At the end of the year I create two profiles that I play the last week of December. One is a “best of” highlighting my favorite cycling songs released that year, and the other is farewell tribute to the artists we lost. I thought I had put the finishing touches on my farewell ride, and was crushed on Christmas when I learned of George Michael’s passing. I could have easily done a whole ride dedicated to him, similar to what I did for Bowie and Prince earlier this year, but didn’t want to slight the other artists that we lost way too soon in 2016.
Some of them went under the radar as news of David Bowie’s, Glenn Frey’s, and Prince’s passing shocked us and got major news attention. One that personally struck a chord was Sharon Jones from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (Amy Winehouse’s band on her Back to Black album). I was lucky enough to see her at Lollapalooza back in 2008, and man, did that woman have soul.
Another loss that took me off guard was that of Maurice “Moe” White, founder of Earth, Wind & Fire. Moe was the guiding force behind the band’s sound. If you listen closely, you can almost hear Sharon and Maurice harmonizing up in heaven.
Emerson, Lake, and Palmer lost two of its founders: Keith Emerson and Greg Lake. My favorite by them is “Karn Evil 9,” which you might know from its opening lyrics:
“Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We’re so glad you could attend
Come inside! Come inside!”
We also lost Billy Paul, most known for his song “Me and Mrs. Jones,” which was used in our cool-down. Also lost was Joey Feek, of the husband-and-wife country duo, Joey + Rory. Sadly Joey passed from cervical cancer this past March at the age of 40. “Cheater, Cheater” is fun song to introduce your class to if you don’t use a lot of country in your playlists. It’ll get a chuckle from some riders, too.
A Tribe Called Quest lost one of their founding members, Malik Izaak Taylor, aka Phife Dawg, due to complications relating to diabetes at the age of 45. If you read the old-school hip-hop installment of Step Outside Your Musical Box, then you know this one floored me. Phife, you will forever be part of my high school memories.
Leonard Cohen, the singer/songwriter, also passed this year. I included the iconic version of “Hallelujah” recorded by Jeff Buckley to pay tribute, which is a beautiful way to end this class and say good-bye.
I’ve included two Spotify links below. The first is the Farewell 2016 playlist that coincides with the profile. The second playlist includes all the songs that were considered for this profile, which should make it easy for you if you want to replace a song with another. The second playlist also includes TV and movie theme songs paying tribute to Alan Thicke, Florence Henderson, Pat Harrington Jr., Carrie Fisher, and Patty Duke.