As I sit down to write this, I’ve just got back from a quick, ten-mile bike ride. I’m a little bit hot, a little bit sweaty (don’t worry, a shower is imminent), but also a lot pumped up.
Because of the unrelenting adrenaline rush, I get from listening to Rage Against The Machine riding.
Yes, I know that cycling whilst listening to music isn’t the safest thing in the world, so, before we go any further, I need you to know one thing:
I only turn up the tunes once I’m off road.
Most of my cycling is done along mostly-empty canal banks, wide open spaces where it’s just me and nature. But hey, that’s not the point I wanted to get to today.
I’m Empty, Please Fill Me
I also have another confession to make, that this is the first entry in the 52 Songs That Changed My Life series that isn’t in chronological order, but after writing about Biohazard last Monday, there was only one song I could possibly follow it up with.
If you recall, I spent last week talking about how Biohazard’s track Resist first inspired me to start working out.
Yet when I started running, I found that Biohazard’s brutality, awesome though it was, just wasn’t cutting it. There wasn’t the rhythm that I needed to get me energised, the beat, motivation.
With Biohazard, I wanted to stand in place and get pumped up, but what I really needed was something that could go the distance with me, keep me motivated on a long run.
That’s when I discovered Rage Against The Machine.
I mean, it isn’t. I’d been a big Rage fan for years, which is why I owned their music in the first place.
I loved the unique guitar style, the buoyant rhythm section, the scathing lyrics, but most of all I loved how the whole of Rage’s sound was greater than the sum of its parts.
It’s Right Outside Our Door, Now Testify
Yet as great as they were, it had never occurred to me that they might be *the* band that would get me through one of the toughest challenges of my life: Running a marathon.
I remember my early runs, trying different bands like Rammstein and Metallica to really get me pumped up for marathon training, but nothing hit the spot quite like Testify by Rage Against The Machine.
Its huge beat would help me develop a steady pace, its pulsating rhythm would drive me forward, those snarling lyrics would light a fire in me and keep me going further and for longer than I could have possibly done on my own.
I wrote about Rage’s influence on my running years ago, and you can read that post here if you want to.
For now, all I’ll say is that even though I’ve switched from running to cycling (the result of a knee injury that never fully healed), I still find that there’s nothing quite like Testify to really get the blood pumping.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m really overdue a shower.
Testify by Rage Against The Machine is the 26th song on my list of 52 songs that changed my life. Other entries in this list are below:
- Michael Jackson – Bad
- Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
- Queen – The Hitman
- R.E.M – Drive
- Pink Floyd – The Wall
- The Eagles – Take it Easy
- Beautiful South – Old Red Eyes is Back
- Coal Chamber – Loco
- Type O Negative – Everything Dies
- Monster Magnet – Space Lord
- Live – The Dolphin’s Cry
- Metallica – The Memory Remains
- The Prodigy – Poison
- Nirvana – Territorial Pissings
- Iron Maiden – The Angel & The Gambler
- Metallica – Creeping Death
- Pantera – Cowboys From Hell
- System of a Down – Sugar
- Guns ‘n’ Roses – Garden of Eden
- Guns ‘n’ Roses – Mr. Brownstone
- Metallica – King Nothing
- The Cranberries – Zombie
- The Offspring – The Meaning of Life
- Muse – New Born
- Biohazard – Resist