Harder Better Faster Stronger: An Ode To The Thoroughbred

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Songs that lend a voice to the equestrian world in a way only music can.

An Ode To The Thoroughbred

Get ready for a new series from 100% Sound!  In this playlist series, each list will set out songs that speak to a particular breed’s unique character and life experiences.  So instead of partying like a rockstar, you can party like a quarter horse, Arabian, or perhaps even a Gypsy Vanner.

For this first playlist, I simply had to start with the Thoroughbred – not only because they are so charismatic, but also because it’s a breed that plays an important role in my life thanks to my eighteen fabulous years with the famous Mackenzie.  So let’s all get a little bit hot-blooded and run with the sounds of the Thoroughbred this Thursday!

Get the full playlist on Spotify here: Harder Better Faster Stronger: An Ode To The Thoroughbred

 

1. YOUNG FREE by Lover Lover from the album There Is A Place

“Young, Free!  It’s the only way to be,” sing the already defunct indie pop trio Lover Lover in this opening track. There is nothing more uplifting than seeing a young foal trying out new legs, particularly when they belong to a burgeoning Thoroughbred who was born to run.  “Young Free” makes me think of these early days in green pastures where any future is possible.  Alas, like Lover Lover, this period in the Thoroughbred’s life has a particularly early expiration date.

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2. HARDER BETTER FASTER STRONGER by Daft Punk from the album Discovery

All too soon frolicking days in the pasture turn into hard training days on the track.  And whether you agree with the practice or not, one thing is for certain.  It takes an exceptional animal to show such dedication to the job at an early age.  So I salute the Thoroughbred for having the heart to go “harder, better, faster, stronger” every day of its young life with this classic track from Daft Punk.

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3. WHO GON STOP ME by JAY Z and Kanye West from the album Watch The Throne

Thoroughbreds are the fastest and among the highest earning of all breeds, and all before the human age of 20.  In other words, they are complete superstars.  And I imagine that’s how they roll.  So who better to get in their heads than two of the biggest names in music?  JAY Z and Kayne say “I’m 3 steps removed.  I know how to move.  It’s looking like, I don’t know how to lose….Who gon’ stop me huh?”  Yeah, I’d say that pretty much sums up how Thoroughbreds get it done!

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4. ROAR by Katy Perry from the album Prism

It would be disingenuous to do a playlist about racehorses right now and overlook Katy Perry’s current massive hit, “Dark Horse.”  The thing is although dark horse is surely a Thoroughbred term, I can’t really see them getting into all that seduction and witchcraft that comes up in the lyrics.  In reality, “Roar” much better representation of the breed.  “You held me down, but I got up, already brushing off the dust.  You hear my voice.  You hear that sound, like thunder gonna shake the ground…. ‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar!”

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5. NOT GIVING IN by Rudimental (feat. John Newman & Alex Clare) from the album Home

Being born a Thoroughbred provides no easy lot in life.  In addition to the early performance demands, there are the almost inevitable injuries.  Its very fortunate that Thoroughbreds come equipped with the hot-blooded energy necessary to often overcome these challenges.  Rudimental’s track “Not Giving In,” champions this strength.

The name Rudimental should sound familiar to 100% Sound followers.  This group was the subject of an earlier post thanks to their music video for “Feel The Love,” featuring the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Read the full story here: Feel The Love.

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6. DON’T DENY YOUR HEART by Hot Chip from the album In Our Heads

Most Thoroughbreds’ racing careers of over by the age of four to seven, giving them more than enough time to have a complete second and perhaps even third career in their lifetime.  The questions is, “What’s next?”  Since their first career is pretty much a given, it’s a joy to see these animals have the opportunity to discover a talent that suits them on a more individual level.  So Thoroughbred’s remember in your next career, “You’ll see we take fun seriously….Don’t deny your heart!”

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7. GOOD AS NEW by Vacationer from the album Gone

When the right career and partner is found, Thoroughbreds can be “feeling good as new,” as Vacationer sings.  And that is as beautiful and freeing a thing as this delightful tune.

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8. LOSE YOURSELF TO DANCE by Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams from the album Random Access Memories

The options for a Thoroughbred’s second careers are nearly as numerous as the universe of disciplines available for all horses.  Some will find success in flat work.  Whether its dressage, polo or ranching, they will be moving their feet and dancing through life.  So Thoroughbreds, go ahead and embrace another Daft Punk song that will let you “lose yourself to dance!’

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9. SKYSCRAPER SOULS by Chordashian (feat. Freedom Fry)

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For other Thoroughbreds, flying over fences will be the preferred second profession.  A whole host of jumping careers are available to Thoroughbreds who are so inclined.  From hunters, to jumpers, to cross-country, Thoroughbreds are well represented.  Indeed, their “Skyscraper Souls,” as Chordashian and Freedom Fry would say, can been caught soaring all over the place!

10. FOREVER YOUNG by Alphaville from the album Forever Young

In “Forever Young,” Alphaville sings of a time “when this race is run,” and posit that they  “don’t want to perish like a fading horse.”  Well, Thoroughbreds don’t want to go that way either!  While their bodies may age, it seems that the Thoroughbred minds stay strong and their hearts are forever young.  What a glorious breed!

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