It’s the time of year when we begin to dream of summer. This year the warm season will be especially welcome after the roller coaster of the past several months.
A couple years ago, around this time, I made a summer playlist. Listening to it now feels like a gift from myself because, this year, I need it more than ever.
The two oldest tunes are, coincidentally, laments by teenage boys who will be missing their girlfriends over the summer. Some of the songs are invitations to another time and place. Didn’t we all long to go to “Indian Lake” or be invited to a “Stoned Soul Picnic”?
Many don’t realize The Kinks song “Sunny Afternoon” is a thinly disguised rant at British taxation rates on high earners — something the band had just become. Another fun fact — Bryan Adams has said that the concept for “Summer of ‘69” was not about a season but, ahem, a certain sexual position.
I’ve got the songs arranged chronologically and hopefully you’ll see some of your favorites. Maybe you’ll find something new to love. Hopefully this list helps you look forward to the next season, a summer sweeter than ever before.
Sealed with a Kiss, Bobby Vinton 1962
See You in September, The Happenings 1966
All Summer Long, The Beach Boys 1964
Summer in the City, The Lovin’ Spoonful
In the Summertime, Mungo Jerry 1971
Bus Stop, The Hollies 1966
Indian Lake, The Cowsills 1968
Stoned Soul Picnic, The 5th Dimension 1968
Sunny Afternoon, The Kinks 1966
Hot Fun in the Summertime, Sly & The Family Stone 1970
Summer Breeze, Seals and Crofts 1972
One Summer Dream, Electric Light Orchestra 1975
Summer Nights, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John 1978
Summertime Blues, Levon Helm 1982
The Boys of Summer, Don Henley 1984
Cruel Summer, Bananarama 1984
Summer of ’69, Bryan Adams 1984
Girls in Their Summer Clothes, Bruce Springsteen 2007
Heavy Metal Drummer, Wilco 2002
The Summer Place, Fountains of Wayne 2011
You Bring the Summer, The Monkees 2016
On a Summer Trail, The Clientele 2015
Mexican Fender, Weezer 2017
Can you think of any great ones I left out? Leave them in the comments and happy summer dreaming!