Sometimes I forget my lack of coolness, but fortunately I have my kids around to remind me. Multiple times a day. Why does this matter … why is this information relevant? As I recently tried to find some new tunes to feed the hungry iPod and numb my brain during the many weeks of training runs to come, I realized that I’m simply out of my element when flailing around on iTunes searching through the cyber-crapload of recent music floating around the ‘store’. I don’t really listen to the radio much in my car, and in the Family Truckster I’m audibly assaulted with whatever 3 songs Radio Disney has decided to play for a month straight. I’ve come to rely on blog posts and recommendations from Mrs. Evolving to build playlists of recent music. However, I wasn’t always devoid of any traces of cool. And back when I had a little bit of cool in the cool-tank, I did listen to music. A lot of music.
This, along with a switch over to random mode for a run last week that brought up a great running song that I didn’t even know was on my iPod, got me thinking. I think it’s time for a bit of running-song archaeology, but not just some random search for long-lost running songs. Rather, I’m going to challenge myself a bit and try to come up with an honest-to-goodness running song from each of the last 20 years of the 20th century. I figure this will give me a reason to dig back through the mound of old CDs that I haven’t listened to in years to see if I can find some forgotten tunes that still have some mileage in them. Also hope it may introduce some of you to some songs you may have never heard, or may have forgotten about.
My criteria for a good running song is entirely subjective, so attempting to describe it is fairly futile. It’s one of those things where you listen to it a couple times, and you just know it needs to join the playlist. I’ll test-drive anything I post about with at least two runs, and even try to link to a video or audio clip of the song. If nothing else the videos should be good for a laugh. Remember, this was the days when the music was the sell, and the artist wasn’t always meant to be seen. Very different than today’s music world. I’ll also try to share some memories or factoids regarding the tunes if there are any to be had.
For those just tuning in, the song from last week’s random-play on the iPod that started of all this, and what I’ll call the first official entry in the list, is ‘Look to the Sky’ by the March Violets (1986).
My musical tastes aren’t very compartmentalized, so hopefully the list will be an interesting mix of artists and styles, and won’t be predictable. I may fake left with some Echo and the Bunnymen, and catch you with a Metallica on the right. I may stick some short Crowded House jabs, then sting you with an overhand Technotronic right. You’ll be looking for a Concrete Blond to the body, and I’ll stagger you with a Whitesnake uppercut.
Why all the boxing references? A none-too-subtle segue into Throwback Tune #2, ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ by LL Cool J (1990). I actually bought this cassette when it came out in ’90, and listened to it in my big yellow Sports Walkman while jogging back in the day. Pulled this down off of iTunes and give it a try on a couple runs, and found that it still holds up pretty well. Brings back good memories for me, so that’s always a plus, but memories aside it has a good fired-up factor which is helpful on a tough run. Definitely worth a listen. Hope you like it.