Whether it’s June 1st or January 1st, its the music that puts us in a summer mood. Yes, sunglasses, flip flops, even margaritas are all important, but without the music, its just not the same. Here are 10 albums that will not only help you enjoy your BBQ or tanning session, but will also warm up your soul on the most frigid snow day.
1. Bob Marley – Legend (Remastered)
What better way to start of this list than with our favorite rocking rastafarian. A soulfully simple album that transports you to an isolated jamaican beach. “Is this Love”, “Jammin”, and “Stir it Up” are just a few of the songs that make this a top ten summer album.
2. Eagles – Greatest Hits 1971-1975
Who doesn’t own this Album? It has outsold Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, Led Zepplin’s “IV” and even Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”. “Tequila Sunrise”, “Take it easy”, and “Peaceful Easy Feelinig” just feel like sunny California.
3. Gipsy Kings – Volare!
While the Eagles “Hotel California” might not be on the album above, it is on this one. The Gipsy Kings provide their own spanish take on one of the most popular songs ever. Along with a cover of Sinatra”s “My Way” this flamenco styled band another 30 something original songs
4. Bryan Adams – Reckless
Although released in 1984, we all knew it as the “Summer of 69”. Along with “Run to You” and “Heaven”, this album is a summer classic. A perfect album for beach cruising.
5. DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince – Homebase
Before he was saving the world from alien invasions, this goofy kid was rapping about growing up in Philly. While in my opinion there is only one “summer” song on this album, it is a big one. “Summertime”, hitting on girls, BBQ’s, and wasting the day away
6. Seu Jorge – The Life Aquatic – Studio Sessions featuring Seau Jorge
If you’ve ever seen the movie, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, you probably said at some point, “What is that song?” Well that’s Brazilian born Seu Jorge playing his Portuguese language David Bowie covers. Highly recommended back round music for grilling on the deck.
7. Chris Isaac – Heart Shaped World
Does this sound like a nice summer day? Rolling around the beach with a Victoria’s Secret model wearing only a bikini bottom and some well placed sand. Well, this video for “Wicked Game” made us buy the album, but the songs made us love it. Along with “Wicked Game”, “Blue Spanish Sky”, and “Forever Young” showcase Isaacs vocal talents with an impressive range that sets an eerie mood throughout the entire album.
8. Santana – Viva Santana!
“Oye Como Va”, “Black Magic Woman”, and “Evil Ways”. Yep, there here, and you know them. But do you know the other 27 lesser known tracks on this live album? Well, you should. A must have to get you over the winter blues.
9. Beach Boys – Sounds of Summer
Girls, fast cars, and surfing. That’s what summer is about to the souther California natives that make up the Beach Boys. Lets face it, they invented summer music. “California Girls”, “Fun, Fun, Fun”, “Surfer Girl”, the list goes on. The entire album IS summer. If you don’t own this, buy it now.
10. Jimmy Buffett – Songs you Know by Heart
While the Beach boys invented summer music, Jimmy Buffett perfected it. It’s not just an album, it’s a vision, a way of life that millions of “Parrotheads”( Buffett fans) aspire to. “Margaritaville”, “Why don’t we get Drunk”, and “Come Monday”, are just a few from this album. What says summer more than sandals, margaritas, and shrimp?
Well that’s the list. Keep in mind these albums aren’t necessarily just for the beach. In fact, there probably more necessary when you can’t get away to the islands on that cold weekend in February. Because after all, summer isn’t just a time of year, it’s a feeling, and music is the best way to get there.