Thursday, June 25, 2009

Just 'Beat It' You 'Smooth Criminal': Michael Jackson for Your Playlist

If you're like me and probably the rest of the world, you're shocked from this evening's announcement of the untimely death of Michael Jackson. So fast how it happened too--I read Jackson was rushed to the hospital and less than an hour later at my evening Spinning class, a friend rushed into class and asked, "Did you hear that Michael Jackson died?" Between Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, it's been a sad week for Hollywood and pop culture, and they all contained their own sense of shock value.
But commentary aside, it hit me during spin class to add a post about Michael Jackson hits (and maybe misses depending on how you look at it) to work out to. I'll be the first to admit his songs repeatedly land on my iPod--and I'll take it one step further and say that I ran my second marathon, first with a Walkman in hand, with a collection of Jackson through the years along with Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and some Blink 182 (for some angry running, as I like to call it). Something about those Jackson tunes made it easy for me to crank out those long miles while I was both singing along and reminiscing about my five-year-old self trying to moonwalk across the living room. And well, I just thought they were plain good at making those miles disappear.

So without further ado, here are those Michael Jackson hits that have enough of a beat to keep you moving during a workout. And maybe you'll even find yourself singing along like me. Consider adding some of these Jackson tunes to your workout playlist:

  • Thriller
  • Billie Jean
  • Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
  • Beat It
  • Bad
  • Smooth Criminal
  • Black or White--the intro to this one always got my legs pumping faster, but I'll warn that after a while my ears lost interest
  • I Want You Back--performed with the Jackson 5, this is my all-time favorite and I could hit repeat on this one way too often
  • ABC--performed with the Jackson 5, another one of those oldies but goodies
Find these songs and other Jackson hits at the iTunes store or purchase a CD or two online. Meanwhile I'm thinking of digging out that old marathon tape and seeing if it has those Michael Jackson songs hold the same kick as they did in 2001. I Want You Back definitely does--through all of my playlist updates, that one is never removed. To a candle that burned out too early, here's to thinking of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, on the treadmill or the trail. You certainly was not a one-gloved wonder but a moonwalking legend. Photo grabbed from AllardJanssen at flickr. Posted by Kate

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