I am managing editor of a trade publication called Athletic Business, a monthly magazine read by fitness, recreation and athletics professionals. I receive a lot of sports-related books, some apparel and even a few synthetic turf samples. Seldom, however, do music CDs arrive in the mail – and certainly not from the American Council on Exercise.
Yet the world's largest nonprofit fitness certification, education and training organization recently sent two CDs to the AB offices featuring the "Top 25 Workout Songs" from 1985 to 2010. I'm not sure how these tunes – one for every year and arranged in chronological order – were determined, but I wasn't surprised to see "Boom Boom Pow" (Black Eyed Peas), "Hollaback Girl" (Gwen Stefani), "Jump" (Kriss Kross), "Gonna Make You Sweat" (C&C Music Factory) and "Pump Up the Jam" (Technotronic) among the listed tracks.
I was, however, shocked -- shocked! -- when I noticed Guns N' Roses' 1987 debut single "Welcome to the Jungle" sandwiched between "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith/Run D.M.C. and "Bust A Move" by Young MC. How a metal song wound up on a collection like this – in which the next-heaviest songs are the rap-rock hybrid of "Walk This Way," "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers and (maybe) Billy Idol's "Cradle of Love" – is beyond me. But I was impressed enough to write about it here.
What other rock/metal song from 1987 – save, perhaps, Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me" – could possibly have made a list like this? Consider the alternatives: Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" or maybe George Michael's "I Want Your Sex"? Almost a quarter-century on, GnR's instant classic, Appetite for Destruction, continues to leave a mark. If you haven't added "Welcome to the Jungle" to your workout playlist, do so now. (Heck, add the whole album!) Experts recommend it.