With summer well within view, and after months of mediocre weather, it’s only right that we all want to get into the summer mood. The extra days off provided by the Jubilee weekend have been something of primer for the season to come, with many looking forward to a busier summer than ever before. One of the best ways to set the mood for a season of calm skies, blistering sun and deliciously cold beverages is by whacking on a record.
There are some records that quite simply ooze summer – whether due to their sounds, subject or when they were released. There are summer records for every occasion: for laying back on dry grass and watching the clouds go by; for ripping down the motorway with your rooftop down, hair rippling in the wind; for getting your groove on with friends as the sun slowly sets. Here are some of the best, and why they make for essential summer listening.
AC/DC – Back in Black
Back in Black is nothing short of seminal. It was the second best-selling album of all time, comprising 42 minutes and 11 seconds of catchy rock hits from the titular single to Hells Bells and singalong favourite You Shook Me All Night Long. This is road trip music, through and through; listen in the car, loud, and with the windows down. You and your passengers will be headbanging all the way to the summer festival.
Ms. Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is something of a sleeper hit, even after its critical acclaim on its release in 1998. Ms. Lauryn Hill’s gospel influences shine through on a hip-hop record that stands up even against contemporary records. It is an album best listened to as a vinyl record, with the windows and French doors open and the light bouncing in.
Bob Marley and the Wailers – Exodus
Bob Marley was a legendary reggae musician, whose soulful, infectiously joyful songwriting has reached hearts around the world. His loss was a tragedy, but his legacy remains – especially when it comes to masterpieces like Exodus. Exodus is not a straight-up reggae record. It plays with the genre, representing a bellwether moment for reggae music and resulting in a unique record that instantly brings a summery smile to your face.
The Beach Boys – Endless Summer
No summer album playlist is complete without even a passing mention of the Beach Boys. Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys wrote the book on summer anthems, with an extensive list of surf-rock bangers to their name. Endless Summer is a compilation album, that brings all of their best together under one roof. From Surfin’ USA to I Get Around, every track is a summer hit. Listen in the back garden with mojito in hand – and then listen to Pet Sounds when the sun goes down.
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