A Perfect song? Seems to be the consensus there’s no such thing. I’ll posit though there might be perfect moments ( or as near we humans get). And isn’t it glorious when that fleeting moment has a soundtrack? I’ve skied to music for 30 years or so now & each year I start out with a review of last year’s playlists. I used to have to do this on tape but digital has made it so much easier. It occurred to me – big bright light this – Hey! There’s a post’s worth. So I’ve reduced it down to the required 11 & offer it up for dissection. Each one of these tunes has provided me with a moment of exaltation that hopefully can be tapped for future use. When I’m drooling into my own nappy maybe they can point my chair to the mountains, strap on the headphones & I’ll be able to press replay in my head. So what makes a good ski tune? Fluid energy, tightly constructed music, lyrics that don’t get in the way & something that can withstand repeat listens usually. Got a favorite athletic or physical song (hopefully both) ? Offer it up! The mountains are calling. Rules: Raise one to the summit & leave the other in it’s own sitzmark. Prime Spill points to the she or he who guesses the all time champion. List on the other side.
1. Skateaway – Dire Straits
Great warm up tune. Excellent for big sweeping turns on spring corn. Also primo for lift ride watching.
2. Laid – James
Relentless drums keep you focused in the trees.
3. Kissing The Lipless – The Shins
From the appropriately named Chutes Too Narrow album, this makes the list for a staggeringly gorgeous moment when the air was saturated with very dry powder snow being refracted by the weak January sun, then dancing to the xylophone notes at the end.
4. The Lovecats – The Cure
There are many Cure songs ( 5 on present list) that make great ski songs. This kept coming on when I was skiing an unnamed area of my home mountain. It provides the perfect tension between rhythm & not taking yourself too seriously when in difficult terrain. I now just refer to that area as Lovecats.
5. Into The Valley – The Skids
Bravado required? This has it in spades.
6. The Lonely Surfer – Jack Nitzsche
Perfect for exploring new terrain. Reins you in at just the right points.
7. Mad About You – Belinda Carlisle
Another Spring skiing gem. This has the perfect flow to chase you through trees or mogul fields. Also has the heartbeat bass to steady your breathing.
8. Welcome To Paradise – Green Day
Another great one for the mogul fields. The middle section in particular.
9. Suicide Blonde – INXS
All purpose shred worthy piece. From the harmonica notes on, it just carves it up.
10. Penetration – The Pyramids
Lots of surf music makes it in & out of the playlist. This is always there because it’s tightly focused & gets you through the trees in a most excellent manner.
11. She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult
Want to get the adrenalin flowing? Pause at the top of a north facing chute & imagine the Heaeayys at the start echoing through the canyon below. Nothing for it but to drop in.