Pandemic Playlist

Written by: Coach Joe


As an older millennial, I grew up listening to cassette tapes and CDs (in that order). I can remember listening to the radio on my Sony Boombox and waiting hours for my favorite song to play (Spin Doctor's "Two Princes"). I'd run to the radio and slam that record button down at just the right time so that I could save it to my cassette tape to finish a playlist.


After 8 months of dealing with a global pandemic, reminiscing about simpler times and remembering the countless mix tapes I made, helps me deal with the madness of the world right now. So, I made the ultimate Pandemic Playlist to share with all of you. The best part? All the songs are covers of some of my old-school favorites - and I even tossed a bit of music history in.


Aswad's "Don't Turn Around"

"Don't Turn Around" was originally the B-Side to the single "Typical Male" by Tina Turner. It's since been covered by Bonnie Tyler, Aswad (above), and Ace of Base. The first pick for my playlist is like a cover of a cover of a cover.


Aretha Franklin's "Respect"

R&B legend Otis Redding, wrote and first recorded “Respect" in 1965. When he heard Aretha Franklin’s version of the song, he said, “well, I guess it’s that girl’s song now.”


No Doubt's "It's My Life"

The third pick for my playlist is a new wave song, turned into one of the hottest pop hits of 2003. ”It’s My Life” was originally by the English band Talk Talk, but my introduction to it was No Doubt's cover in the summer of '03.


Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You"

What happens when you take one of the best song writers of the 20th century, and combine her with one of the best voices of the 20th century? You get the fourth song of this playlist. Before Whitney covered this record breaking number one hit, Dolly Parton wrote it in 1974 when she decided to leave The Porter Wagoner Show.


Nirvana's "The Man Who Sold the World"

Where do I even begin with David Bowie, who originally sang “The Man Who Sold The World”? He singlehandedly influenced a generation of pop culture, with Ziggy Stardust, The Thin White Duke, and Scary Monsters. Back when MTV actually played videos, I was a huge fan of their Unplugged series, especially when Nirvana performed the cover to this song.


UB40's "Red Red Wine"

The 6th song on my playlist originally came straight from the borough of Brooklyn - written and performed by Neil Diamond. Right up there with Dolly Parton, he was considered one of the best songwriters of the 20th century. This hit was covered by UB40 in 1983, giving it a faster, reggae/pop sound.


Mario's "Just a Friend"

This cover was originally by the human beatbox himself, Biz Markie, in 1989 (he sampled Freddie Scott's 1968 song, “(You) Got What I Need”). Mario's 2002 cover of this hit has more of a dance vibe, and it's dancing its way into this playlist at #7.


Chaka Khan's "I Feel For You"

This was originally a song off of Prince's self titled 2nd album in 1979, which he wrote, produced, and sang. The 8th song on this playlist revived Chaka Khan's solo career, when she covered it in 1984.


Whitney Houston's "Higher Love"

"Higher Love" was originally recorded by Steve Winwood in 1986. It was covered by Whitney in 1990 and then remixed and released last year by producer, Kygo.


Eric Clapton's "Layla"

"Layla" was originally by Derek and The Dominos, and was released off their one and only album, “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs”. Eric Clapton was a member and co-writer in this group. He's also worked with the Yardbirds, Cream, and played guitar on the Beatles song, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. In 1992, Clapton did a cover of “Layla” on his MTV Unplugged set. My 10th and final song on this playlist is a cover by an artist who played in the original song.

I’ve got to thank my parents for all those car rides with the radio on, and that Billboard's Top Songs of the '80s!


Check out this playlist on Industry Gymnastics' Spotify account.

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