Saturday, June 24, 2006

Endless Vacation

Today in Music History:

1972 The Eagles chalk up the first of many hits with "Take It Easy." The song reaches Number Twelve. Three months later, "Witchy Woman" will do even better — Number Nine.
homercat hangs 12I started writing this a few days ago on the day of the summer solstice and it's finally done. Although people try to say the start of summer is that weekend at the end of May that has a holiday in it. Summer actually starts on that day when the daylight hours start growing shorter. Summer. The gals have put away their sweaters and suddenly we men are treated to skimpier clothes. The muscle guys break out their mesh shirts, and us fatter guys spend more time sucking in our guts. More and more folks are throwing shrimps on the barbie, and gas prices start heading up ever higher.

We've compiled CDs of driving songs and protest songs which I'll be using when homercat goes on a road trip in August. I need another one that has the best songs of summer on it. I've compiled 15 here and will take suggestions to round out my disc. Actually this could easily be a 2 disc set. spikin homercatBut my disc will not contain any Beach Boys songs as that is just too easy a choice. I want other, different representation of summer songs. A classic summer song doesn't have to be about summer, although that helps. It has a certain vibe andattitudee. Maybe it brings back an old memory of a past summer with fond memories.

Probably the best summer song ever is by War(not the Beach Boys), simply titled Summer. War was one of the most popular funk groups of the '70s. Just hearing any War song makes you think of summer. Low Rider, Spill the Wine, and The Cisco Kid are just a few examples of songs with that summer feel. Maybe it's the melding of soul, Latin, jazz, blues, reggae, and rock into an effortless funky groove that does the trick. Their music almost always had a sunny, laid-back vibe mirroring their Southern California roots. War kept the groove loose. Summer came out in 1976 and it turned out to be War's final Top Ten pop hit. Everytime I hear this song it just makes me want to do some chillaxion. Smooth grooves.
Summer by War

One long ago summer homercat spent time as an aspiring Joan Jett groupie and followed Ms Jett around to several concert appearances. I believe it was 6 times in one July. It was her tour in support of her album, Album. Alas a meeting was never arranged between the two of us, but Joan Jett will forever be associated with summer in my books. Especially this song, which is a live cut from originally on that album.
Everyday People(Live) by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Buy It

This one pretty much speaks for itself. Slam-bang punk-pop with infectious guitar hooks and a touch of '60s garage and '70s glam rock thrown in.
Here Comes the Summer by The Undertones
Buy It

This song is a great pub rock type tune. Back when punk was fun and it didn't have to be angry or only consist of three chords, there was aquirkyy little band called the Monks. The Monks were excellent musicians who never made it big, but had a little gem of an LP. Full of fun songs that will rock any party. Since you can see 'er legs it must be summertime. Also the song has that feel. Great tune.
Nice Legs, Shame About Her Face by the Monks
Buy It

Billy Idol's last release was in March of 2005. An excellent album, one I declared to be the best album of that year. Except for one song, the whole album is classic summertime fare. I have been praising the album here since the album came out and it seems I will continue to do so until everyone purchases a copy.
Summer Running by Billy Idol (RS)
Buy It

Remember I said I don't want any Beach Boys on my CD? Well I have changed my mind and made a compromise. Although not by the Boys themselves, I have agreed to include a medley of Beach Boys songs by those "cram a bunch of songs into one" guys, Stars on 45.
Beach Boys medley by Stars on 45 (RS)

If you're a female reader please don't think I'm sexist. Mrs. homercat can attest to that. What two things could evoke summer images in a heartbeat. Beer and boobs. Crack open a cold one at the beach and just sit back and watch the parade of boobs frolicking in the sun, possibly one of the creator's most magnificent creations. They have to be natural though, I frown upon the enhanced variety. A song about both summertime standards.
Titties and Beer by Frank Zappa (RS)
Buy It

Chad and Jeremy's biggest hit was this song and it just makes you want to sit under a shade tree and sip some lemonade. Chad and Jeremy's vocals and harmonies were simply stunning. Maybe that's too strong a word, but they were beautifully sung. These guys broke up around 1968, but it just wouldn't be summer without hearing this song at least once.
A Summer Song by Chad and Jeremy
Buy It

It gets hot in the summer and with the men and women showing off more skin, love might be a natural thing floating around, or more appropriately lust. In my book Cheap Trick is one of the greatest bands ever. This song could've been called Hot Lust because everything about the song is nasty, guitars, vocals and drums. A great track to get your blood boiling.
Hot Love by Cheap Trick
Buy It

Not exactly rock but still a great song with awesome vocals and harmonies. Summer is the best time for road trips and this is a song about a road trip gone bad.
The Tijuana Jail by the Kingston Trio
Buy It

One of my favorite Rob Zombie songs. It has thatattitudee and sounds great cranked up on the open road.
Girl on Fire by Rob Zombie (RS)
Buy It

I probably will invoke some arguments here, which would make a good discussion. This song contains one of the greatest riffs in rock n roll. If not the greatest. Instantly recognizable and I like it better than the Stones Satisfaction. When it's 90 degrees in the shade what could be better than a long cool woman.
Long Cool Woman in a black Dress by The Hollies
Buy It

It could be winter out and this tune could crank up the heat to summertime standards. Classic, hot rock n roll by Mitch and the boys. It doesn't get any better than this.
Sock it to me Baby by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
Buy It

The Travoltas are a Dutch band with a surf/pop punk sound that sounds like the Beach Boys mixed with the Ramones. Honestly everyone of their songs is a tribute to summertime fun. If you think you know summer and don't own any Travoltas, you are sorely mistaken.
The Return of Randy by The Travoltas
Buy It

An am classic from the early 70's that truly invokes images of summer.
Beach Baby by First Class (RS)
Buy It

And just because it couldn't possibly be summer without the Ramones
Rockaway Beach by the Ramones
Buy It

There you have it, some of the best summer songs ever. I still have a few slots to fill so any suggestions one might have would be taken into consideration. Also I have enough ideas for a part two of this series, if anyone thinks Homercat should, just let him know. Have a summery weekend everyone.

Funny Toon