Once upon a time there used to be real music on the radio and in record stores before it became digitized, auto-tuned and overproduced. These sweet-16 oldie songs feature real musical instruments, including actual singing vocals. All of these songs come from different genres and eras. They range from the 1960s to the '80s.
Now on your mark, get set, go...
Vangelis, "Chariots of Fire - Titles": The quintessential running song that is credited with the jogging craze in the 1980s. It comes from the 1981 film of the same name about two runners competing in the 1924 Summer Olympics .
Bruce Springsteen, "Born to Run": Obviously, the title says it all with The Boss' delivery of a powerful intro that never stops till the end of the song. This was Springsteen's first hit from 1975 .
Kenny Loggins, "I'm Alright": Another movie song this one from "Caddyshack" in 1980 about the snooty golfers at a country club and the employees. The song has some great bass lines from one of its background singers to help you keep time when running.
AC/DC, "Back in Black": This hard edge rock song from 1980 will push you further and further when you feel you can't go on.
Dennis Coffey & The Detroit Guitar Band, "Scorpio": A big hit on the radio back in 1971, this funky instrumental is intensely rhythmic from start to the finish line.
Wilson Pickett, "Land of 1000 Dances": One of the fastest tempo songs ever recorded. This 1966 dance classic is another perfect motivator to pick up the pace.
Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, "Devil with a Blue Dress": It's truly a shame they don't make songs like this anymore, especially for running. Here's another classic from 1966 with its driving, pulsating beat.
Spirit, "I Got A Line On You": From 1968, this tune will have you rocking with the band's musical tightness and soaring, non-stop tempo from a psychedelic rock group.
The Rolling Stones, "Gimme Shelter": You'll need to slow things down with this rocking yet mellow song that is classic Stones from 1969. The female background singer is on fire.
Bill Conti, "Gonna Fly Now (Theme from 'Rocky')": Once again, another athletic film with an excellent theme song for running. Just imagine Rocky Balboa running through the streets of Philadelphia when you hear this one on your iPod or MP3 player.
"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" Soundtrack, "Time Warp": No doubt one of the strangest songs to run to. You need to have a little fun with something radically different.
Elvis Presley, "Little Less Conversation": All hail to the King. Even though this song was released in 1968, it is still relevant today. It was used in Elvis' last film, as well as in the 2001 remake film "Ocean's Eleven." This is a great one for zoning out.
The B52's, "Rock Lobster": Let's go all new wave from 1979 with a fun song with strange and silly lyrics. You will have a lot of fun with this one.
Doobie Brothers, "China Grove": One of the best opening guitar riffs ever recorded. This 1973 rock song is infectious, making you forget the sore muscles, aches and pains associated with running.
The Go Go's, "We Got the Beat": This all-girl group's hit song from 1980 features a prominent drum beat throughout that is also helpful to keep in time and stay on track. The title says it all.
Chubby Checker, "The Twist": What a perfect song to end this fabulous list of great oldies from decades past. As you get closer to your destination, this song from 1960 will get you to the end by giving you a second wind.
A couple of years ago, I wrote an article on running songs featuring some contemporary song titles. I love running and working out with all types of music, so this is something I could share with others.
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- Bruce Springsteen