The Soundtrack to my Life

The Soundtrack to my Life
I only wish there was no context for this photo in the following post.

When it comes to music, I'm not very well-versed. I can say without a doubt that Tom and WilcoMeThat each possess musical knowledge with far more depth and breadth than me. But I'd be willing to put my playlist up against anyone when it comes to random ecclecticism and flat-out embarrassment.

My car has a six-disc changer that recently gave up the ghost. In fact, the LCD display has completely shorted out, along with all of the buttons along the bottom. In essence, it's left me with only AM radio, as I can't toggle between bands or use the GPS or anything. And that's fine because I typically listen to local sports talk radio anyway.

So that means that a vast majority of my musical immersion takes place during the course of my workouts. My beat-up little Samsung MP3 player has gone through a lot with me; it's seen 4 different gyms and varying degrees of physical fitness. Its flash memory is filled with music from my past, only some of which would be acceptable in a typical gym environment.

Never one to shy away from sharing my little foibles, I wanted to take a page from Buh-weet's book and compiled por you and your nistnin' pleasure, some of my paborite songs. Take a wisten. And just in case that reference is lost on you:

I was going to set it on shuffle and just mark down what came up, but the preponderance of Eminem meant that I had to exclude some of his songs for the sake of variety. While I skew heavily toward rock and rap, there are also some selections from 80's boy bands, German pop music, and Andrew Lloyd Webber:

Eminem - Lose Yourself

Fugees - No Woman, No Cry

P. Diddy & the Fam - All About the Benjamins

Dr. Dre - Next Episode

Blink 182 - First Date

Paperboy - Ditty

AC/DC - Back in Black

Jesus Christ Superstar Sndtrk - Damned for All Time/Blood Money

Color Me Badd - Slow Motion 

Hey, I told you it was embarrassing and that I was not afraid to expose myself. Hey, not like that; get  your mind out the gutter. For what it's worth, this is one that I skip past. Usually. It's also not the only CMB song I have.

Fugees - Killing me Softly

Eminem - White America

Eminem - Legacy

Joe Esposito - You're the Best Around

If this song doesn't pump you up, you're either lying or you're missing a small piece of your soul. I can't help but get an adrenaline rush when I see Daniel-san landing a crane kick and sending Johnny sprawling to the mat.

AC/DC - Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution

LL Cool J - Phenomenon

Counting Crows - Big Yellow Taxi

Eminem - The Monster

Are you beginning to see what I was saying about Eminem? I know that having Rihanna sing the hook is what helped to launch this song into the stratosphere a while back, but I absolutely love the story in the lyrics. Em gets a lot of pub for the controversial content of his songs, and rightfully so, but he is a masterful lyricist.

RZA - The Baddest Man Alive

Rage Against the Machine - Bulls on Parade

Mumford and Sons - Thistle and Weeds

CCR - Bad Moon Rising

Wu-Tang Clan - C.R.E.A.M.

Metallica - For Whom the Bell Tolls

Jim Jones - We Fly High

Snoop Doggy Dogg - Lodi Dodi

Nena - 99 Luftballoons

Yelawolf - The Hardest Love Song in the World

The Offspring - Keep 'Em Separated

Xzibit - Get Your Walk On

LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock you Out

Yet another song that I can't help but listen to whenever it comes on. LL in a boxing ring shouting his warning into a mic with passion and swagger that rival any heavyweight's? Yes please.

Ghostface Killah - Winter Warz

Guns N Roses - My Michelle

For the record, I'd like to submit Appetite for Destruction as the greatest debut album of all time. The raw energy and ruthless aggression, along with some decent story-telling, of the LP are evident in this song as much as any of the other tracks. If it please the court, I'd also offer up Enter the Wu-Tang, The Chronic, and Doggystyle as entries in the GDAoAT category.

Method Man - M-E-T-H-O-D Man

The Doors - Break on Through

House of Pain - Boomshalaklakboom

Guns N Roses - Welcome to the Jungle

Pearl Jam - Daughter

CCR - Travelin' Band

Busta Rhymes - Gimme Some More

Ice Cube - Say Hi to the Bad Guy

My buddy Nathan and I used to drive around town at home bumping Ice Cube and I'd just scream lyrics out the window at random intervals. This and When Will They Shoot were frequent subjects for my yelling.

Megadeath - Symphony of Destruction

Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer

Kelis - Bossy

Gemini Syndrome - Resurrection

My buddies and I were out in LA on the Sunset Strip, so a show at The Whiskey was a must. GS just shredded and lit the place up and we got to meet them after the show. The lead singer is actually from Chicago; check them out if you have the chance and you don't mind if your eardrums bleed.

Fine Young Cannibals - She Drives Me Crazy

Harry Caray - Take Me Out to the Ballgame

This is the song we had the DJ play when my wife and I entered the reception hall after our wedding. Also, when my daughter was younger, we had a CD featuring this and Go, Cubs, Go; she would request that we play them over and over and used to make us sing them to her before bed, often in rounds: "You sing Go, Cubs, Go, you sing Take!"

Prince - Little Red Corvette

Technotronic - Pump up the Jam

CCR - Midnight Special

Young Black Teenagers - Tap the Bottle and Twist the Cap

Weezer - Beverly Hills

Men at Work - Land Downunder

Yeah, I'm not sure what to say about this one. I asked my wife what to do, but she just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich.

Lonely Island - Santana DVX

White Stripes - Seven Nation Army (Glitch Mob remix)

t.a.T.u. - All the Things She Said

Journey - Any Way you Want It

Eiffel 65 - Too Much of Heaven

Really no excuse to have this in any playlist, except for the fact that this was huge in Europe in 2000 when I just happened to be spending a month in Italy. It got burned into my brain and conjures images of running around Florence and Rome with my buddies.

Bush - Machine Head

Barenaked Ladies - Chimpanzee

Kid Rock and Cheryl Crow - Picture

New Edition - Mr. Telephone Man

I was going to use a New Edition photo as the featured image, but that would have put on big-time creeper status. As it is, I opted to allow the dudes in the photo to take the fall for me.

I think I need to put myself out of my misery at this point. Since I only provided explanations and anecdotes for a fraction of the entries, I'll welcome you to leave your own in the comments below, either on my songs or on some from your own personal soundtrack. In the end, I'm glad I was able to conduct this cathartic exercise; now off to the gym for some real exercise and some great (hey, don't judge me!) music.

Follow me on Twitter: @DEvanAltman

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Filed under: Pop Culture

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