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The 80 Most Popular 'Oldies' Workout Songs

By , SparkPeople Blogger
As a kid, I hated when my dad turned the dial to the "oldies" station. From the back seat of the car, my brother, sister and I would whine and scream that we didn't want to listen to his "old people" songs. We made fun of their voices and thought their songs were boring. After all, it was strikingly different from the Madonna and New Kids On The Block Songs we listened to with our friends (I'm really showing my age now, right?).
Now that I'm older, I'm glad I got the "music education" from my dad that I did. Now I know that the "old" songs he used to love listening to are some of the best songs ever made, by the best singers and groups in history. And I'm glad I know them. These days, when these retro songs come on, I don't jump to change the channel. I tune in, bopping my head and sing along. Because, thanks to him, I know all the words. These songs make occasional appearances in my workout playlists these days, too—both when I run and when I teach Spinning. Why? Because they're FUN. And if you love listening, exercising or just plain boogying to "oldies," have I got the playlist for you!
But this isn't just any list. While it includes some of the best rock 'n roll hits from the '50s and '60s you can think of, these are the 80 most upbeat oldies tracks for exercising. I shared the list with members of, America's largest online community of dieters and exercisers, and got them to vote on their favorites so we could name the absolute BEST workout songs from the '90s. (Can you guess which took the No. 1 spot?)  

Based on your votes, we have even created a 60-minute continuous cardio remix playlist of the top 15 songs! You can get the playlist on iTunes for $9.99, or on for just $8.99!

Forget record players and juke boxes. You can fill your mp3 player or iPod with these dozens of these oldies tunes next time you work out for a fun, fit blast from the past.
The Top-Ranked Oldies Workout Song:
Aretha Franklin – Respect (1967)

No. 2: Steppenwolf – Born to Be Wild (1967)
No. 3: The Monkees – I'm a Believer (1966)
No. 4: Martha & the Vandellas – Dancing in the Street (1964)
No. 5: The Kinks – You Really Got Me (1964)
No. 6: Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock (1957)
No. 7: Rolling Stones – Jumpin' Jack Flash (1968)
No. 8: Tommy James & The Shondells – Mony Mony (1968)
No. 9: The Beach Boys – Surfin' USA (1963)
No. 10: Foundations — Build Me Up Buttercup (1968)
No. 11: Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode (1958)
No. 12: Led Zepplin – Whole Lotta Love (1969)
No. 13: Rolling Stones — Paint It Black (1966)
No. 14: The Beach Boys – Good Vibrations (1966)
No. 15: Chubby Checker – Let's Twist Again (1961)

Download SparkPeople's 132-BPM 60-minute continuous cardio remix of the 15 most popular workout songs of the '50s and '60 on iTunes for $9.99, or on for $8.99!

Here's the rest of the list (in alphabetic order). Click on each link to listen to a preview (or purchase the mp3) at
  1. Barrett Strong — Money (That's What I Want) (1959)
  2. The Beach Boys — Barbara Ann (1965)
  3. The Beach Boys — Fun, Fun, Fun (1964)
  4. The Beach Boys — I Get Around (1964)
  5. The Beatles — Back In The U.S.S.R. (1968) [Tracks by The Beatles are not available for download]
  6. The Beatles — Helter Skelter (1968)
  7. The Beatles — I Saw Her Standing There (1963)
  8. The Beatles — Roll Over Beethoven (1963)
  9. Big Joe Turner — Shake, Rattle And Roll (1954)
  10. Bill Haley & His Comets — Rock Around The Clock (1954)
  11. Bobby Darin — Splish Splash (1958)
  12. Bobby Freeman — Do You Want To Dance? (1958)
  13. Cannibal and the Headhunters — Land Of 1,000 Dances (1965)
  14. Champs — Tequila (1958)
  15. Chris Kenner — I Like It Like That (1961)
  16. Chubby Checker — Pony Time (1961)
  17. Chubby Checker — The Twist (1960)
  18. Chuck Berry — Rock And Roll Music (1957)
  19. The Coasters — Charlie Brown (1959)
  20. The Coasters — Poison Ivy (1959)
  21. The Coasters — Yakety Yak (1958)
  22. The Contours — Do You Love Me? (1962)
  23. Creedence Clearwater Revival — Fortunate Son (1969)
  24. Dion — Runaround Sue (1961)
  25. Elmore James — Shake Your Moneymaker (1961)
  26. Elvis Presley — Blue Suede Shoes (1956)
  27. Elvis Presley — Hound Dog (1956)
  28. Ernie Maresca — Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out) (1962)
  29. Etta James — Good Rockin' Daddy (1955)
  30. Fats Domino — I'm Walkin' (1957)
  31. Fats Domino — Jambalaya (1961)
  32. Fontella Bass — Rescue Me (1965)
  33. Ike and Tina Turner — River Deep, Mountain High (1966)
  34. Jackie Wilson — (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher (1967)
  35. Jackson 5 — I Want You Back (1969)
  36. James Brown — Papa's Got A Brand New Bag (1965)
  37. Jerry Lee Lewis — Great Balls Of Fire (1957)
  38. Jerry Lee Lewis — Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On (1957)
  39. Jimi Hendrix — Purple Haze (1967)
  40. Jimi Hendrix — Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (1968)
  41. Johnny Otis Show — Willie And The Hand Jive (1958)
  42. The Isley Brothers — It's Your Thing (1969)
  43. The Isley Brothers — Shout! (1959)
  44. The Isley Brothers — Twist And Shout (1962)
  45. The Kinks — All Day And All Of The Night (1964)
  46. Larry Williams — Dizzy Miss Lizzy (1958)
  47. Little Junior's Blue Flame — Feelin' Good (1953)
  48. Little Richard — Good Golly Miss Molly (1958)
  49. Little Richard — Long Tall Sally (1956)
  50. Little Richard — Tutti-Frutti (1955)
  51. Martha & the Vandellas — Heat Wave (1963)
  52. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell — Ain't No Mountain High Enough (1967)
  53. Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels — Devil With A Blue Dress On (1966)
  54. Otis Redding — Try A Little Tenderness (1966)
  55. Ray Charles — Hit The Road, Jack (1961)
  56. Ray Charles — I've Got A Woman (1954)
  57. Ray Charles — Mess Around (1953)
  58. Rolling Stones — (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (1965)
  59. Shirley Gunter & Queens — Oop Shoop (1954)
  60. Sly & The Family Stone — Dance To The Music (1967)
  61. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles — The Tears Of A Clown (1967)
  62. Steppenwolf — Magic Carpet Ride (1968)
  63. Stevie Wonder — Uptight (Everything's Alright) (1965)
  64. The Strangeloves — I Want Candy (1965)
  65. Surfaris — Wipe Out (1962)
  66. The Temptations — Ain't Too Proud To Beg (1966)
What do you think of the list? Any other workout-worthy oldies you'd like to add?

