Marcelle has a degree in journalism. She is also a certified spin instructor, where she shares her passion for fitness and music.
Songs for the Summer
Check out this classic dozen-song playlist! It spotlights the last days of school and the taste of summer freedom or a bright new future that follows. As a certified Spin instructor, I share this list from my indoor cycling class where we often work out and rock out to themes like these. Think I’ve missed a song that should be on this list? Please comment below.
1. "No Such Thing"—John Mayer (2002)
Warming up with Mayer’s first single that peaked at number 13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. He's anxious to leave the school that asks him to “stay in the lines,” yet he cannot wait to get to his 10-year-reunion.
2. "She’s Sexy & 17"—Stray Cats (1983)
The song starts, “Hey man, I don’t feel like goin’ to school no more,” and continues with a crush on Marie. It reached number five on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The upbeat tempo works well for a quick run on or off the bike.
3. "Another Brick In The Wall"—Pink Floyd (1979)
Part of a three-song rock opera, Part 2 was named number 375 of Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. It was the band’s only number one hit in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. This classic fits in well for any school-themed cycle class and renders a great slow climb with heavy tension.
4. "The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades"—Timbuk 3 (1986)
The future never looked so bright with good grades and a job waiting after graduation. The only hit for this '80s band, it reached number 19 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. I use this song for jumps (moving in and out of the saddle relatively quickly) with moderate tension.
5. "In This Diary"—The Ataris (2003)
The lyrics reminisce about younger summer days with almost an ache to go back as “Being grown-up isn’t half as fun as growing up.” This song peaked at number 11 on the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. Another fast one here is great for a sprint on the bike or a fast run.
6. "Don’t You (Forget About Me)"—Simple Minds (1985)
Who could forget one of the most memorable, fictional high schools in popular culture history—Shermer High School. The success of The Breakfast Club movie propelled this single to a number one hit in the United States.
Simple Minds originally rejected recording the song, which was also passed up by several other musicians, including Billy Idol. The video includes clips from the movie on small television sets. This cycle hill climb starts at a light hill tension but slowly gets steep moving to a heavy tension. Keep it interesting by adding in short bursts.
7. "High School Never Ends"—Bowling For Soup (2006)
The video starts with the band as “teens” being chided by a group of jocks after a talent show performance of their single, 1985. The boys agree that after high school things will get better. Fast forward to present-day high school reunion and as the song title declares, high school never ends! Popular culture references can be heard throughout the song. Jumps at moderate tension are best with this tune.
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8. "Anthem"—Good Charlotte (2003)
This song protests the status quo path from high school to college to a job with an anthem that shouts, “don’t wanna be just like you!” High school is compared to a jail cell. It peaked at number 10 on the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and was featured in numerous video games and films, including American Wedding. This angry song is perfect in cycle class for a fast flat or even a sprint with light to moderate tension.
9. "Jack and Diane"—John Mellencamp (1982)
Life goes on after 16 for these two kids. This single hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and is the biggest hit for Mellencamp, known as John Cougar when the song was released. Use this song for a cycle hill climb that slowly builds ending on a heavy tension.
10. "School’s Out"—Alice Cooper (1972)
The namesake for this cycle theme playlist, this single peaked at number seven on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and was named #319 on Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.
This song has been covered numerous times, including an episode of Glee and American Idol. It has been driven into popular culture over time through countless movies, commercials, television shows, and specials. It works well in cycle class for a moderate-tensioned hill climb, adding in bursts or runs on the chorus.
11. "Hot For Teacher"—Van Halen (1984)
This rocking tune is a perfect cycle class ender that alternates between intense sprints with short breaks (when the band is talking). VH1 named this song the 36th "Best Hard Rock Song of All Time". The video sparked controversy with attempts by the Parents Music Resource Center to have it pulled from both television and radio.
12. "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"—Green Day (1997)
After a challenging workout, this acoustic gem leads the cooldown. A popular song at school proms, it lays out the forward path of what’s to come, while still keeping hold of some of the best of times, in school or anywhere. The single peaked at number two on the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks and achieved crossover success on the Billboard Country Rock chart.
More Music Playlists
- Best Back to School Music Playlist
Check out this 10 song rocking Back to School playlist that will put you right back in the classroom.
- Fourth of July Patriotic Playlist
Celebrate America’s Independence Day with this rocking 4th of July playlist! Add some of these songs to your summer workout or cookout playlist.
- Memorial Day Weekend Playlist for a Workout or Cookout
Enjoy these rocking songs from a Memorial Day indoor cycling class playlist. They'll get your heart pumping in a workout or your cookout off and running.
Marcelle Bell (author) on May 28, 2014:
FlourishAnyway from USA on May 28, 2014:
Great list and very timely, too.