My 2012 Ultimate Spin Playlist


Something happens when you spin regularly.

No, I’m not talking about getting a more toned butt or thighs, or losing weight, or anything you might expect from engaging in regular cardiovascular activity.

I’m talking about the music. 

When you spin regularly, you start to recognize what constitutes a good spin song – and everyone has their own opinion on this.  For me, they are songs that keep you moving forward, songs with a recognizable and regular chorus, and songs with a strong beat that can set a good cadence for your legs.

I tend to prefer rock, hip-hop and pop over a lot of techno, although a little of that here and there is okay.  Some instructors play all techno, and I dislike this only because I can’t gauge how long the song is since there’s no chorus.  I hate the feeling of spinning and feeling like the particular interval is never, ever going to end.

Similarly, I’ve had other instructors who simply use the music as a backdrop for the spin class instead of co-opting the music into the instruction.  There is nothing worse than repeating the same position changes over and over to different songs.  As I said in an earlier post, good instructors will almost choreograph the class to the playlist – and this goes for most exercise classes, yoga included.  I truly believe this is the main reason for Soul Cycle’s success.

Over the last year, I’ve found that I will hear a certain song on the radio, or listen to a song on my iPod and think, “Wow, this could be a great spin song!”


I decided to make a list of my ultimate spin songs for 2012.

These are songs that I’ve either heard in class, or those I think would be great if used during class.  Lots of my favorite songs aren’t included, only because a great song doesn’t always lend itself to spinning.  Also, some of these songs are explicit – sorry to offend anyone, but I’m sure they come with clean versions!  Some of these songs, especially the cool-down songs, could also be used for yoga.

For warmup:

Adam Pascal, Beautiful Song (no preview, available on iTunes)
Barenaked Ladies, Brian Wilson
Foo Fighters, The Pretender
Counting Crows, The Rain King
Hole, Celebrity Skin
Foo Fighters, Breakout
Police, Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
Pitbull, Give Me Everything
Rolling Stones, Gimme Shelter
Sting, Message in a Bottle
Third Eye Blind, Graduate
Violent Femmes, Blister in the Sun

For intervals:

Adam Lambert, Never Close Our Eyes
Afrojack, Take Over Control
Amerie, One Thing
The Beatles, Back in the USSR
The Beatles, The End
Beyonce, Crazy in Love
Black Eyed Peas, Let’s Get it Started
Bruno Mars, Locked Out of Heaven
Bruno Mars, Runaway Baby
Calvin Harris, Let’s Go
Cobra Starship, You Make Me Feel
David Guetta, Titanium
DJ Sammy, We’re in Heaven (techno remix)
Drew Sidora, To the Dawn
Eve, Who’s That Girl
Flo Rida, Good Feeling
Flo Rida, I Cry
Foo Fighters, Enough Space
Foo Fighters, My Poor Brain
Foo Fighters, Rope
Guns N Roses, Live and Let Die
Havana Brown, We Run the Night
Janet Jackson, Together Again
Jay Z, Empire State of Mind
Jessie J, Domino
Justin Timberlake, Rock Your Body
Karmin, Broken Hearted
Kesha, Blow
Kesha, Tik Tok
The Killers, Mr. Brightside
Lady Gaga, Marry the Night
LMFAO, Party Rock Anthem
My Chemical Romance, Sing
Nicki Minaj, Pound the Alarm
Nicki Minaj, Starships
Notorious BIG, Mo Money, Mo Problems
The Offspring, Come Out and Play
Oracular Spectacular, Electic Feel
Outkast, Hey Ya
Panic! At the Disco, I Write Sins Not Tragedies
Pearl Jam, The Fixer
Pitbull, Don’t Stop the Party
Pitbull feat. Lil Jon, Culo
PSY, Gangham Style
Q-Tip, Vivrant Thing
Rihanna, California King Bassjackers Club remix
Rihanna, We Found Love
Rihanna, Where Have You Been
Rolling Stones, Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Stefano, I’m on a Roll
Taio Cruz, Dynamite
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Don’t Do Me Like That
Usher, Scream
The Wanted, Chasing the Sun, Scream & Shout
Will Smith, Miami

For hills:

2Pac, California Love
Adele, Rolling In The Deep
Alicia Keys, Girl on Fire
The Beatles, Hey Bulldog
The Beatles, Revolution
Bob Marley, Jammin’
Bob Marley, Natty Dread
Bon Jovi, Wanted Dead or Alive
Bridgit Mendler, Ready or Not
Cam’ron, Horse and Carriage
Dr. Dre, The Next Episode
English Beat, Mirror in the Bathroom
Esther Dean & Chris Brown, Drop it Low
Fitz & the Tantrums, MoneyGrabber
Foo Fighters, Hey Johnny Park
Foxy Brown feat. Sizzla, Come Fly With Me
Janis Joplin, Take Another Piece of My Heart
Jay Z, Hard Knock Life
Jay Z, Public Service Announcement
Jennifer Lopez, On the Floor
Jimi Hendrix, Hey Joe
John Legend, Who Did That to You?
Katy Perry, Part of Me
Kayne West, Golddigger
Kayne West, Power
The Killers, Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
Lauryn Hill, Ex-Factor
Lil Kim, Lighters Up
Live, Dolphin’s Cry
Nas & Damian Marley, Friends
Neil Young, No Hidden Path
Neil Young, When You Dance, I Can Really Love
N Trance, Stayin Alive
Pixies, Monkey Gone to Heaven
Pras, Ghetto Superstar
Puff Daddy, Come with Me
Puff Daddy, Victory
Rihanna, Hard
Sean Paul, Breathe
Sean Paul, Give It Up To Me
Seether, Fine Again
Stevie Wonder, Superstition
The Who, Who Are You

