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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Claire's Running Soundtrack

I'm pretty sure my running soundtrack is the best. This is a really hard task, and I've got a feeling we might have to try this exercise again to pick some more tunes :)
Most of my songs have been chosen with running in mind, not necessarily just to listen to in the prescribed situations.

I tend to stick to fast energetic beats when I run. It's like doing that *listening to your mp3 player, walking around pretending you're in a music video* thing, but way bigger. Like you're in a chase scene of a movie, panting and adrenaline-filled, trying to get away from the bad guys.

Anyway here are my impeccable choices. Run to these and you'll get a PB. Fact*
*may not be a fact

Click the links to listen on YouTube to any of these tracks - or why not download them and make your own playlist?

1. A song to set off to at the start of our epic run.

The Prodigy: Climbatize

I haven't run with an mp3 player in for quite a while now, so this exercise has got me reliving my absolute favourite running tracks. I picked a few for this one, but it boils down to the original and best, Climbatize. Perfect tempo, perfect drums, perfect bass, perfect build, perfect drop, perfect atmosphere. Listen to this track and tell me your feet don't itch to be running fast and hard.

2. A song for running over scenic hills.

Butterworth: The Banks of Green Willow

If you're not a fan of classical music, just give this one a try. It's only 6 mins long but has everything you need in an epic soundtrack piece. It's got happiness, intrigue, drama, clari and violin solos and a major chord ending (so it ends well!)

My rock 'n' roll credentials for this track is that we played it at Gatton Park residential music course in 2001 or 2 or 3...(band camp, basically) and I have a CD somewhere with me scraping away in the 2nd violins on it.

Picture the sunny day, the rolling hills, the streams and animals and stiles and bits going on...maybe stop for a jelly baby...the path gets a bit treacherous, maybe a steep uphill part (as Lee would call "a plateau")... maybe someone falls over... just imagine all that. Getting to the top of the hill around 3 minutes into the piece. Then savour that view, with this blasting in your ears. I want to cry just thinking about it!

3. A pick me up song when your blood sugar is low and your knees are weak and you have a few miles to go.

Anyone who knows me will know I spend much of my time doing anything having a go at myself. If I'm failing and weak and need to push on through, I'll probably shout at myself to keep going. I'm a bit thick like that, but it gets the message through.
To emphasise this, I need a song that tells me exactly what the fuck to do. For this reason, I've chosen Maximo Park: Apply Some Pressure. For the same reason, I'm putting the Mark Ronson feat. Paul Smith version in too (I sometimes prefer the tempo, and anything with extra horns in is a-ok by me).

Because, dear reader, what happens when you lose everything? You just start again. Start all over again.

4. A song for entering a 'local' pub , suspicious of us.

Don't hate me for another Prodigy track so soon. I love this one too. It's epic to run to. I imagine entering the pub at the beginning of this one and then all hell breaking loose like in some sort of zombie film, stools and chairs flying everywhere, fighting the weird zombie locals because they're trying to eat our brains and all we want is some pork scratchings and maybe half a shandy.
Anyway. There it is, and it's a great one to run to. Run from the baddies!

5. A danger / peril song

System of a Down: Mr Jack

I love System of a Down. I grew up with them. I could have chosen a couple by them for this - possibly Peephole, but I think the build and climax (fnar) of this one fits the brief. Lots of people slated this album (SOAD's 3rd, Steal This Album) because it was all half-finished, unconnected worked-up demos, but I love it. And this track is ace.

6. A crazy times funny times silly times song.

I am a big fan of silly music. This is a tough choice. We could go multilingually silly... Nino Ferrer: Le Telefon

We could go for brain-shootingly badly musically silly... Blackout Crew: Put A Donk On It (with sign-language lady too)

But then I want a more ska silly song. So I decided on a song that you can't even fucking find on YouTube, the band last logged into their MySpace in 2009, but I don't care. This is Bison, they were amazing when they existed, and this is their song about getting more booze after an all-nighter, called Saturday Big Shop. (I'm sorry, MySpace music player sucks but please listen anyway, or find it on Spotify) - make sure you listen all the way to the end!

(If the link doesn't work for you, a suitable substitute would be Zen Baseballbat: Brown Cows of Elocution)

7. Something from a film or dvd or story that inspires you.

Dropkick Murphys: I'm Shipping Up To Boston

I don't watch many films (what if I don't like them? then I've wasted my time watching something I don't even like. Shit.) anyway. I have seen a few, actually. One of my absolute favourites is The Departed, which is set in Boston, and they use this Dropkick Murphys track which sounds great. Inspires me? Maybe not directly, but the goosebumps speak for themselves.

(honourable mention for Dropkick Murphys - Rocky Road To Dublin please, too.)

8. A mellow song to fall asleep to after a hard days running.

Incubus: Aqueous Transmission

This one is basically a no-brainer. It's mellow and lush and full of happy memories.

9. A song to run into Haslemere and finish the run to

The Temper Trap: Sweet Disposition

We need something euphoric. We need something epic. We need a song that'll make us run, and cry, and push ourselves to the last step. This song is another goosebumps one. With undulating vocal lines and the very appropriate lyrics:

"Just stay there, cause I'll be comin' over
and while our blood's still young
it's so young,
it runs
And we won't stop 'til it's over
Won't stop to surrender..."

You can't go wrong.

10. A retrospective song looking back on the whole run

Jamie T: Sticks and Stones

I absolutely love this song. It's got a great beat, it's about being young and ridiculous and it sounds epic. I can see a little montage film cut to this of us doing the run. To me, the lyrics say everything about stuff being hard sometimes, but getting through is easier with your mates around you.

Those are my choices - let me know what you thought; what would you have picked?

The Greensand Way 2012 crew - posing as if we were a pop group


  1. Well I'm not sure I agree that running to music is a good idea, I can't get along with it myself, but.... GREAT CHOICES! Some of my fave artists/tracks in there!

  2. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't. Most of my runs recently have been with Lee so I've not had earphones in, and others have been times when I'd rather keep my ears out listening for safety purposes, like running near roads.
    There are certain times when you think you've got nothing left to give, and then a certain track kicks in and you find your legs pushing harder than you thought possible! It's like magic, sugar, and adrenaline all mixed into one audio injection!

  3. I need to run to music - I run on my own and get really demoralised in the dark rain but a good bit of "Hey Ya" by Outkast keeps me going...
    And next time I'm at my Mum's I'm definitely going to be looking for my Gatton Park CD too. I loved Gatton. Awesometimes.

  4. Yay Gatton! I found that the only classical music that I could really listen to and love was music that I'd studied and played in orchestras - so everything I've ever played means so much to me. You get the very special kind of goosebumps when you know exactly how it your part fits into the piece as a whole.