Wednesday Timeless Classics: Double Chart-Topper Rock Classic

Artist: Lenny Kravitz
Song: American Woman 
Album: 5
Time: 4:24
Genre: rock 
BPM: 100
Category: climb 
Available: Amazon, iTunes

Today’s WTC offering is a double classic in that it was a chart-topper twice with two different artists. Once in 1969, where it made it to number one on the Billboard Top 100, and a second time in 1999 when it peaked at number three on the Billboard 100.

The track is undoubtedly a rock-and-roll classic, and the newer cover version by guitar master and devastatingly handsome artist Lenny Kravitz is a great power climb in the indoor cycling studio.

I have used this track as a gutsy hammer up a steep grade, as well as inside of higher-intensity intervals or on rolling terrain. It is not overly complicated to apply to a profile—it can either be the star of the show or just as easily be the road leading to the summit of a climb.

There is a bit of interesting trivia regarding the first lyric, “American woman, get away from me…”

Some might take this as a slight against American women in general, but it was not. The artist who wrote the song was Canadian Burton Cummings. He recounted that the song was written during a long, tough tour of the US during the tumultuous late 1960s, where there was civil unrest, a backlash against the Vietnam War, and an awakening Women’s Liberation movement.

The song was in large degree about missing Canadian girls. He felt that American women of the late 1960s had to grow up fast in tough times, making them formidable.

Lyrics are interesting things…a quote I believe is attributed to John Lennon goes something to the effect that an artist’s lyrics don’t mean anything until after the song is recorded; then someone else interprets them.

Regardless, it is a great song for a power climb.


One Response to “Wednesday Timeless Classics: Double Chart-Topper Rock Classic”

  1. JohnAndrews says:

    This a great twist on this classic. Love it.

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