Kristi York’s Playlist


It is with a certain amount of sheepishness that I admit I’m way too old to be listening to pop music sung by adolescents. Unfortunately, there’s simply nothing out there today that revs my running engine like a way-back playback from the fresh-faced, spiky-haired dudes of the 1990s. I fill my iPod with their catchy songs and give myself over to the unbridled teenage nostalgia. So, read on if you had a crush on Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees or if you remember the short-lived trios known as 3Deep and Tony Toni Toné. 

New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) – “Step by Step”, 1990
While their earlier album Hangin’ Tough certainly had “The Right Stuff,” this is the song that makes me play the air violin while running.

Boyz II Men – “Motownphilly”, 1991
These R&B crooners didn’t win four (IV) Grammy awards by accident. While they’re well-known for love songs, this one is bouncy and (in their words) “not too hard, not too soft.”

Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch – “Good Vibrations”, 1991
Following his short music career, Mark Wahlberg and his well-publicized abs went on to appear in movies—including the running-related film Patriots Day.

Color Me Badd – “All 4 Love”, 1991
These high-voiced guys obviously didn’t place a high priority on spelling. They were essentially a one-hit wonderr.

Take That – “Take That and Party”, 1992
Good thing this British boyband (featuring soulful lead singer Gary Barlow and the rebellious Robbie Williams) had infectious dance beats, as their lyrics were fairly worthless.

Kris Kross – “Jump”, 1992
Both Mac Daddy and Daddy Mac will be flattered that you remembered them and their backwards pants.

Hanson – “Mmmbop”, 1997
Play this song on your next run, and you’ll be so busy trying to decipher the gibberish sounds that you won’t notice the extra distance you’ve covered.

Savage Garden – “I Want You”, 1997
Remember these guys? You will if I sing: “Ooh, I want you, I don’t know if I need you but ooh, I’ve gotta find out.”

Five (5ive) – “Everybody Get Up”, 1998
You really have to reach back into the boyband archives to find these guys, but there they are, asking you (and everybody else) to get up, now.

The Moffatts – “I’ll Be There for You”, 1998
This was a Canadian group made up for four brothers (an older one, plus triplets). They were young and cute, almost sickeningly so.

Backstreet Boys (BSB) – “Larger Than Life”, 1999
These guys cranked out so many high-octane hits, you really can’t go wrong with them. No boyband member in history pointed at the camera as much as Nick Carter.

Ronan Keating of Boyzone – “Lovin’ Each Day”, 2000
Just try to stop yourself from grooving along to this breathy, fast-talking track by another Canadian boyband.

soulDecision – “Faded”, 2000
Just try to stop yourself from grooving along to this breathy, fast-talking track by another Canadian boyband.

NSYNC – “Bye Bye Bye”, 2000
NSYNC and BSB were the boyband equivalent of Coke and Pepsi. My sister and I loved this song’s video, where Justin Timberlake and company are hooked up to puppet strings.

NKOTBSB – “Don’t Turn Out the Lights”, 2011
Any song co-performed by two of the top boybands of the 90s is a must-have. You’d barely know that it’s a decade (or two) later.


Kristi York is the copy editor of Running Room Magazine and a freelance writer. More of her published work can be found on Twitter @KristiYork19.


2 Replies to “Kristi York’s Playlist”

  1. Too funny Kristi and yet right on. As you know your father in law and mother in law also have their favourites during exercise. People wouldn’t believe country music is the running fad but if it works go for it.

  2. Thanks Kristi
    I just found myself a new playlist!!!! I take pride in my 8 year knowing all the words to no diggity….lol

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