You know that song, the one you’ve always wanted to include while directing the modern day “Blizzard of Aaaahs?” Yeah we’ve got a few of those too. Here are the Unofficial Top 10 Ski Songs of All Time.
1) The Doors: Riders On The Storm
This Doors classic that put the finishing touches on Jim Morrison’s final album LA Woman is the most fitting tune for private powder days. Mind altering, calming, and Zen-like “Riders” as Morrison called it, captures the ski-bum like a deer in the headlights. When a couple friends drive up a mountain pass to their home ski area or a lone solo-artist rides a double chair alone, they’re thinking of Riders. The song itself captures the escapism that Skiing in its purest form seeks to emulate. Riders is not just a song that resembles skiing, Riders on the Storm is skiing.
2) Alpha Blondy: Jah Houphouët
Before Henrik Harlaut was throwing nose butter, triple cork 1620’s, Greg Stump was filming Scott Kennet with his world famous dog Zudnik shredding the perfect mix of steep Telluride moguls and perfectly spaced glades that provided some of the best shots in ski history (see 3:49 in the clip below). Cheers to one of the best backbeats in reggae history. Jah is pleased with this pick.
The song has since been featured in other ski movies/edits over the years like Nimbus Independent’s Compass (Jump to 10:02). http://nimbusindependent.com/videos/indie-films/
3) The Black Angels: Young Men Dead
You finally made it to Alaska or AK as your bro’s call it. You find yourself perched on a knife-edge summit, that funnels into a couloir the size or your penis (skinny) and you want to hear music (never mind backcountry etiquette). The helicopter flies in front of your face. What are you going to play? That was an easy one.
4) AIR: La Femme de Argent
The metal heads are going to get all Metallica on me here in a second (get old and suck). This song wins gold as a solo mission beater that takes you into moonscape pow fields that you wish never ended. These Frenchman get weird for seven minutes and it’s as melodic as it is structured like skiing deep pow through aspen groves.
5) Sam and Dave: I’m a Soul Man
This one goes out to the Jackson Hole Tram. If you live in Jackson, you’ve probably heard of the Soul Tram. As a visitor it may make your trip. The Soul Tram rides once each day and the tram operator and soul spiritualist let’s the soul tram ride to a favorite jam. The best song you can get on a soul tram: I’m a Soul Man by Sam and Dave or the Blues Brothers… whatever floats your tram.
6. Cream: White Room
This is just outside the top 5 for who knows what reason. Bottom-line is that this is definitely a candidate for number 1. Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton did most of the composition and although neither were notably avid skiers, they produced an iconic song that matches the ski bum vernacular for the holiest of grails—the white room.
7. David Bowie: Rebel Rebel
Featured in Nimbus Independent’s opening segment for Hunting Yeti, this David Bowie rocker encapsulates the ski bum persona. The riff, which according to the AV Club “Never dies,” is eternal and more importantly is a great sound to hear while snow dumps on the deck.
8. Seal: Crazy
Featured in Greg Stump’s Requiem in the Key of Ski as well as the Bridger Brigade’s Progression in Regression, Seal’s Crazy is one of the most classic ski songs due to its inclusion in multiple ski films. There’s just something about the chorus that makes me want to throw Iron Crosses all day.
9. The Who: Baba O’Riley
Riding up the chair, the staccato kicks in, then the keys, and suddenly Keith Moon drops bombs on the drums. Once the first verse hits—all you want to do is “ski down there and jump off something.” Although the word is entirely over-used, this Who tune is nothing short of epic and it makes all my skiing, no matter how shitty, rock.
10. Massive Attack: Angel
This song served as the soundtrack to Shane McConkey’s first ever ski base off Lover’s Leap. The MSP segment featured in the Hit List, may be Shane’s best and it includes powder skiing in Tahoe and the surrounding backcountry, all set to the heavy sound of Massive Attack. This one’s for you Shane.