Archive for July 11th, 2010
11 Jul

The Top 11: Summer Albums

I like to do a Top 11 list because I always feel bad for the one thing that just missed the Top 10.

These are albums that I always seem to call up during summer. The albums may have nothing to do with season, but for some reason I associate them with sunny, warm weather. Several of them are often played with the windows rolled down and the music cranked.

1. Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys

I listened to this constantly on a beach in Mallorca, Spain. “God Only Knows” is one of the greatest songs ever.

2. The Grand Illusion – Styx

This was the high school album for our clique. I think we wore out 4 cassette copies constantly playing it over and over.

3. Girlfriend – Matthew Sweet

I’m not sure how or why this turned into a summer album since it came out in the fall, but “Girlfriend” is a great windows-down song.

4. Skylarking – XTX

This one just screams summer. Even birds and flies make guest appearances. “Summer’s Cauldron” kicks it off in a lazy-day style and it never lets up.

5. Indigo Girls – Indigo Girls

I remember painting a kitchen during a summer evening and playing this over and over. I think the next day I pretty much knew all the lyrics.

6. Cosmic Thing – The B-52’s

“Love Shack,” “Roam,” enough said.

7. Rickie Lee Jones – Rickie Lee Jones

Laid back and just plain cool. “The Last Chance Texaco” is dusty, hot, and brilliant. One of my favorite albums of all time.

8. Loose – Victoria Williams

Quirky and playful with some great songs like “Crazy Mary,” which was covered by Pearl Jam. Some folks don’t care for her voice, but I love her unique delivery.

9. Too-Rye-Ay – Dexys Midnight Runners

“Come on Eileen” is an 80s iconic summer song, but there is a lot more here to dig into like “The Celtic Soul Brothers” and cover of “Jackie Wilson Said.”

10. Vacation – The Go-Go’s

Yes, this is not their best album, but with that cover image and the title single, it simply reeks of summer fun.

11. The Garden – Merrill Bainbridge

This is a real gem that has been lost along the way. You may remember her bouncy hit “Mouth,” but much of the album is full of dreamy pop that is perfect for the season.

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