I listen to a lot of music when I’m running, and every once in a while, particular moments in particular songs actually send chills through my body, propelling me forward. Here are ten of those moments in no particular order:
1. “Going Down” by Freddie King—the whole thing, but particularly the joyous “woo!” near the beginning of the second guitar solo
2. In “Getchoo” by Weezer, the last line of the bridge going into the solo: “you’ve done to me, OH!”
3. True to form, Elvis Presley, the man who has the greatest claim to having invented the genre that allows this particular kind of thrill to occur, gives it right at the beginning of the version of “All Shook Up” on Live at Madison Square Garden: “a-well-a-bless-a-my soul-a-what’s-a-wrong with me”
4. “Time to Pretend” by MGMT, pretty much the whole thing, but especially the part where they exultantly sing “Everything must run its course!”
5. Bruce Springsteen has consistently made, in my opinion, the best running music: energetic and uplifting but with a dark, sometimes desperate edge. “Born to Run” is the quintessential running song, of course, and the part where he sings “I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul” gives me chills every time.
6. The ecstatic “guitarmonies” on Waylon Jennings’ “Mental Revenge” from Waylon Live.
7. In “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” from Oasis’ Definitely Maybe, the part where Liam Gallagher snarls “You’re not down with who I am, look at you now you’re all in my hands tonight.” Never has such gleeful arrogance and ambition been captured in one phrase.
8. At the risk of sounding like a dorky dad, my wife, son, and I have been watching the show Nashville, which has particular resonance for us not only because we live in Nashville, but because the music, produced by the inimitable T-Bone Burnett, is fantastic. We bought the CD and we’ve been listening to it in the car. There are a few great songs that have been rattling around my head, but the part that gives me chills is in “Wrong Song” when Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere duet on the words “gone, gone, gone” near the end of the track. Good stuff.
9. The Rolling Stones’ “Let’s Spend the Night Together” whenever Mick Jagger sings “my my my my “
10. In the version of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe” on Live 1975 – The Rolling Thunder Review, the sublimely funky pedal steel solo going into Dylan’s effusive harmonica does the trick every time.
Well, that’s it. Feel free to make a playlist. You’re welcome.