Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Funhog's Favorite Climbing Songs #1

Here are some of my very favorite climbing songs for Spinning. Now, what works for me may not work for you. I'll qualify this list to tell you that very few of my songs have lyrics, and if they do, the lyrics are powerful and have a huge impact on the song. However, I do list a few at the end that are more mainstream that I enjoy climbing to.

[NOTE: Coming soon - I am going to give you as many sources for finding music online as I can find]

I look for inspiration and motivation through the music, through the rhythm and emotion and instruments. I love to just close my eyes and climb and picture my favorite climbs outside. Because I live in a part of the Rocky Mountains where the hills are very long, when I ride outdoors I am used to sitting in the saddle for long periods without getting out of the saddle. Many of my students are cyclists so they too are used to it (I'm talking about climbs of at least an hour or more)!

Many of my favorite climbing songs have been very popular at WSSC (World Spinning and Sports Conference) and when I travel to certify instructors. I have my quiver of favorites I use at Orientations. I guess it's my quest to open the minds of new instructors that there's more than just pop and rock out there! And I am often very successful, receiving many emails after Orientations and CED classes for my song lists. If this isn't your genre of music, then that's perfectly fine, but hopefully you will find some gems in the list below.

I've had some of my favorites for 8+ years, and still use them. Some were sent to me by European friends (hence the Euro sound to many of them), and some I have gotten from the Music section of Pedal-On or Innercycling. Those are great resources for finding music for your classes.

I'll separate my songs into 3 categories and post them in 2 separate posts (otherwise this would be too long!):
1. Just sit back and climb. For the most part, these are longer, introspective songs. Most of the time spent in the saddle (but heck, you can get out whenever you need to), and I often cue my students to close their eyes. The rhythm inspires a little slower climb (cadence 60-70 rpm).
2. Highly motivating, powerful, triumphant songs, often with a crescendo. Great for the last powerful push to the top! Often these are songs from soundtracks. These will get your students motivated, even if they say they don't like "electronic" music or songs without words. Some may make you want to stand for long periods and climb, or do jumps on a hill, or run with resistance, or sit and power up a steep section in the saddle.
3. Faster climbs, higher cadence (75-80 rpm), lower resistance. I use these on profiles where I am simulating a mountain bike ride, or to add variety to a strength class. Often these are good for flat roads as well.

Listed in this order: Song Title/Artist/CD (if available). Songs with ** are my special, longtime favorites.

