I wear many hats. I run a social media company. I’m a Dad coaching my son’s soccer team. I’m a Reluctant Hubby trying to live in harmony with my fitness-first wife. And I’m also a DJ who has been spinning at bars and parties for over 25 years.
It’s been too long since I last put together a list of 10 songs that are a great addition to any workout mix, so without further ado, here’s my Fall Workout Mix that I like to call “Exercise So Hard You Turn Red Just Like the Leaves.” (click the link to hear each song)
Blue Man Group – Shake Your Euphemism
We start out our list with a perfect warm-up song from the men in blue … paint that is. The modern disco beat will get your pulse speeding up, but it’s the lyrics, which are all about different ways of saying “get your butt moving,” that will have you laughing as well as putting you in the proper mindset to remind you why you’re exercising in the first place.
Olly Murs (with Chiddy Bang) – Heart Skips a Beat
Murs is part of the recent wave of boy bands and heart throbs that the UK has been sending stateside for the past couple months (e.g., One Direction, The Wanted). He’s teamed up with American rap duo Chiddy Bang for a winning piano-driven pop tune.
Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait
This British band’s first release won Album of the Year at England’s equivalent to the Grammys, and their follow-up, “Sigh No More,” is getting even more rave reviews. The first single is “I Will Wait” and it recaptures the glory of Mumford’s trademark folk rock anthemic sound.
Everlast – Folsom Prison Blues
Earlier we had the men in blue, now we have the man in black. This Johnny Cash cover by former House of Pain singer Everlast will have you jumping around to a beat that samples Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Brain” for a twangy hip-hop take on an all-time classic. (The video’s pretty great too.)
Florence + The Machine – Spectrum (Calvin Harris remix)
Few singers have the pipes that Florence Welch possesses and she uses them to maximum effect on her new single “Spectrum.” Then you add on top of that the pop shimmer that Calvin Harris brought to Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and his own singles, and you’ve got a song that packs some emotional punch while the uptempo beat keeps you moving through whatever exercise you’re getting your sweat on to.
Tanlines – All of Me
This Brooklyn-based electronic duo reminds me of Soft Cell and late-era New Order with their synthesizers and electronic drum tracks. Like all good songs in the middle of a workout mix, this one has a driving beat to keep you moving on the elliptical.
David Guetta (with Ne-Yo and Akon) – Play Hard
French music producer Guetta has just released version 2.0 of his “Nothing But the Beat” album with the new edition including additional singles. This soon-to-be hit teams vocals from Ne-Yo and Akon over the familiar synth riff from 1990s one-hit wonder Alice Deejay’s “Better Off Alone.”
Icona Pop – I Love It
I have a gift. If I hear a song for the first time and immediately fall in love with it and think it’s got SMASH HIT written all over it, inevitably the tune is destined to fail. Icona Pop is the latest to fall victim to my curse. Take a Swedish DJ and singer and combine a pounding house beat with punk attitude and lyrics and “I Love It.” (warning: couple naughty words)
Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby (Zumba Remix)
This is how you know that Zumba has got all the power and money. They pay Vanilla Ice for an official remix of one of the biggest one hit wonders of all time and then get him to make a video for the song as well. And … it’s not a bad update, building on Queen’s “Under Pressure” sample with a more modern beat.
JD McPherson – North Side Gal
Here’s a song that you might not believe came out this decade since its sound is authentic to eras your parents or grandparents listened to. McPherson’s song is the perfect end to a workout mix because as you cool down, it might just cause you to swing, twist, and shimmy across the floor no matter how heavy the lactic acid has built up.
Have fun, get that heart rate elevated, and always pay for your music on your favorite download site to support the artists who make the music that keeps you moving!
Previously on The Reluctant Hubby: “Ten Hut!”
photo credit: Robert Woo