For rhythm/cadence rides:

Adam Lampert, Whataya Want from Me
Alice Deejay, Better off Alone
The Beatles, Help
The Beatles, Helter Skelter
The Beatles, Old Brown Shoe
The Beatles, Tomorrow Never Knows
Beck, E-Pro
Bouncing Souls, Joe Lies
Clash, Safe European Home
Earth, Wind and Fire, September
Ellie Goulding, Lights
Foo Fighters, Everlong
Fun, Some Nights
Garbage, Push It
Guster, Satellite
Hoobastank, Crawling in the Dark
Jam, Absolute Beginners
Jawbreaker, Busy
Jennifer Lopez, Waiting for Tonight
The Killers, Mr. Brightside
Madonna, Ray of Light
Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Noise Brigade
Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Impression That I Get
Neil Young, Rockin’ In the Free World
OneRepublic, All the Right Moves
Panjabi MC, Beware
Queen Pen, Party Ain’t a Party
U2, Discotheque
U2, Vertigo

For cool-down:

311, All Mixed Up
The Clash, Train in Vain
Counting Crows, Anna Begins
Counting Crows, Mr. Jones
Beatles, Across the Universe
Beatles, Got to Get You into My Life
Beatles, In My Life
David Bowie, Changes
David Bowie/Queen, Under Pressure
David Gray, Babylon
Dog’s Eye View, Umbrella
Eric Clapton, Change the World
Eric Clapton, Little Wing
Fastball, Out of My Head
Fastball, The Way
The Fray, Over My Head
Foo Fighters, Wheels
Incubus, Drive
Jim Croce, I Got a Name
John Lennon, Oh Yoko
Led Zeppelin, Over the Hills and Far Away
Led Zeppelin, What Is and What Should Never Be
Lifehouse, You and Me
Marvin Gaye & Tammie Terrell, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Oasis, Wonderwall
Phillip Phillips, Home
Replacements, Can’t Hardly Wait
REM, Man on the Moon
Rolling Stones, She’s A Rainbow
Squeeze, Tempted by the Fruit of Another
Sting, If I Ever Lose My Faith in You
Thunderclap Newman, Something in the Air
Tracy Chapman, Fast Car
Train, Drops of Jupiter
U2, One
Wings, Band on the Run
Yes, I’ve Seen All Good People

Do you have any songs that you love to hear while spinning?

Categories: Spin Playlists

Tags: , , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. For a young woman you have some very surprising choices. I do three 75 minute passes every week and I have at present 15 different song lists that I use because I want to keep my clients guessing and I certainly don’t want myself to get tired of a certain song or list. That’s a lot of music! I really spend a lot of time creating my musical programs and I use DJ software to merge and modify. I have a mix of clients and I try to vary my music so everyone feels inspired. I do tend towards techno because it lends itself so well to painting a soundscape which is my goal. Rock and pop have their place but I never use rap or hip hop. I try to emmulate a road cycling experience and that requires a suspension of reality which I do with the help of the music.
    I personally think some of your cool-down choices are a little too pumped. My passes almost all build to a climax, a finish line at the end and then I switch immediately to an almost conteplative and then meditative music for the stretch.
    I will save your list and investigate it further and maybe I’ll come back with some of my faves. Thanks!

    • Hi Chuck,
      Thanks for your reply. As I said, everyone has their own opinion on spin music. For me, cool down is about enjoying yourself for a few minutes and knowing that all your hard work is done. Very mellow music doesn’t always lend itself to the feeling I get while I’m doing that, which explains some of my choices.

      Creating a spin playlist is a delicate art, and I understand completely your opinion about creating a suspension of disbelief. Techno certainly lends itself to that, and I’ve taken some great techno classes that consisted of lots of remixes. I’ve also taken some not so great-techno classes with dated material that had absolutely no pickup – yikes! If you look at Soul Cycle’s classes, you’ll see that they cater to so many different crowds through their varied playlists – they do Billy Joel Rides, Rihanna Rides, even Disney or Showtune rides! Just goes to show you that what motivates one might bog down another.

      Still, nothing gets me moving like some good rock and hip hop!

      I’d love to hear some of your choices in a follow-up comment! Thanks again for your reply.

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  3. This is such a great list! I’m going to have to download some of these.

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