As a die-hard New Kids on the Block fan who is both trying to recover from PCL (Post Concert Letdown ... I'm the one in the front row with the open-mouthed grin) and trying to live a healthier style, I have spent entirely too much time compiling what I believe to be the ultimate NKOTB soundtrack to my (and perhaps your?) hour-long cardio workout.
It started with this: “I’ll do a half hour workout playlist.”
It simply wasn’t enough to capture all the workout-y goodness that the boys from Boston have to offer.
“OK, Kerrie. A 45-minute workout playlist.”
Seriously, it was like trying to choose one’s favorite child.
So, due to my inability to narrow things down (or perhaps the Universe letting me know that my workouts should be longer), I present to you NKOTB: The Workout.
1. Now or Never from 10
It starts slow-ish … a nice little warm up number. I also like the title.
Kerrie: Ugh. I don’t want to work out. But I want to feel and look great.
Danny/Donnie/Jordan/Jon/Joe: It’s Now or Never.
Kerrie: Ok, guys. Hang out while I work out?
… (there was no answer)
2. The Right Stuff from Hangin’ Tough
So, the ultimate NKOTB workout mix needs a few classics. This one takes it way back to 1988 to let the boys remind me that I do, indeed, have The Right Stuff. Hell, I’m apparently the reason why they sing this song. (It’s in the lyrics so it’s true. Don’t argue with me.)
3. Single from The Block (featuring Ne-Yo)
Oh, man. This song. This was the song from the first reunion album that I heard and thought, “Oh, Sweet Jesus, they are back!” This was followed by a happy dance. #cardio
I highly recommend watching the video and then imagining yourself at the club with them (if your heartrate is up high enough, you can hallucinate that you are the beautiful woman they are low-key creeping on in the video! #morecardio). Jonathan Knight showing up in the ladies’ room. Joe’ McIntyre’s blue eyes. Donnie Wahlberg working overtime in that vest. Danny Wood slyly caressing the beautiful woman’s/hallucination me’s hand as she makes her way through the crowd. Jordan Knight with all the flirty smiles. The bonkers hot choreographed dance moves. Honorable Mention goes to Ne-Yo and his fedora swagger.
And even though I might be a hot, sweaty mess on an elliptical in my pajamas, they are going to be my “boyfriend ‘til the song goes off.” EVERYONE WINS!
4. Dirty Dancing from The Block
Y’all. It really is so crazy. I’m like Baby. They are like Swayze.
Not to brag or get all fancy or anything, but I’m pretty sure that the progression of these songs is increasing in beats per minute. Yay, fitness! (Also: I might be wrong.)
In this song, Donnie praises “big old thighs.” So, even if I am struggling, he still loves me.
5. One More Night from Thankful
This is NKOTB right now. I can’t get enough. They opened the 2017 Total Package Tour with this tune and if that doesn’t get the old heartrate soaring, I don’t know what will.
6. Crash from 10
I turn into an old school aerobics instructor at about 3:23. There’s this slight pause and then the beat drops and it makes me say out loud to myself, “Come on! You got this! Oh yeah! GET IT!!!” I’m serious. I yell at myself on the elliptical.
7. Give it to You from Jordan Knight’s self-titled solo album
Real life, this song is the sexiest thing. I imagine that Jordan is just out of view and walk (or ellipticize*) faster in order to catch him.
Workout talk: “Anyone can make you sweat/But I can keep you wet.” Oh. Hold up. That isn’t about exercise. Jordan is naughty! Give me a second, I’m having palpitations.
*Yes, I'm making up words.
8. Twisted from The Block
Wait. This song might be the sexiest thing. Joe crooning about a relationship that borders on a little S&M. (Note: They came back on this first reunion all grown up. Yowza. Also see: #12 Grown Man)
Joe is so understanding: “Where does it hurt/Tell me where to kiss it.”
Me (after working out): “Everywhere.” #thisis40
9. Step by Step as performed by a solo Jordan on the album Jordan Knight Sings NKOTB
A bit of a wildcard tune. I think this solo version of the title track of NKOTB’s 1990 album holds up better than the original. It certainly has more of a beat that drives a workout.
“Step by Step/Gonna get to you gir-er-er-erl” … wait … is Jordan turning the tables while giving into my game of chase as suggested in #7? He really cares about me and my health!
10. Big Girl Now from The Block (featuring Lady Gaga)
Never doubt that the New Kids know their audience. Featuring a pre-fame (and pre-explosion-of-The Fame) Lady Gaga, this song is the anthem of every long-time NKOTB fan. A reminiscence on the fandom of one’s youth coupled with the ferocity of ovulation that occurred in many a womb during the 2008 reunion.
Workout talk: “You ain’t no little girl no more/No that’s for sure/That booty like ‘oh’!” and “With a body like that you got a grown man (again, see #12) ready to blow.” Ahem.
They also rhyme sweat with wet again. So, there’s that.
11. The Whisper from 10
This song pumps me up every time. In my mind, this is the anthem of the beginning of every tour. That escalating excitement is perfectly reflected in this song. It’s got a great build and is a perfect choice for getting my butt toward the finish line.
I just really like this song for purely non-suggestive reasons.
12. (The highly anticipated and aforementioned) Grown Man from The Block (featuring The Pussycat Dolls)
I like this song for purely suggestive reasons.
Blah, blah, blah … it has a beat that keeps me walking. Whatever.
It’s hot. The end.
13. My Favorite Girl – European Remix from Jordan Knight Sings NKOTB
This 2004 remix makes this song from 1998 sound so current. The first few notes makes you think you are getting ready to listen to an Ed Sheeran tune.
14. Full Service from The Block (featuring New Edition)
Again, another hot one. Great beat. New Edition as collaborators. You can’t go wrong.
They even say they are going to “Pump you up, up.”
15. Remix (I Like The) from 10
Here’s another one that makes it clear that NKOTB knows their audience. The story of “wallpaper to heartbreaker” that every NKOTB fan wants to hear. Released more than 25 years after all the initial fandom began, it’s the equivalent of those precious Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” memes saying, “Hey Girl. We know you are 40. But you’ve aged like a fine wine. We actually want you more now.”
Workout encouragement galore: “Do what you’re doing/I like the way you do it;” “Her body’s so crazy/Got mad attention/Everybody wants her/I forgot to mention/My baby’s so intelligent, down with it, independent/Got it all;” “Baby I like the new you;” and “I like the new you/Forget about the old school/I love the sexy thing you’ve turned into/So give me the v.2”.
Gets me every time: Donnie saying “I’m speechless.” It’s like he’s saying it to me!
And I love the body positive video. A real woman having a blast … with the New Kids. #bestgigever
16. Officially Over from The Block
See what I did? Officially Over! It’s the last song of the mix. It takes the pace down and brings me home.
But it has a dual meaning. You see, I’ve worked out for nearly an hour and at this point I’m feeling pretty amazing. You know, so amazing that I am capable of breaking the heart of a New Kid … not that I ever would … but after a great workout, I could.
“Girl this is it/It’s officially over.”
Now get in the showers!
A disclaimer: I am not (nor are any of the New Kids), a fitness expert, a doctor or any kind of person who can legitimately tell you how to work out, what is safe or how not to pass out on an elliptical. I am not responsible if you use this playlist to exhaustion or get pregnant from listening to their raw sexuality too much and too often. If you injure yourself, it’s not my fault (nor is it the fault of NKOTB). But if you were to injure yourself and wanted my two cents, raise your legs above your heart and listen to NKOTB ballads to calm your nerves.