Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Favorite Summer Songs

If there's one thing that January in Chicago makes me appreciate, it's summer in Chicago. While the summers here are indeed quite humid, I'll take 80 with humidity over 10 with wind any day. Call me a wuss, but once the holiday season is over, I'm ready for some warmth.

And the one way I can get that warmth--that feeling of summer--without taking a vacation or visiting a tanning salon is by constantly reminding my brain and my body what summer feels like. How better to do that than by listening to songs about the season?

So here's a list of my 30 favorite "summer" songs a.k.a. ones with "summer" in the title. While not all of these songs musically capture the feelings of late June, their titles do. So there.

30. Justin Timberlake--Summer Love
29. Mum--Random Summer
28. Bob Dylan--Summer Days
27. Unwound--Summer Freeze
26. Husky Rescue--Summertime Cowboy
25. Yo La Tengo--The Summer
24. Brightblack Morning Light--Summer Hoof
23. Mogwai--Summer
22. Chad & Jeremy--A Summer Song
21. Pisces--In The Summer The Grape Grows

20. Frank Sinatra--Something Wonderful Happens In The Summer
19. YACHT--Summer Song
18. The Undertones--Here Comes The Summer
17. Neon Indian--Deadbeat Summer
16. The Lovin' Spoonful--Summer In The City
15. The Jimi Hendrix Experience--Long Hot Summer Night
14. The Avalanches--Summer Crane
13. Husker Du--Celebrated Summer
12. Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood--Summer Wine
11. Don Henley--The Boys Of Summer

10. Animal Collective--Summertime Clothes
9. Mungo Jerry--In The Summertime
8. Love--Bummer In The Summer
7. Fennesz--Endless Summer
6. Blue Cheer--Summertime Blues
5. Sly & The Family Stone--Hot Fun In The Summertime
4. Pavement--Summer Babe (Winter Version)
3. Eddie Cochran--Summertime Blues
2. Beat Happening--Indian Summer
1. George Gershwin--Summertime
No song with "summer" in the title is better than the Porgy & Bess standout. In fact, few songs period are better than this one, which has one of the most definitive and ubiquitous American songs ever, with countless amazing covers by everyone from Miles Davis to John Fahey. (This list could be filled solely with covers of "Summertime", but I chose to just put the song as a whole at #1.) The living is easy indeed.

That's what I think. Hey, only four and a half months 'til summer.

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