Before we jump right into today’s post, a quick note to any younger readers:
Hopefully the name of this blog post makes it pretty obvious that we’re limiting our list to selections exclusively from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (heretofore called simply “The Hall”) artists. That means you won’t find any Kanye West, Ed Sheeran, or other current artists. (Of course, there are people of all ages who appreciate all kinds of music—so perhaps this will be right up your alley!)
Anyhow, you can’t fault us for digging some “Old Time Rock and Roll,” just like Bob Seger—who happened to be inducted into The Hall in 2004. After all, these songs are considered to be classics.
And classics never go out of style!
So if you’re an avid runner—whether an established veteran or planning out your first miles—queue up some of these classic tracks, grab your headphones, and let the music carry you as you run!
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Running Playlist
Even though we’ve taken the time to compile a fairly robust list, we know you might not be partial to every track listed. As such, you will find the songs separated into a handful of subcategories. This way, if you want to pass on the southern rock, it’s all that much easier for you.
Without further ado, it’s time to bring on the music!
“Stop! In the Name of Love” (Supremes). This is simply a great song, but it also should serve as a reminder that you should stop your normal running regimen if you are experiencing pain. Trying to “push through” it could lead to a situation where an injury becomes more severe than it needs to be.
Keep in mind that if you want the least amount of disruption for your training, it’s best to address the problem early. (We can help!)
“ABC” (Jackson 5). Before he launched into superstardom as the best-selling solo artist of all time, Michael Jackson and his brothers (Jermaine, Jackie, Tito, and Marlon) performed together as what might be considered the original “boy band.”
In addition to being one of the first groups of African American performers to have a crossover following transcending racial lines, they were also the first group to have four consecutive #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
“Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (Four Tops). There are lots of great options from this legendary Motown group, but this particular track has particular relevance for runners—particularly in the fact that we are always here if you need help with foot or ankle care! The message of “I’ll be there” is also appropriate if you consider joining any of our local running groups like the Cleveland West or Northeast Ohio Running Clubs.
“Higher and Higher” (Jackie Wilson). Not only is this an upbeat, uplifting song that will help you keep moving when the going gets tough, but it also can remind you of the proverbial “runner’s high” you might experience after an exhilarating run.
“The Way You Do the Things You Do” (Temptations). As a runner, it’s important for you to understand that your running style isn’t necessarily the same as everyone else’s. In fact, the intricate nature of foot structure is such that your gait pattern is unique. For this reason, custom orthotics are so outstanding at addressing foot and ankle problems. Runners (in particular) can benefit from these medical devices.
THE ORIGINAL BRITISH INVASION
“Here Comes the Sun” (Beatles). Here’s a fun fact for you—the Beatles weren’t in either of the first two class of inductees in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Seems kind of weird when you think about the profound impact they both had at the time and still have on popular music.
This track is an especially nice selection when gray fall days are overpowered by our planet’s nearest star. As you clip along during your run, you can appreciate the sun’s rays falling down on your face when this classic Beatles’ tune starts up.
“We Gotta Get out of This Place” (Animals). There are some wonderful exercises you can do inside, but sometimes you just have to get outdoors for your workout—and this is just one of the reasons running is such an excellent exercise choice.
Going back for a moment to “exercises you can do inside,” one of the best ways for you to lower your risk of foot and ankle injuries is by cross-training with low-impact exercises. Sure, walking and cycling qualify as such, but you might also be interested in swimming, yoga, or even weightlifting.
“Start Me Up” (Rolling Stones). It’s awesome if you’re excited to start a new running program—but make sure you ease into it. Starting up without making sure your body is prepared for the extra activity and corresponding force loads is a recipe for disaster.
What that means is there’s a chance you might need to literally “walk before you run.” If you’re getting into running for the first time or it’s been some time since you last ran, you might want to look into using a walk/jog/run mix until your body is more accustomed to the extra activity.
