It’s the most rock ‘n’ roll of seasons, what with suffering the summertime blues, driving around in your automobile with no particular place to go, reaching down between your legs to ease the seat back, the back of your neck gettin’ dirty and gritty. It is in the summertime when you’ve got women, you’ve got women on your mind (well, some of you do), as you find yourself lazing on a sunny afternoon. It’s when you fully appreciate the warmth of the sun whilst on a surfin’ safari at Rockaway Beach, Echo Beach, or a day spent wastin’ away again in Margaritaville.
And summer is time for summer anthems, good people.
As something of a return to our roots here at the ‘Bin, I thought that the tried-and-true top 10 list would be the perfect celebratory excursion to ring in the arrival of Summer 2012.
Also, it’s rained an awful, awful lot lately here in Greater Vancouver, a region from which this blog beams to you. So consider this list of warm, and sunshiny songs from across styles and musical eras to serve as something of an anti-rain dance, and a soundtrack to the rest of summer.
Once again, the list is in no order! Let’s go!
1. Sunday Shining – Finlay Quaye
Heavily referencing Bob Marley’s “Sun Is Shining”, Finlay Quaye’s 1997 single from his debut Maverick A Strike mixes in psychedelia, with indie-pop, with the original reggae source material. A bold move, and as summery as can be as a result.
2. Grass – XTC
Young love, ice cream cones, and flattening the clover (as it were). What more do you need on a fine summer day? XTC featured this single on their 1986 Skylarking album, a record that features several songs as hymns to the warmest season of the year.
3. Lovely Day – Bill Withers
If this doesn’t prepare your heart for shimmering summer days full of joy and optimism, you’re dead inside. Bill Withers’ 1977 single as taken from his Menagerie album is the sound of summer contentment itself; of being in the moment, and being in love, too.
4. Rock Lobster – The B52s
Boys in bikinis, girls with surf boards; here’s the sci-fi Frankie and Annette Beach Blanket Bingo summer beach party you’ve always dreamed about. Pass the tanning butter!
5. Another Sunny Day – Belle & Sebastian
Many consider Belle & Sebastian as more of a rainy day kind of band. But, this one taken from 2006’s The Life Pursuit is full of sunshiny jangle, a tale of summery days out, including a kick-about on the football pitch! Who knew this band even played football? Of course, the clouds are quietly gathering in this song, too. It wouldn’t be a B&S song if they weren’t.
6. Brighter Than Sunshine – Aqualung
Summer; it’s a great time to fall in love. It’s also a great time to listen to songs about it, like this one that is characterized by lazily descending Beatlesesque chords, and a hazy, shimmering, summery vibe.
7. Summer Breeze – The Isley Brothers
Arguably the definitive version of the Seals & Crofts 1972 radio hit, The Isleys recorded their version two years later, and put all of their considerable powers behind it. Dig that crazy fuzz guitar, courtesy of Ernie Isley, sounding like the blurry heat coming off hot pavement at high noon in July. Let that blow through the jasmine in your mind, y’all.
8. Beatnik Beach – The Go-Go’s
What’s a summer without piles of surf guitar, a Ventures-style drum intro, and a vacation at the beach with five hot chicks? Don’t be a square! Ohhhhhhhh YEAH!
9. Revolution (In the Summertime) – Cosmic Rough Riders
Appearing on their 2001 Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine album, this one takes Byrdsian 12-string guitars, and Wilsonesque vocal harmony, and puts ’em together in a musical stew of summery goodness – sunshine brings love!
10. Hot Fun In The Summertime – Sly & The Family Stone
For languid, sexy, and slightly stoned by whatever-means-that-gets-you-there summertime bliss, accept no substitutes. Sly & the Family Stone’s 1969 single defined a high point for them as a band with an expanding audience, that expansion being thanks to a performance at the Woodstock Festival that same year, and in the same month this single came out (August). This tune stands today as an anthem to the season when we have most of our fun.
So, there you have it ‘Binners! 10 songs by which to get down, sit down, lay down in the sun. What summer songs would have made your list? Which ones should have made this one, and what was I thinking by not adding (insert summer tune here)? For instance, there’s not ONE Beach Boys tune here, dammit!.
Tell me all about it in the comments section, and otherwise …
7 thoughts on “10 Summer Songs”
Well, you know I’m happy that there’s no Beach Boys, but that’s just me.
Here’s my favourite summer tune:
“When you trust your friends with no reason not’a” indeed. 🙂
And this one…. it’s not really about summer per se, but Ric Ocasek does sing “summer summer summer” in the lyrics.
Well, this one got me to watching a bunch of Cars videos in a row. They were a remarkable band; Elliott Easton is a phenomenal guitarist and much underrated, and Benjamin Orr was an incredibly gifted vocalist (and bassist at the same time – that always impresses me).
Best Cars song ever.
To the list: Katrina & the Waves: Walkin’ On Sunshine
It’s a staple!