Here are ten songs that embody summer for me:
10. Bebel Gilberto – So Nice (Summer Samba)
If anyone could make you want to give it all up, move to Brazil, and spend your days walking barefoot on the beach, it would be Bebel.
9. Nando Lauria – “Back Home”
One of Brazil’s popular musicians, he released his first song at age 16.
8. Kool and the Gang – “Summer Madness”
This song always reminds me of hot summer nights in the city, just coolness. A very different sound than their standard “Celebration”- or “Jungle Boogie”-style music.
7. The Beach Boys – “California Girls”
From a time when California meant something vastly different than we view it today.
6. Sly and the Family Stone – “Hot Fun in the Summertime”
Considered as one of “the” summer songs of all time, this hit number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
5. Seals and Crofts – “Summer Breeze”
Bruce Eder of Allmusic referred to this song as “one of those relentlessly appealing 1970s harmony-rock anthems.” Did you know that one of the backing instruments is a child’s toy piano?
4. Gordon Lightfoot – “Sundown”
I’ve seen him perform at a number of venues over the years — always a relaxed, intimate show.
3. Rupert Holmes – “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)”
OK, it’s a bit cheesy, but it always does remind me of summer, sitting on the porch with a mixed drink, feeling the cool breeze and watching the sun go down.
2. Don Henley – “Sunset Grill”
Ironically, there is, in fact, a “Sunset Grill” just down the road a ways (been there for decades, quite possibly named after the song), featuring “over 200 beers.” *Sigh* It used to be a great place, but is now overrun by college students who don’t hesitate to let you know that you are not welcome there if you’re not one of them.
1. Michael McDonald – “Sweet Freedom”
From the soundtrack of the Billy Crystal/Gregory Hines film Running Scared. His last top 100 hit on the charts…