Ten great songs for running

by Tom Albrighton 3 December 2009 Music

Haruki Murakami likes the Stones and Clapton, but here’s a few recommendations if you prefer something a little harder to get you through that last mile.

  1. Paul Oakenfold ‘Ready, Steady, Go’ Imagine you’re a steely-eyed Treadstone agent as you pound the pavements to this gem from the Bourne Identity soundtrack. Good track to kick off your run. As the sample says, it’s ‘strictly the mother<scratch>’
  2. Underworld ‘Dark & Long’ (Dark Train mix) Endless, hypnotic dark house groove, famously used as the soundtrack to Rent Boy’s cold-turkey hallucinations in Trainspotting. Particularly evocative at night.
  3. New Order ‘True Faith’ (Shep Pettibone remix) Timeless classic from the undisputed masters of bright-white dance pop (in my opinion, their best track), given some dub space and an unexpected keyboard solo by Shep Pettibone. One of the best ever remixes, of one of the 80s’ best tracks.
  4. Datarock ‘I used to dance with my daddy’ Equal parts Temptation, Flashlight and Voodoo Ray – in other words, fantastic.
  5. Kraak & Smaak ‘Mad as Hell’ Smooth, jazzy, propulsive house groove that’s good when you’re hitting your stride after a mile or so.
  6. Jmekka ‘Come on and…!’ Utterly merciless techno groove, made unsettling even in broad daylight by the out-of-time delayed vocal sample.
  7. Elektronauts ‘Bumper’ (Plump DJs mix) Surely one of the largest techno breakbeats ever committed to vinyl, with a brilliantly dark vocal breakdown.
  8. Cagedbaby ‘Forced’ (radio edit) Irresistibly massive techno-pop that’s sure to give you a little speed boost.
  9. Tiga ‘Far From Home’ (Digitalism remix) Brutally industrial foundation supporting some of the hardest synths I’ve ever heard. Will push you through another half-mile against your will.
  10. Strawberry Switchblade ‘Since Yesterday’ Put it this way: I do what’s required to get round my route. And no-one knows what you’re listening to (unless you sing along). Musically, you might be surprised at the industrial drum sound; lyrically, a brilliantly prescient dissection of 30-something nostalgia – from two teenagers.

Finally, let me recommend some great headphones for running – the JVC Air Cushion range will stay wedged in your ears mile after mile – although the treble admittedly leaves something to be desired.

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