but when was the last time you actually listened to it, in particular during a workout?  The lone Rolling Stones track is the under-appreciated “Bitch” (#76).  Led Zeppelin checks in at #31 with “Immigrant Song” and at #15 with “Kashmir” (whose slow tempo seems to make it an unlikely choice, but maybe I’ve just been over-saturated with it.)

There are some obvious choices, of course.    “Gonna Fly Now” ranks high; as does another song from the “Rocky” franchise, “Eye of the Tiger.”  Uptempo classic rock such as Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” (#28) and Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (#22) populate the list.  Classic rock artists such as AC/DC, Aerosmith, Van Halen and Deep Purple (guess which one of their songs is on the list?  I’ll give you a hint: it rhymes with “Choke on the Daughter”) all make appearances.  Hip-hop is also heavily represented; the Beastie Boys ranked at #13 with “Sabotage” and there are some  good classic tracks as well, such as Onyx’s “Slam” (#90) and House of Pain’s “Jump Around” (#53).

Alt-rock, a genre generally not associated with working out, also is well represented: the Offsprings’ “Come Out and Play”, the Foo Fighters’ “Everlong” and Bush’s “Machine Head” all made the list.  There are a few tracks that aren’t easily categorized, such as rock guitar pioneer Link Wray’s “Rumble” (#92).

Obviously, lists are meant to be debated, and I for one would have liked to have seen at least one Beatles track on the list.  If EMF’s “Unbelievable” (#24) and the Killers’ “Somebody Told Me” (#40) are included, surely there could have been some love shown to John, Paul, George and Ringo, perhaps “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Birthday” or “Revolution.”  (To be sure, Guns’n’Roses’s cover of McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” was #47).  As a self-confessed Rush fan, I have to ask, where are “Tom Sawyer”,”Spirit of the Radio” and “Fly By Night”?

But nonetheless, I give Men’s Health props on the list; overall the choices were good, and more importantly, by providing the list, they are encouraging people to make the best possible workout for themselves–thus maximizing their chances of success.


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