Sunday, August 25News That Matters

Eight tunes that are the ultimate in musical motivation – Jim Duffy – The Scotsman


Forget doom and gloom and lose yourself in one of these spine-tingling anthems or put together a playlist of your own most motivational songs, suggests Jim Duffy.

Probably one the best coming-of-age movies made for my generation was the Breakfast Club. The young stars of this movie reflected the different personas and personalities that make up youth, but blended them all together in such a perfect way.

There were characters in the movie, male and female, that we can all identify with. But, the best bit of this whole movie is the powerful anthem behind it. There are songs in this world and there are anthems that make you move. And Simple Minds’ Don’t You Forget About Me is probably one of the best of all time.

It is so uplifting, emotive, cogent and has great lyrics and beats. This song gets me motivated, especially when played loudly. My question is: what anthem gets you going, ready to take on the world?

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Another motivating classic is the Rocky movie anthem, Eye of the Tiger. This is a real motivator when I need to do some exercise. The punchy thuds of drums with electric guitars drill right down to my bones as I imagine I am Rocky Belboa, cracking punches into that punch bag. The best bit about it is the punch bag never hits me back and I always win, which helps my dopamine and serotonin levels. This song is a must in my motivating music playlist.

Asking around, it is evident there are a few gems that we all like and some outliers that I had forgotten about, but which tunes are most worthy of note?

Taking you back a bit, who remembers Bruno, Irene Cara and the cast from Fame? The movie was quickly followed by the series and we tuned in each week to find out how our star-lings were progressing in their struggle to find Fame.

And Irene Cara’s song, Flashdance, is still a real popper for us all when it comes to making us feel good and ready for some exercise. “What a feeling…” There you go, that will start you off. So, what’s next in the jump to the gym songlist?

Top Gun is one of my favourite films as I’m a little gay for Tom Cruise. I’ve admitted that to my fiancée who is alright with it. Apparently it’s pretty cool these days to have a crush on a celebrity, musician or actor of the same sex. Tom is ageing well and if he ever calls me up for a cocktail, I’m in. But, his performance in Top Gun made him and the anthem, Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins, was just awesome. This high-octane tune powers out on your earbuds, Bose’s or Beats and just gets the juices overflowing.

READ MORE: Tom Cruise debuts trailer for Top Gun sequel

Disney movies throw up some terrific sounds. But probably one of the best is from Tarzan. Phil Collins is at his very best as he sings Son of Man. This tune is all about coming of age and when I played it on YouTube in my research, it had me on my feet and with the hairs on the back of my neck erect. Totally lush man! If ever you want a high energy good feeling buzz, then run this one on your playlist. Even better, watch the film as Phil has penned and performed some classic tunes that make the movie what it is.

I spent some time in Texas a few years ago. Up until that time I had never heard of the rock group, Journey. But, while there I heard one of their anthems played every weekend in almost any honkytonk. Yes, Don’t Stop Believing is another of those tunes that will keep you motivated to go that extra mile in anything you are doing. The keyboards are spot on and the lead singer’s voice hits great crescendos that will have you singing, running, peddling or walking on air. I couldn’t tell you what else Journey sing, but who cares when this one is so strong.

Now I’m not really a big fan of Katie Perry. But, I have big respect for her work ethic and how she has been so successful, albeit, she is now in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Alas, her hit Firework is a fabulous song for real motivation. Some say she’s a bit screechy. But, regardless, this song will be in any motivational playlist. It builds and builds into a wave that just rolls over you.

But, there is one song that I think stands out for me as number one motivator. I think the band that sing it are now drawing their pensions. Probably well retired by now. But this legacy tune at the right volume smashes it for me. The video was great too with lots of 1980s colour, hair extensions, ripped T-shirts, testosterone and tanned muscles. It can only be Van Halen. And the mighty tune that gets my head totally focussed and motivated for almost anything?

That tune is Jump.

What a corker of a ballad, with high-energy synthesisers, stonking electric guitars and amazing drums. This song lifts me up and gets my head banging – quite literally.

That’s it from me and I am sure if you think back you will have a few others you can add to the list. In days where the world seems that it is on fire with riots, recession, doom and gloom forecast almost everywhere, having a few good motivating songs makes life fun again. What will you play on your playlist and turn up the volume to this weekend? Enjoy…

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