Funhog's "Just Sit Back and CLIMB" songs! I like to call these "introspection" songs, because you can "Zone IN" (as opposed to "Zoning Out")
  • Ohm (Transfix Mix), Adham Shaikh, Fusion **
  • Straight to the Heart, Claude Challe, Buddha Bar 1**
  • Les Bains Douches, Claude Challe**
  • Consentual Worlds, Delerium, Semantic Spaces**
  • Life², Asura, Life²
  • Requiem from Nowhere, Asura, Lost Eden** [One of my top "gives me chills" songs. It puts me into a place I love to return to again and again. Very introspective].
  • Le Vol D'Icare, Asura, Lost Eden
  • Fernweh, Schiller, Voyage** [Very special song]
  • Homesick, Schiller, Voyage
  • I've Seen It All Featuring Maya Saban, Schiller, Life
  • Redemption, Conjure One, Conjure One
  • Cairo (Duke Monster Mix), Great Barrier, Buddha Bar II
  • La Vie En Rose, Grace Jones, Island Life
  • Magic Circle, Community Recordings, Perfection Vol. 2
  • Lifted Soul, Community Recordings, Rhythm2
  • Desert Wind [feat Ofra Haza], Banco de Gaia, 10 Years (Disc 2)
  • A Loop in Time (Banco de Gaia Remix), Wally Brill (Buddha Bar), Traveler ’99: A Planetful of Grooves
  • Sakarya, Banco de Gaia, 10 Years (Disc 1)** [BdG, one of the top Spinning groups ever!]
  • Sunspot, Banco de Gaia, Maya** [You can totally get lost in the rhythm of this song. It's also my favorite song for jumps on a hill!]
  • Drippy, Banco de Gaia, 10 Year's Disc 1** [I also love this for a flat road. It's one of those songs you can do anything to].
  • Amber [Insect Intelligence], Banco de Gaia, 10 Years (Disc 2)
  • Have A Cigar (Take A Joint Version), The Orb
  • Chilling Moments (Bedrock Mix), Shmuel Flash
  • In Your Eyes (Live version), Peter Gabriel, (Secret World Live) [What's not to love about Peter Gabriel? This 12-min live version is amazing. Another "give me chills" song. The applause at the end is for you as you complete your climb].
  • Der Bauch, D’Zihan & Kamen [somewhat moody, thought provoking. Use it for emotion]
  • Bolero, Ravel ** (Classical music. The 13+ minute version is the best. Close your eyes and climb to this one, it will give you chills!)
  • Release The Pressure, Leftfield, Leftism
  • Inspection (Check One), Leftfield, Leftism [ Anything by Leftfield is great]
  • Gula Gula (Chilluminati Mix), Mari Boine, Café del Mar 8 
  • Running Away, Radar, Nothing is Real
  • Distance, Radar, Nothing is Real [this whole album is great]
  • Magaya, Chris Spheeris, The Best of Chris Spheeris**
  • Temple of Love, Enigma, Temple of Love**
  • Mea Culpa, Enigma, Cross of Changes**
  • The Alchemist, Enigma, A Posteriori
  • I Love You, I'll Kill You, Enigma, the Cross of Changes
  • Return to Innocence, Enigma, The Cross of Changes**
  • TNT for the Brain, Enigma, Love, Sensuality, Devotion – Remix Collection
  • Terra Firma (Lara's Mix), Delerium (feat. Aude), Tomb Raider Soundtrack
  • Silence, Delerium with Sarah McLachlan, Karma [Import) - Disc 1** [There are many versions of this song. Some are better for climbing, some are better for fast flat roads]
  • Euphoria, Delirium, Karma
  • Flatlands, Delerium, Semantic Spaces
  • Euphoria (Firefly), Delerium, Karma (Import) Disc 1
  • Ave Maria, Operatica, Volume 1
  • Never Wanted This, Armin Van Buren, 76
  • Nierika, Dead Can Dance, Dead Can Dance**
  • The Spider’s Stratagem, Dead Can Dance, Dead Can Dance** [She has such a haunting voice in both these songs, and the percussion is awesome].
  • UFO Over Trenchtown, Eat Static, New World Dub 01** [one of my new favorites - kind of Twilight Zonish]
  • Tribal Force, Klangstrahler Project, Im Rausch der Sinne** [amazing, amazing song]
  • The Lion (Controlled Jump Mix), Eleven Federation, Spinning Vol 13**
  • Spiritual High (Part I, Part II, Part III), Moodswings** [you can play each part by itself, or put all 3 parts together for one long 15-min climb. Has Martin Luther King in the background for part II]
  • Kupuri, System 7, Encantado
  • Face a la Mer, Les Negresses Vertes, Famille Nombreuse
  • Sous le Soleil de Bodega, Les Negresses Vertes, Famille Nombreuse
  • 8 Ball, Underworld, The Beach
  • Aeternal (Paul Oakenfold Mix), Clint Mansell, Requiem for a Dream Remixed
  • Caravan O Sole, D.P.O.D., Global Psychedelic Trance 4**
  • Prefade, Patchworks, Global Psychedelic Trance 3
  • Amphibia, Grey Area, Global Psychedelic Trance 4 [kinda trippy]
  • Reload (feat. Dave Gahan), Junkie XL, Radio JXL - A Broadcast From The Computer Hell Cabin
  • Body Language/Interpretation, Booka Shade, Movements
  • Of These Hope (Reprise), Lazarus Raised, and Of These Hope. Three songs back to back by Peter Gabriel on Passion: Music for the Last Temptation of Christ.  3 short songs, that together make for a powerful climb.
  • Small Conversation, The Groom, Gemini
  • Bombs, Faithless, To All New Arrivals (kinda bummer lyrics though...makes you think)
  • Elektro Kardiogramm, Kraftwerk, Tour De France Soundtracks
  • One Step Too Far, Dido & Faithless
  • Chocolate Elvis (Uptight Version), Tosca, Chocolate Elvis Dubs
  • Happy Dreamer, Laidback, Hotel Costes X
  • Treat Infamy, Rest Assured, Treat Infamy
  • Horizon, Morgan Page, Drifting Into View
  • Le Ciel est Triste, Emou, Still Pretty Good Year**
  • Momentos Oscuras (Iberican dark mix), Indart, Chus and Ceballos, Iberican Vibes Ep [Very tribal song, but still good for just sitting and climbing.]
  • The Seeress Prophecy (Daydreaming), Achillea, The Nine Worlds [someone just turned me onto this great song this week!]
  • Scattered Dreams, 280 West
  • Synaesthetic, Blue Man Group, Audio
  • You Can't Always Get What You Want, Rusted Root, Rusted Root [The original by the Rolling Stones works too]
  • World in My Eyes (Depeche Mode cover), Moby
  • Paradise (Remix), Sade
  • I am Stretched Out on your Grave, Sinéad Ocommor, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
  • How Six Songs Collide, Norwegian Recycling [the best mashup of the beautiful song Collide]
  • Missing You, The Beloved, X [kind of an oldie]
  • Running Up That Hill (remix), Kate Bush
  • Riders On The Storm, Creed, Stoned Immaculate: The Music [a cool version of a classic]
  • Shaking The Tree, Peter Gabriel, Shaking the Tree
  • Higher Love, Steve Winwood, Back in the Highlife
  • One Tree Hill, U2
  • One Trick Pony, Nelly Furtado, Folklore
  • How We Operate, Gomez, How We Operate

More coming soon!

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EuroD said...

Jen, great stuff. Looking through your lists reminds me of what I do have, and need to listen to again. Enchantments has to be in my top 5, and it resonates will all my riders, just like a wonderful warm wind.

Anita said...

This is a great list with many of my favourites in it, like Delerium and Leftfield, these were my first steps as a JGSI. Thank you so much for writing them down and for giving new ideas!

bigpoppa said...

Hey Jen nice list. Have you heard Jeff Mills mix up that gets me going when im doing some hard cardio!

Jennifer Sage said...

I just checked out Jeff Mills on Emusic and downloaded some from the Blue Potential album, it's live with the Montpellier Philharmonic Orchestra - so trance and classical mixed! Very very cool. I might go back and download the rest of the album as well. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll also look up his other stuff (though it's limited on eMusic, will have to look elsewhere).