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MNABOY 6/1/2021
Great songs Report
DIVAGLOW 5/31/2021
Love these! Report
NOTALOSER1 1/14/2021
Coach Nicole needs to understand a father of the 80's had no greater obligation than to take his daughter to a NKOTB and stand in the background shaking his head while she has the time of her life. Report
GILBERTKAREN2 11/13/2020
Great music Report
JVANAM 9/4/2020
9/4/2020 TODAY'S TIP

Make a new workout playlist today. It could be just the motivation you need for your next workout!

Make your best playlist ever and watch your workout motivation soar! Report
THROOPER62 8/31/2020
My favorite music. Loved them all Report
CECELW 8/22/2020
i don't miss golden oldies at all Report
KATHYJO56 7/29/2020
Great songs Report
RAPUNZEL53 7/6/2020
My favorite kind of music. Report
BONNIE1552 7/6/2020
Great music to move to. Report
Thanks Report
Thanks for sharing Report
There are some great songs on there! I’m definitely going to download some of them. Thanks! Report
Great list Report
Good list. The Temptations are good to listen to when exercising. They make you want to move. Report
makes me feel old, because I am lol Report
Not bad, but missing one of the greatest workout songs of all, "Work That Body" by Diana Ross! May also want to add some by the Supremes, the Temptations "Ball of Confusion" and other Motown greats. Report
Great list of songs! Report
A warrior who had more than he needed would make a feast. He went around and invited the old and needy. Black Elk (Ogala Lakota) 4/28/18 Report
Great list. I'm sure many other songs could be on the list, that is why we can make our own preferred lists. This is a great overall list. Thanks! Report
Thanks! Report
good songs Report
I love these lists! Report
Love the list!! Report
Don't give up. There are too many nay-sayers out there
who will try to discourage you.
Don't listen to them.
The only one who can make you give up is yourself.
- Sidney Sheldon Report
I thought this was going to be about 80s workout songs, so I am a bit disappointed! I want to suggest Johnny Cash's song, 'I've Been Everywhere.' That is a really great, energetic oldie! Report
I love this music any way and when I am doing cleaning or baking I will turn on the radio to the "oldies" station and listen to that while cleaning and / or baking Report
This is an awesome list! Thank you!!! Report
Great list.
And...... i could be your parent too LOL Report
Great list Report
These are fun songs. Thanks! Report
I do the same thing, thanks to my parents I can jam to the 50s, 60s, 70s ,80s 90s and today. Great music will always be listened to no matter what generation. Report
Well it took me a lot longer to read this blog than I had imagined. I sang the ones I remembered and listened to those I didn't. What fun! Report
I know a few of these,,,, grew up in the late 70s and have stayed in touch up until 5 yrs ago, but recatching up. TY I belong to Amazon Prime so I was able to download most of these for FREE ! Report
Where is Keep on Running. Spencer Davis Group Report
Is it just me, or are there 2 15's? Report
Last Train to Clarksville - The Monkees
Heard It Through the Grapevine - Marvin Gaye

You can't help but move when you hear these! Report
No pink floyd? REALLY At least you didn't call this classic rock Report
I listened to some of these; they are remade by different people. In some cases, they are do not sound close to the original, such as jailhouse rock. I would not buy. Report
Oh my, when did the 80's become the "oldies" - mine date back further than this. But a lot of really great songs, for sure! Report
Great songs! It's nice to know that 70s and 80s music isn't considered as oldie's music, however; There are a lot of great workout songs from that era. Report
Are you kidding me? How could Olivia Newton John"s "Physical" not be on this list? That being said, shouldn't it be in the top 15? Report
I know what you mean about "having" to listen to your parent's music. I hated when my dad played country, and now it is my favorite kind of music. I was pleasantly surprised though today while at my daughter's podiatrist appointment, an old Journey song was playing, and she started singing along!! Apparently it was on Glee though, but she said she really liked the song! Loved it!! Report
I could probably sing every word while working out to these songs....ok I might miss a word or two...and rest while I sing..... thanks Report
I'm encouraged that these are all actually oldies. No 80s music has snuck in to make me feel REALLY old. Report
Great songs to love! Report