The Best Sports Pump-Up Albums for the Holidays

Dan Van WieContributor IIINovember 21, 2011

The Best Sports Pump-Up Albums for the Holidays

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    As the days continue to count down towards the holidays, you know you want to buy something for the sports fan on your list, but you are not sure what to get. Whether they are a fan that simply enjoys watching their favorite team on television, or likes to be more active and go to the games in person, there is a strong chance that they like getting pumped up before the game with some great music.

    Have some music that will inspire and motivate somebody, doesn't have to be limited to being a spectator. Using music to keep you moving in working out as the gym is almost as basic as wearing workout clothes. Whether or not you can find a way to play this music to inspire them to do chores is another matter, so we won't go there.

    But, please know as we go through our presentation of the best sports pump-up albums for the holidays, that music can be a very personal thing. What one person likes, another person can stand to listen to. Might need to do a little research first to see what they already own. We will provide you with some options to make sure you have a chance to give something that they will really enjoy over and over again.


Queen: Greatest Hits

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    Queen released two albums, News of the World (We Are the Champions and We Will Rock You), and The Game (Another One Bites the Dust), that have made a huge impact on sporting events throughout the world.

    You could buy them separately, especially if you are a fan of Queen, but if you are focusing on pump-up music for sporting events or working out, the Queen's Greatest Hits- (We Will Rock You Edition) album pictured above will suffice just fine. It has the three songs you desire, and Amazon.com currently is selling it for $11.99. If you want to have Bohemian Rhapsody included you need to purchase the We Will Rock You Edition. There is another Greatest Hits version that doesn't include the classic hit.

    We do need to provide one word of warning. If whoever you are buying this for has a favorite team that is in last place, or just doesn't win very often, you may want to look at another option. The reason is that when you hear this music and your team has just lost another game to add to the losing streak, it will have the opposite effect of pumping somebody up.

Black Eyed Peas

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    The Black Eyed Peas are a talented group that uses elements of R&B and rap, and creates high-energy music that can fire people up.

    For a sports fan looking to get pumped-up, how can you go wrong with the album "Monkey Business" that has an opening song entitled "Pump It". There are a number of songs on this album that will keep you motivated and make you want to move or get excited.

    The album sells for $9.49 on Amazon.com, and for $9.99 at the Apple i-Tunes store. For an investment of four more dollars, I-Tunes is offering a two-CD deal, where you can purchase "Monkey Business" along with the album "Elephunk" for $13.99. Elephunk has hit songs such as "Let's Get It Started" and "Where Is the Love?".

Old School: ESPN Jock Jams

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    ESPN put together a four-album series of compilations they call "Jock Jams". These songs are typically heard in various sporting arenas around the country, and even though many of these songs are dated, they are still very popular.

    ESPN Jock Jams can be purchased separately on Amazon.com. I did not find them on the Apple I-Tunes store. Volumes 1, 2 and 3 sell for $6.99, while Volume 4 sells for $7.49. If you are wondering what songs are offered on these compilations, here is a brief overview:

    Volume 1: Get Ready for This, Gonna Make You Sweat, Unbelievable, Rock & Roll, Pt. 2, It Takes Two, The Power, Whoomp (There It Is), Pump Up the Jam and YMCA.

    Volume 2: What's Up, Get Down Tonight, Macarena, and Macho Man.

    Volume 3: Tribal Dance, No Diggity, Let Me Clear My Throat, The Jock Jam, Da Dip, That's The Way I Like It, C'Mon & Ride It (The Train), Cotton Eyed Joe, Ready To Go and I Like It Like That.

    Volume 4: Jump Around, Space Jam and Push It.

    As a long-time season ticket holder for the Los Angeles Lakers, I can't even count how many times songs listed above would play over the sound system at the Fabulous Forum and Staples Center. It got the crowd fired up, and it should also work for you and yours.

Rocky Balboa, the Best of Rocky

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    Pumping-up music can be uplifting and inspirational. There is few songs or soundtracks that are more inspirational than the music from the "Rocky" movies series.

    This particular album is a collection of 26 songs that were selected from the various Rocky Balboa movies. The album currently sells for $5.00 on Amazon.com.

    Some of the key songs to get you in the right mood are there, such as: Gonna Fly Now, the Bill Conti instrumental, Living in America by James Brown and Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. There are a number of Bill Conti instrumentals throughout, and also some lines of dialogue from the movies (Yo, Adrian).