“I Can See for Miles” (Who). Depending on where you do your running, there’s a chance you might actually be able to see for miles. Let’s frame this through a different lens, though.
A key to running success (however you wish to define what that means for you) is to use SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timebound, and you should record your progress if you want to achieve your goals. So, with that being the case, you’ll be able to “see for miles” when you look at your training log. On days when you’re feeling less-than-motivated, doing so may provide the inspiration you need to get out there!
“Sunshine of Your Love” (Cream). As was noted when touching on the Beatles “Here Comes the Sun,” one of the best times for running is when the sun is shining on a clear, cool fall day. Of course, dedicated runners still love this feeling even when it’s a bit colder and they’re braving harsh winter winds!
“After Midnight” (Eric Clapton). Guitarist and vocalist Eric Clapton has been inducted into The Hall on three different occasions. In addition to being recognized for his contributions to bands like Cream and the Yardbirds, you can also find him in there for his solo work.
Now, we hope you aren’t running after midnight, but also realize that everyone has his or her own preferences. With that in mind, please make sure you are wearing bright colors—preferably with some reflective materials—if you run either late at night or before the sun starts rising in the morning!
“For Your Love” (Yardbirds). We’re ending this section with the song that ended Clapton’s duration with the Yardbirds. The legendary guitarist was apparently rather frustrated with how this particular track turned out—he wanted it to be more bluesy, everyone else wanted more “radio friendly”—which led to Clapton leaving the band and joining John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. (In turn, that was a short tenure as he quit a few months later to join Cream.)
“California Dreamin’” (The Mamas & the Papas). We might be pretty far from the West Coast, but this is such an appropriate selection for overcast fall days, and perhaps even more so when it’s rainy. Speaking of rainy days, many runners have a reputation of getting their miles in no matter the conditions. But keep in mind that wearing damp footwear for extended periods—like an hour of running, let’s say—greatly increases your risk of fungal infections.
(We can treat cases of fungal toenails, but this is an especially stubborn infection that will take some time to clear up!)
“Good Vibrations” (Beach Boys). The simple fact of the matter is this: Running places a lot of physical shock on your feet.
Whereas those vibrations aren’t necessarily “good,” feet are often able to handle them rather well. However, that’s not always the case if there are structural or biomechanical issues in the lower limbs. In fact, problems like overpronation can lead to excessive pressure being placed on areas that aren’t naturally equipped to absorb them. The good news for runners is that a pair of custom orthotics can redirect force loads in a better manner.
“Life in the Fast Lane” (Eagles). Depending on your specific training program and objectives, you might find yourself really cruising along in the “fast lane” during your run. If you’re churning out the miles during the core of a running session, then you need to shut things down towards the end and start taking it easy for a proper cooldown!
(Basically, save the Eagles’ “Take It Easy” for later in your playlist, when you need the reminder to go a bit slower.)
“I Love Rock ‘n Roll” (Joan Jett & the Blackhearts). When compiling a list of songs for your running playlist from The Hall, how can you not include a little Joan Jett?
THE SONG WRITERS
“Like a Rolling Stone” (Bob Dylan). The freewheelin’ (and Noble Prize-winning!) Bob Dylan has an expansive catalog full of pure Americana. This track was selected over all the other potential inclusions because of the “how does it feel” portion of the refrain. Whereas Dylan probably wasn’t thinking about foot health while penning his lyrics, we want you to hear those words and then consider how your body is feeling.
Listening to your body is so important when you lead an active lifestyle. If your feet or ankles aren’t feeling quite right, come see us. We can get to the bottom of what’s happening—and then create a plan so you are able to avoid excessive downtime from your running program.
“Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen). Sorry to disappoint if you were expecting “Born to Run,” but that’s just too obvious a selection. Instead, we took another cut from his Born to Run album that isn’t terribly obscure, yet still features The Boss at his finest.
“We Didn’t Start the Fire” (Billy Joel). Put this one on your running playlist and you’ll likely find yourself singing along with The Piano Man as the ground moves along underneath your feet.
