Friday, 12 July 2013

My Top Ten Hot Summer Songs (Volume 1)

How bizarre has this weather been lately? It's July in the UK and the temperature is heading into the thirties. There's no rain. And everyone's complaining about the heat! Not a traditional British summer at all... who can remember the last time we had a sunny Glastonbury AND a red hot Wimbledon. It's like the mythical long hot summers of our youths...

Anyway, to celebrate here are ten songs about hot summers. Enjoy them while they last.

10. Sly & The Family Stone - Hot Fun In The Summertime

Very cool. AKA hot.

9. Glenn Frey - The Heat Is On

A good show-ow-ow-woah from Glenn... but he has to take second place to a fellow Eagle in the hot summer records.

8. The Hold Steady - Constructive Summer

Probably the least well-known song on this list, but it just fits. Perfectly.

(Plus, it rhymes "summer" with "Joe Strummer"...which guarantees it a place.)
Let this be our annual reminder that we could all be something bigger...
7. The Isley Brothers - Summer Breeze
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind...
Bloody hell, that's a great lyric.

6. Bryan Adams - Summer of '69

Leave Bryan Adams alone - his mum's from Huddersfield!
Oh, but when I look back now
Those summers seemed to last forever...
5. Billy Idol - Hot In The City

Any excuse to get your shirt off, eh, Billy?
I'm a chain 'round an A-bomb
Watch this video and try to tell me Billy Idol isn't a comedy genius. Just try.

4. Eddie Cochran - Summertime Blues
Well I'm a-gonna raise a fuss, I'm a gonna raise a holler...
After an opening line like that, how can any pop song fail?

3. The Lovin' Spoonful - Summer In The City

For many, many years, I thought John Sebastian was singing "'Til I'm weezin' like a bus stop" which I considered a beautiful line, even though the imagery was rather skewed. Imagine my disappointment to discover it's actually "'Til I'm weezin' at the bus stop". Never mind, it spoils this perfect pop record not one jot.

Love the Eels cover too.

2. Meat Loaf - You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)

Please be upstanding for the utter insanity that is the full, minute-long spoken word intro performed by Jim Steinman and Ellen Foley... after that, you wonder how Meat's song can ever live up to it. Amazingly, it does. If I could marry this record, I would.
I bet you say that to all the boys...
1. Don Henley - The Boys of Summer

Nothing says the summers of my teenage years like this song. Not that my own teenage years resembled those described by Don Henley one bit... but I could dream.
I can see you
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got that top pulled down and that  radio on baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
after the boys of summer have gone
I was always quite fond of The Ataris' cover version too. 

Hot damn, there are just too many great hot summer songs... ten barely scratches the surface. If the weather sticks, I'll come back with Volume 2 soon... your suggestions welcome, as always (though no guarantees I'll include them).


  1. That's a pretty high calibre list, can't really question too many on that, even if I might tinker with the order.

    In terms of others:
    Roll on Summer -Paul Kelly, or Summer Rain -Paul Kelly
    One Summer - Daryl Braithwaite
    Summer Love - Frank Sinatra
    Summertime - Janis Joplin
    Summer, Highland Falls - Billy Joel
    Summer - Dragon

    and then there are a host of classy songs with sun, sunny or sunshine in the title...not sure if you want me to open up that can though!!!

    And I also feel like a summer list should have the Beach Boys or some sort of surfing song represented as well. Again, another can that could be opened.

    1. Rest assured, there will be some Beach Boys if I get to volume 2... maybe some of your others, too.

  2. Summer - an incautiously and uncharacteristically broad topic Rol!

    The Kinks - Sunny Afternoon
    Mungo Jerry - In The Summertime
    The Style Council - Long Hot Summer

    ...and, of course...

    Gene - Long Sleeves For The Summer

    1. Yeah, but I couldn't really narrow it down much more and still include the songs I wanted to. Sunny Afternoon has appeared here twice recently, so I gave it a rest.

      As for the others...

  3. Buuuuut oh, those sum-um-er ni-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-ghts

    Karaoke special ;) yet again, I bring up those dregs. It's a skill you know.

    1. Hardly. Nothing wrong with a spoonful of Grease.

  4. Fun Boy Three - Summertime.

    XTC - Summer's Cauldron: "Drowning here in Summer's Cauldron / Under mats of flower lava / Please don't pull me out this is how I would want to go."

    1. One of those was in serious contention for this very list. Maybe Volume 2?

  5. On this one occasion, there may have been enough to have made this a truly awesome Top Twenty

    1. Indeed...that's why it's To Be Continued...


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