The Black Keys: Rubber Factory

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    If you aren't familiar with the group The Black Keys, you will be surprised to learn how many of their songs you have heard on various television shows or on commercials. I am not a big fan of trying to stick a label on a group as to their best genre, but I am comfortable calling The Black Keys a blues rock band.

    The album I am recommending is The Rubber Factory, which interestingly enough was recorded in an empty tire factory. The album has a number of upbeat or hard-driving songs that if you need a little inspiration in your music, or a pick-me-up for your workout, you will find their music creates energy. For me, I find it very hard not to want to move or become immersed in their music. 

    Favorite songs on this CD are 10 A.M. Automatic, Aeroplane Blues, All Hands Against His Own, Till I Get My Way and Just Couldn't Tie Me Down.

    The Black Keys have come with a number of new albums since The Rubber Factory (released in 2004), but this is a good CD to start with and if you like their style of blues rock, you will probably want to check out their newer albums as well. Rubber Factory sells for $6.99 on Amazon.com.

Eminem

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    If you prefer rap, Eminem continues to create inspiring music that has the ability to pump-up a crowd or get an athlete ready to perform. You might prefer his more recent music, or we can look at the earlier albums, but any of these options will contain tracks that are sure to inspire and get you pumped up.

    No matter which album you choose, you need to be aware that every one comes with a Parental Advisory, due to the language used in his lyrics. Amazon.com offers two different versions of the Recovery album. The explicit version sells for $9.99 and the clean version sells for $6.99.

    We recommend the 2010 album Recovery, which features a number of inspiring songs, such as: Love the Way You Lie, Not Afraid, No Love and Won't Back Down.

    Eminem starred in the movie 8 Mile and the soundtrack from 8 Mile was released in 2002. The song Lose Yourself is one of the best songs I know of for firing up an athlete before a game, so that is another album to recommend, as is the 2002 Eminem release of The Eminem Show, which contains Without Me, and other good songs. 

Boston

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    Another rock and roll band that has the ability to get you pumped-up is the Greatest Hits album from Boston. This collection of hits was released in 1997 and sells for $6.99 on Amazon.com.

    The vast majority of the album is upbeat and will get you moving. You will see quite a few songs from the original Boston album, plus some hits from the Don't Look Back album.

    Personal favorites are More Than a Feeling, Peace of Mind, Don't Look Back, Feelin' Satisfied, Smokin', Rock & Roll Band, and Party.

AC/DC

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    Some call them the pioneers of heavy metal, while the band prefers to be called a rock and roll band, but the album AC/DC Live is one that will have your heart banging and your head bopping away at the hard-driving style that is AC/DC.

    You will not be able to purchase their music on a place like Amazon.com or Apple I-Tunes, simply because AC/DC refuses to let their music be sold there. You either have to go to a place like Best Buy or you can go directly to the AC/DC web site to purchase ($11.99), and a link to that is right here.

    In regards to the AC/DC Live album, the whole set is geared towards getting you pumped-up. Thunderstruck, Shoot to Thrill, Back To Black, Who Made Who, Heatseeker, Hells Bells, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Whole Lotta Rosie, You Shook Me All Night Long, Highway to Hell, TNT and For Those About to Rock all should help you to be fired up on game day.

Guns N' Roses

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    A hard rock band that has come out with a number of songs that are traditional pump-you-up variety is Guns N' Roses. The Greatest Hits album of Guns N' Roses is available on Amazon.com for $9.99.

    The best known songs are Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Child O' Mine, Paradise City and Knockin' On Heaven's Door. If these songs don't get you moving, you might want to check and see if there is a pulse.

    Other interesting songs include their version of Sympathy of the Devil, You Could Be Mine, Live & Let Die and Since I Don't Have You.

The White Stripes

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    If you happen to attend a Buffalo Bills game at Ralph Wilson Stadium, whenever there is a kickoff you will be hearing 68,000 plus fans singing to the music of Seven Nation Army by White Stripes. The crowd does that to get the Bills fired-up, so if it can work for a professional football team, it should work for you.

    The album in question is Elephant, released in 2003, and sells on Amazon.com for $7.99.

    In addition to Seven Nation Army, other pump-you-up songs include: Black Math, Ball and Biscuit, The Hardest Button to Button, Hypnotize, The Air Near My Fingers and Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine. They also have an interesting version of the Burt Bacharach classic, I Just Don't Know What to do with Myself.