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Barska Heart Rate Monitor with Chest Strap

  • Chest strap transmits wirelessly to the watch to let you know you’re still alive, dammit, you’re alive
  • Tracks continuous, average, and max heart rate, along with time spent in your target zone, and other data for later fun with math
  • Includes 3 different alarms and is water-resistant to 30 meters in case you do your running underwater
  • Oh, wait, that’s probably for swimming, right, yeah
  • Model: GB11498 (probably stands for Good Buy at $11,498, so you can see what a bargain it must be at our price)
see more product specs

Heartbeat Songs: Cardiac Pop

Hey, Meh writer @JasonToon here. The notable thing about this Barska heart rate monitor is that it includes both a watch and a chest strap with a wireless transmitter, for a more complete, accurate picture of your heartbeat. And that got me thinking about “heartbeat” songs.

No other organ has been the subject (explicitly, at least) of so many pop songs. And no other biological process (again, explicitly anyway) has been mentioned in as many song titles as the heartbeat. These 15 tracks with beating hearts in their titles are just my personal favorites, but I hope the sheer variety of styles, moods, and periods gives you a sense of how central the heartbeat has always been to pop music.

Buddy Holly’s winsome, rhythmically tricky “Heartbeat” was the last single he released while he was still alive in 1958. Let’s start there:

Almost 50 years later and a continent away, a Norwegian pop star named Annie used the same title for her pulsing 2005 international hit:

The Futureheads’ “Heartbeat Song” (2010) gave the twitchy, catchy postpunks a UK Indie #1, and an amusing video:

That retro-parody video echoed a far twinklier band of Brits, Herman’s Hermits. But a lot more people heard their “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat?”, which hit #2 on the US mainstream Hot 100 in 1965:

When a gang of Texas weirdos combined punk and funk in 1980, they were way ahead of their time. By keeping it rough and urgent rather than slick and relaxed, the Big Boys’ “Heartbeat” still sounds inestimably fresher than the loud white funk that would follow:

Patsy Cline’s 1963 take on the pop standard “Does Your Heart Beat for Me?” couldn’t be more different musically. But the late-night fog of yearning and regret in her voice make it just as emotionally intense, especially once you know it was recorded at her final studio sessions before her untimely death:

Man. Whew. Let’s pick up the mood with a 1983 single by the Rattlers. Frontman Mickey Leigh sounds a bit like his older brother Joey Ramone on “What Keeps Your Heart Beating?”:

As the DeFranco Family, 14-year-old Tony DeFranco and his four Canadian siblings were on top of the preteen pop world when they cut the futuristic bubblegum smash “Heartbeat (It’s a Lovebeat)”. Dig it:

A 1961 hit single called “Every Beat of My Heart” introduced a new musical force to the world. Everyone would be hearing a lot more from Gladys Knight and the Pips:

The Zeros take a more cynical view of pop music’s favorite mass of tissue, as befit the 1978 California punk scene, with a toe-tapping kiss-off to an ex called “Beat Your Heart Out”. They once played an entire set that consisted of nothing but this song played eight times in a row, which was probably still better than the average band in 1978:

Speaking of cynicism in '70s L.A., the Runaways were assembled by sleaze Svengali Kim Fowley as a foxploitation cash-in on teenage sexuality. But Fowley hadn’t reckoned with the likes of Joan Jett and Lita Ford, who made great rock music anyway, like the unexpectedly moving “Heartbeat” from 1977:

By 1966, Buck Owens’ towering series of “Bakersfield sound” classics had busted him out of the country music world into the mainstream. Here he is on his TV show doing “My Heart Skips a Beat” with guest Don Rich - check those crazy suits:

Beat Union were too late for the pop-punk gold rush of the early 2000s, or maybe they were just too good. Smartly constructed, heartfelt songs “My Heart Starts Beating”, from their overlooked 2008 album Disconnected, sailed way over the heads of the Blink-182 audience:

The Dorells - or, sometimes, Dorelles - were one of countless girl-group hopefuls who cut a couple of amazing singles and then vanished forever. “The Beating of My Heart” (1963) just goes to show that there are always too many great songs for them all to be hits:

We’ll put these beating hearts to bed with an indie-rock lullaby from La Sera, “Beating Hearts”, recorded live in Sweden in 2011:

Even this long weekend playlist can only cover a fraction of all of the heartbeat songs in the pop canon - feel free to share your faves in the forum. But I hope I’ve given you some ideas for your own heart-pumping soundtrack to listen to while the Barska Heart Rate Monitor with Chest Strap is keeping an ear to your ticker.

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