Memorial Day Kicks Off Summer: Go-To Summer LPs (Beach Boys Need Not Apply)

Summer Wallpapers

*Image taken from the internet and is likely copyrighted

As the Cars once famously sang, “Summer, summer, summer, it turns me upside down…” I think we all love summer. Although sadly the days of three months off for summer break are long gone. Even so, summer still evokes in me those lazy, school-less days, lounging by the city pool, watching the beautiful blonde lifeguard slowly get skin cancer… I wonder whatever happened to her… sigh. I must admit this year seemed to go straight from winter to summer without that beautiful pause we used to call “spring.” And now, almost suddenly it seems, Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer is upon us. Pools all over the city are opening. Women are trying on bathing suits and tentatively asking husbands and boyfriends “does this look ok?” The answer is yes, ladies, always yes. My wife continues to attempt to get me to wear sandals… not happening… a man’s feet should never be seen in public.

Summer seems to find me outside a lot more than any other time of year. Lounging on the patio with a cool, refreshing cocktail, perhaps a citron vodka with lemonade and a nice book relaxing in the shade is where you can usually find me. The only thing missing from that lovely picture is of course, rock and roll. I must have a little music on whilst roasting in the sun. As long time readers of B&V know, I compiled a Summer/Sun playlist that I love listening to at the pool (BourbonAndVinyl Eclectic Summer/Sun/Beach Playlist). That playlist is typically the soundtrack of my summer.

However, I have noticed a bit of a trend lately… There are certain albums, that I seem to continuously return to during the warm moths. There is something about these albums that evokes the season for me. None of these albums are summer themed really, but there’s something in the music that draws me to it in the hotter months. I’m not, and I know this is blasphemy, a Jimmy Buffet fan. I’ve never been a parrot-head. Dig as deep as you want into my music collection but you won’t find any of that music here. I simply fucking despise the Beach Boys. I’m stunned those talentless hacks get mentioned in the same breath as the Beatles. The Monkees were more talented than the fucking Beach Boys… Sorry, I didn’t mean to get off on a negative rant…

Anyway, when in need of summer music and my playlist is feeling tired, these are the albums I consider my go-to for summer sunning. Enjoy!

  1. The Dirty Heads, Cabin By The Sea – This is an album the Rock Chick turned me on to. The title track is a perennial favorite here at the B&V labs… Of course I realize this is real stoner music too. I’m more of a gin and tonic man myself…
  2. Bob Marley, Legend – Perhaps the best “greatest hits” package ever released? This was a favorite of mine even before I discovered it soothed the savage beast that was my stepdaughter in the early days… (Humor: Bob Marley’s “Legend” and the Confessions of the Evil Stepdad). I think Bob Marley and reggae are appropriate at all times, but especially any season where rum is a mainstay.
  3. 311, Uplifter – “Daisy Cutter,” “Never Ending Summer,” and “Golden Sunlight” all set the stage for a perfect summer record. “India Ink” is also a big favorite.
  4. Robert Plant, Fate of Nations – I know this is a stylistic left turn but hear me out… There is something about this album that evokes the desert in my mind. Plant’s vocals evoke a restlessness that comes over me every summer. Call it a desire for adventure. This is that siren song for adventure that calls to me every summer. “Calling to You” and “Down to The Sea” set the summer stage for me…
  5. Van Halen, Diver Down – Is there a more “summer” band than Van Halen. David Lee Roth out front with the band doing covers of “Dancing In The Streets,” “Where Have All The Good Times Gone,” and of course “Pretty Woman.” Eddie’s timeless guitar soloing on “Secrets” or “Intruder.” This is a pool party that I wish would keep going.
  6. Allah-Las, Allah-Las – It was on Cinco De Mayo which happened to coincide with Kentucky Derby Day this year when the Rock Chick and I, sitting at a patio table outside of a Mexican restaurant, discovered this gem of an album. You’ve probably never heard of these guys, but this is the best album you’ve never heard. “Catamaran” just starts the party. This album could appropriate be described as groovy… and I mean that in the best of ways. Check this one out!
  7. Boston, Don’t Look Back – Again, you’re probably thinking, summer? Boston? I spent one summer in Boston and this album takes me back there. Besides, “Party” and the title track (which is great advice by the way, don’t look back, people) are great summer pool party anthems.

As usual, I’ve probably missed a favorite or two. If you have any favorite summer albums, let me know in the comments section. Have a great summer everybody and please remember, always use sunscreen. Let’s not end up like that poor blonde lifeguard from my childhood…



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