7 Classic Songs About Going Outside

Our mates in Melbourne are still in stage 4 lockdown, and that makes us sad.

Especially considering how much fun we’re having up here in Sydney. We’re going to pubs and dancing and giving each other head jobs on the beach, and it doesn’t seem fair. But it’s not all doom and gloom for our sickly chums down south—summer is almost here and that means a lot more vitamin D from the sun, and, as Donald Trump told us back in May over a hot cup of covfefe, vitamin D wipes out coronavirus. So, with happier, sunnier days just around the corner, I’ve put together some songs about going out to get you in the mood.

‘Nightclubbing’ – Iggy Pop (1977)

This one is from The Idoit, an album that enjoyed a resurgence in 1996 when the standout track ‘Nightclubbing’ was used in the movie Trainspotting. The Idiot is one of two albums Pop recorded with David Bowie in Berlin, the other being Lust For Life, who’s eponymous hit single also appears on the Trainspotting soundtrack. ‘Nightclubbing’ is a krautrock-influenced prowler that sounds like Gary Glitter high on expired cough syrup and singing into a desk fan. I’m going full Sasha Frere-Jones on this one. The live vid below is the one they edited up for the Rage titles, p.s. Fascinating, no?

‘Steppin’ Out’ – Joe Jackson (1982)

Joe Jackson wrote this about getting amped to go for a drive around New York City, which is always exciting because no one really has a car in New York City, so car trips are fun. Until researching this song today, I assumed ‘Steppin’ Out’ was a break-up tune because of the lyric ‘Its quits, bitch—I’m steppin’ out,’ but it turns out it’s about driving around Manhattan and maybe doing coke. There’s no reference to coke in the song, but I think that’s what Joe was up too: carload of mates all gacked to the eyeballs, bombing down Broadway with the windows open, being pests.

‘Out on the Weekend’ – Neil Young (1972)

This is the first track off Neil Young’s Harvest, which is in my the top five Neil Young albums (After the Goldrush, On the Beach, Zuma, and Comes a Time being the other four… I think… It’s hard picking favourites with Neil). ‘Out on the Weekend’ is such a great song, but it’s not necessarily a get-psyched-to-party track; it’s more of a lonely-dude-who-can’t-meet-a-girl song. But it’s great and I’m including it in this list just because.

‘Friday On My Mind’ – The Easy Beats (1966)

This will never not be an amazing song. When you hear Lil’ Skitzy singing ‘I Pooed My Pants on Drugs’ or whatever the biggest song is right now, you have to ask yourself if it’ll still be played on the radio in fifty years. The answer, of course, is no. Not a chance. No one will remember who Drake was in fifty years, let alone flavour-of-the-month Lil’ Skitzy, and right now I sound like my dad talking about Public Enemy in 1989. Whatever. This song rules and it’s about getting psyched to have fun in the city on payday—aka Friday.

‘Saturday Night’ – Cold Chisel (1984)

I despised Cold Chisel as a kid because their whole thing was about how cool it is being working class. I don’t know if they ever explicitly said, ‘Being working class is great,’ but that was the vibe, and I didn’t like it because I desperately wanted to rise above my station. You see, folks… I was born working class (gasp). These days, though, I’ve come to terms with my bogan roots, and I can appreciate Cold Chisel and the blue-colar poetry of Jimmy Barnes. I particularly like this song about going out on Saturday night. Good luck getting the do-do-doo-do-doo-doo-doo out of your head.

‘Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)’ Elton John (1973)

Elton John wrote a song about punching on when you’re pissed? Yup, but it’s not as sinister as you’d think. In fact, it’s kinda like when Tobias had a gang on Arrested Development. Favourite lyric: A couple of the sounds that I really like/Are the sounds of a switchblade and a motorbike/I’m a juvenile product of the working class/Whose best friend floats in the bottom of a glass. Oh, word, Elton? Okay.

‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ – Thin Lizzy (1977)

This is a great song, and if you’re not already acquainted with Thin Lizzy, get on it. They were unbelievable. ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ is about going out and falling in love and forgetting your parents are waiting up for you to come home. Basically. It’s a really beautiful little song. The Smashing Pumpkins covered it and managed to make it really dour, but still awesome. Anyway, that’s seven songs about going out for all our friends in Melbourne who have been stuck at home for last month and a bit. Hope you guys get out soon!


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