When one summer mixtape isn’t enough…
Last month we posted a king sized collection of summer jams to kick off your solstice right. Despite the fact that was our longest tape yet, we’re still not through delivering the goods, so we figured we’d do the right thing, and throw a whole new one at you. We hereby extend that tape’s message into July for those of you who haven’t sweated enough from our first mix.
The Breeders – “Saints”
Summer is ready when the Breeders are. “Saints” was their last single from the excellent commercial breakthrough, “Last Splash.” A song about the joys of cranked air and stickiness everywhere.
The Undertones – “Here Comes the Summer”
Taking a cue from the Ramones, the Undertones cut a super uptempo punker for the summer of ’79. Although sandy beaches are hardly what one thinks of when hanging out in their home country of Northern Ireland, their spirit is in the right place.
Ramones – “Rockaway Beach”
Speaking of the Ramones, the punk pioneers from Queens were always good for sunny pop rock, most evident on “Rockaway Beach,” a standout track from their third record, “Rocket to Russia.” Like the Undertones, it’s hard to image them hanging out on the sands of the Rockaways, especially in those leather jackets, however it’s the enthusiasm and love of the summer that count most.
Raekwon – “Ice Cream”
Summertime is high season for a nice ice cream cone, whether it be french vanilla, butter pecan, or chocolate deluxe. From Raekwon‘s “Only Built For Cuban Linx” record, the song is a full out Wu banga, featuring verses from Ghostface Killah and Method Man. A delicious summertime snack for your rap sweet tooth.
Girls – “Lust for Life”
Girls are a band made for the summer, which is why they’re making a second appearance on this summer mix sequel. While “Summertime” revels in the season’s simple pleasures, “Lust for Life” longs for them as if they’re not quite tangible yet. Frontman Christopher Owens lists his desires for a pizza, a bottle of wine, and a beach house where he can have a big fire every night. Doesn’t seem like much to ask when considering how fun it sounds in the foreground of this great tune (with a great video to boot).
The Specials – “Too Hot”
Nothing captures the smokey humidity of a summer’s day like “Too Hot,” even if the song has more to do with the heat stemming from gang run ins with police officers. From the Specials’ Elvis Costello produced debut.
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – “Summertime”
Even though the goal of the first tape was to find lesser known summer jams, who could resist this sizzling track from the summer of ’91 any longer? “The Fresh Prince of Bell-Air” was a huge hit in the early 90′s and this tune rode Will Smith’s new found success all the way to #4 on Billboard. Hip-Hop was changing drastically, moving to more serious territory with the advent of Gangsta Rap, but not before we were able to squeak this upbeat party jam in.
Vampire Weekend – “Holiday”
It was very unfortunate that this song which is clearly about the summer, came to soundtrack Christmas ads by both Tommy Hilfiger and Honda last holiday season. At the time it was kind of funny listening for the edit where they would chop out the line “to go away on a summer’s day.” The video still holds true though to its original concept, showing the boys in the band cruising in a convertible, playing golf, and fighting at the beach (while inexplicably dressed in 18th century attire).
Siouxsie & the Banshees – “Fireworks”
A belated Fourth of July song for those lucky enough to catch some fireworks shows. “Fireworks” was one of Siouxsie & the Banshees’ lesser known singles that came towards the end of their full on goth period, before they began experimenting within the pop world.
The Jesus and Mary Chain – “Surfin’ USA”
There’s no question that the Jesus and Mary Chain love the Beach Boys, so this cover was never a surprising choice. Giving it their usual noise rock treatment, their version maintains the original’s chug but outfits it with fuzzed out guitars, screeching feedback, and Jim Reid’s moaning vocal which sounds as if the buzzsaw guitars are gutting him to death.
Dr. Dre – “Nuthin But a ‘G’ Thang”
Some songs are inseparable from their videos. Whether it’s “Thriller” or “Sledgehammer,” a world where the song existed before its visual accompaniment is hard to imagine. “Nuthin But a ‘G’ Thang” falls into this category, its g-funk grooves being forever chained to that barbecue where that guy took that girls top off during the volleyball game. While Snoop Dogg’s “Doggystyle” videos in ’93 took a similar but more slapstick approach, “‘G’ Thang” will forever be the quintessential gangsta rap party song.
Jane’s Addiction – “Summertime Rolls”
As far as the ’90′s alternative rock boom goes, Jane’s Addiction were the go-to band for summertime rock. Their two albums, 1988′s “Nothing’s Shocking” and 1990′s “Ritual de lo Habitual,” burned brightly with heat and far stretching sunsets over sandy dunes. In addition to their sound, their music videos often contained imagery of beaches and surfing (“Stop!”;”Classic Girl”). Of all their songs though, the epic “Summertime Rolls” seems to sum up the magic of summer more so than any of their fast rockers did. From its quiet intro to its sprawling solos and layered vocal reprise in its climax, it remains an essential anthem for the season.