Now, there are many different foot and ankle injuries and conditions that can potentially develop. If you’re feeling a burning, electrical, or “pins and needles” kind of sensation, the likely root cause is nerve-related. Depending on what exactly is happening, we may be able to help with a nerve decompression procedure. (At the very least, make sure you see us for proper diagnosis!)
“Rocket Man” (Elton John). If you’re worried about feeling as lonely as a man traveling in space when you go running—so we’re probably not speaking to any introverts right now—then you might want to think about joining one of the running clubs in our area. The good news is that you have several options, but even better is the fact this can help you make some new friends and pick up some valuable tips from experienced runners.
“Free Bird” (Lynyrd Skynyrd). People run for a variety of reasons. Sure, it’s a smart choice for physical, emotional, and mental health—but running is also a great way to feel free. There is certainly something liberating about hitting the road and knowing you can head pretty much whichever way you want.
That being said, a quick running tip for those of you who brave winter weather:
You are best off heading into the wind at the start of your run, so it’s at your back during the homestretch. This can help reduce your risk of issues caused by windchill.
“Jessica” (Allman Brothers Band). We wouldn’t blame you for thinking that “Rambling Man” might be our selection from this essential southern rock band. That’s definitely a solid choice, but this instrumental track will pick you up right from the opening chords.
“Fortunate Son” (Credence Clearwater Revival). CCR is technically a California band, but their heart always seemed to be anchored in the American South. In fact, they are often included in lists of southern rock bands.
This particular track starts off with just drums for a couple of beats before that distinctive guitar kick in, and then the rebellious, defiant lyrics evoke strong emotion. If there’s a song that will move you to a state of sheer determination, this might just be the one!
A LITTLE FUNK, A LITTLE POP, A LITTLE SOUL
“Little Red Corvette” (Prince). Quite possibly one of the coolest humans of all-time had arguably one of the coolest moments ever—during his induction into The Hall. Perhaps you’ve seen the video of Prince (along with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, George Harrison’s son) covering “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and know exactly what we’re talking about here. If not, we’ll forgive you for stepping away from this blog post for a couple of minutes to check it out.
If you’re able to play YouTube videos with you on your run, definitely include that particular cover version in your list. (Since that’s not always possible, Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” is an outstanding consolation prize!)
“Man in the Mirror” (Michael Jackson). As with just about every artist on this list, there were several great choices for MJ songs to include. Heck, you could have an outstanding running “playlist” by simply putting his Thriller album on repeat.
The reason “Man in the Mirror” is our choice comes down to its theme of self-improvement. Sure, we acknowledge the fact that the King of Pop was talking about thinking about what we’re actually doing to help society, but there’s something truly inspirational about “take a look at yourself/and make a change”—and that’s what you are doing when you commit to a running program.
“Living in America” (James Brown). No matter if you think of the late, great James Brown as the Godfather of Soul or the Hardest Working Man in Showbusiness, there’s no denying the fact he left a simply amazing collection of recorded and live music to enjoy, including this ode to our nation. When he rattles off major U.S. cities, it’s a shame he doesn’t include Cleveland, but the song does capture the blue-collar spirit that has historically embodied the city.
Stay Safe While Running—And Have Problems Addressed Early!
So there you have our collection of 26 songs to fill out your Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Running Playlist.
Almost undoubtedly, there will be inclusions or exclusions that just about everyone will disagree with, but that’s one of the great things about pop culture—everyone is entitled to his and her own preferences.
Whether or not any of your favorite selections from The Hall made the cut for this list, we want to end this post by reminding you that we’re here if you end up with a foot or ankle injury from your running program.
We hope you’re able to stay safe, but have also been around and treated enough patients to know that injuries are bound to happen. Sometimes, you just can’t avoid them. But you can get treatment!For more information on the podiatric services we provide or to request an appointment, please feel free to give us a call at (440) 843-3692.