The summer can be filled with many wonderful things, but the one constant is soundtrack. Now that we’re approaching the dog days, you may be thinking: What am I going to listen to? Well [cough, cough] we have a few suggestions. More than a few, actually. A whole mixtape. Let Side A be a guide for your summer days (and check out Side B for your summer nights). The essential songs, with clips, are below. Read all the way to the end to find a Spotify playlist with additional tunes.
“It’s Summer” — Dave Barker
The sun is out, the weather’s perfect, and the birds are chirp-chirp-chirping. What do you put on first? No better song to start off your day than Dave Barker’s “It’s Summertime,” a joyous ode to the pleasures of the season. “There’ll be a million things to do,” sings Barker, a statement I’m sure everyone can agree with.
“Bar-B-Q” — Wendy Rene
You ever hear a song and truly don’t understand how it’s not the biggest song on the planet? Here is my selection: Wendy Rene’s “Bar-B-Q.” There might not be a better track that epitomizes that summer feeling, sitting around with your friends by a smoky grill, than the Stax Records soul-girl’s blistering tune, full of handclaps, high energy, and, as you’ll see if you listen, tons of pertinent summer advice: Everybody loves bar-b-q, even the dog, some throw him some scraps. Listen to this one on repeat and your party won’t be a bore.
“Rockaway Beach” — Ramones
Run out of hamburgers? If so, take the advice of New York’s favorite lanky, leather-jacketed sons, The Ramones, and hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach. Or any beach, really. If you live too far away, it’s probably a bad idea to hitchhike all the way there. On the way, play this song at full volume. And please remember to chip in for gas. It’s really expensive.
“In the Sun” — Blondie
Once you’re at the beach, presumably, you’re going to need something to listen to, right? The sound of waves gets boring after a while. You can’t go wrong with anything by Blondie, but, keeping with the theme, I’d suggest going with “In The Sun,” since, you know, that’s where you’ll be. In the sun. Get it?
“Get Off Your Ass and Jam,” Funkadelic
All that sitting around in the sand getting sunburned means you need to get up and shake a leg. You want to start an impromptu dance party? There’s only one song that I know of that is guaranteed to get people dancing, instantly: “Get Off Your Ass and Jam,” by the mighty Funkadelic. Anything by the Parliament-Funkadelic mothership can achieve the same effect, but I suggest starting here and seeing where it takes you. Also: The party is about to get wild, so keep it away from the children, they don’t need to see that.