Today is the first full day of summer, so you need a list of songs that sound great on a hot sunny day. I’ve been listening to summer-themed songs and music that just feels right on a sunny day, and here’s my final list with a few comments and videos.
Where is the Sun? – Stag (2014)
I heard this song on Quilty’s show on KEXP a few weeks ago on a cloudy Sunday afternoon. Seattle is normally cloudy and damp until July 5th every year. So it’s no wonder a Seattle band would ride a somewhat melancholy song asking when the sun will show up. I stayed away from most songs that were a bit of downer, but this one works for an opening track because by the end it’s pretty upbeat. I should also mention that Seattle has had a great summer so far, even though summer didn’t officially start until today. We’ve already had seven days with high temperatures over eight degrees in June. We don’t normally get this kind of whether until July.
Pipeline – The Chantays (1962)
Perhaps my all-time favorite surf song. I never get tired of this classic.
Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys (1966)
Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues – Eels (2000)
Summertime Boy – Seasick Steve (2015)
I hadn’t really listened to Seasick Steve until this year when he put out Sonic Soul Surfer. Here’s the video.
Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly and the Family Stone (1969)
Low Rider – War (1975)
Yes I know they have a song titled “Summer”, but I like this song in this set because it feels like summer, and if you are a fan of War, then it makes you think of “Summer”.
Mexican Radio – Wall of Voodoo (1983)
Driving and listening to the radio, and sometimes not understanding a word that is said.
Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini – Brian Hyland (1960)
Got to have at least one cheesy summer song.
Rockaway Beach – Ramones (1977)
Aloha Steve and Danno – Radio Birdman (1978)
Radio Birdman’s tribute to the 1960’s TV show, and it includes them playing the theme song in the song. Double fun!
Misirlou – Dick Dale and his Del-Tones (1962)
Another great surf song made even more famous when Quentin Tarantino included it in the soundtrack for Pulp Fiction.
Soft Hand – Willard Grant Conspiracy (2003)
This song just feels like summer to me.
Double Vision – Houndstooth (2015)
From the great new album, No News from Home, that will probably make the Best of 2015 list.
On My Balcony – Flunk (2004)
A perfect summer song. About summer, feels like summer, and I just want to hear it over and over.
Plastic Radio – Viva Voce (2011)
This song might not have anything to do with summer, but it sounds like it does.
Who Loves the Sun – The Velvet Underground (1970)
Summer Nights – Marianne Faithfull (1964)
Blue Sunshine – Blue Giant (2010)
Summer Wine – Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood (1967)
I wasn’t familiar with this song. I found it searching for songs about summer, and I think it’s the best find for this setlist. Here’s the video.
Coconut – Harry Nilsson (1971)
Doctor! I love this song. Another one that just sounds like summer.
Working on My Tan – Tim Curry (1981)
A staple during my college years. It’s a song that has to be on every summer compilation.
Stupid Marriage – Specials (1979)
Naked woman, naked man,
Where did you get that nice sun tan?
You live in a castle built of sand
Naked woman, naked man…
Mr. Moto – The Bel-Airs (1961)
This had to end with a surf song, and this was the perfect one.