The 20 Best Summer Albums You Never Get To Hear
The sun is out and you have some 'Me-Time' or just unfettered control of the music: time get some real summer records on. So no Inner Circle, no Zero 7, no Thong Song, just some half-forgotten classic albums to stick on in their entirety. You deserve this.
'So Tough' - The Slits
On the surface it's not a summer album, but once you play it around the paddling pools, six margaritas in, it's dubby rhythms make total sense. Although it will always lead to the following conversation: "Ok, as far as I’m concerned it goes: 1) Sex Pistols 2) The Slits 3) The Clash. No man. No. You’re wrong. I’m not being a dick. I’m not. The Slits did reggae way better than The Clash – wait a second - and they weren’t so serious all the time…hey, where’d everybody go?…" Buy
'Mothership Connection' - Parliament
The greatest sci-fi funk album ever recorded, though all the other Parliament albums come close. The risk of being caught mid-slap bass in the garden by a loved one is tremendous, but whatever...everyone goes insane in a heatwave anyway. Buy
'Waiting for The Sun' - The Doors
Probably the least worshipped Doors album by Doors fans because it’s the most poppy – but we say: the less extended poetry monologues, the better. This has 'Hello, I Love You', and even better, 'Love Street'. Perfect for a woozy afternoon lying in the park near a fat dog that looks like Jim. Buy
'Raising Hell' - Run DMC
Forget Walk This Way (though it is on here), play the whole album for a reminder how lucky you are: not only were you born into existence on a planet hurtling through space, but Run DMC were too. Invite the neighbours over to your sprinklers and get this on... Buy
'Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere' - Neil Young
More woozy psychedelic rock glory from that album with the dog on the cover. If you haven’t had at least one summer day in your life where you’ve played Cinnamon Girl over and over again till everyone around you wants to kill you…well, you haven’t lived. Buy
'Forever Changes' - Love
Arthur Lee was as good a songwriter as John Lennon, and way better looking. This masterpiece must be played every summer if you want to spruce up your soul. “I think people are/The greatest fun.” Too good. We barely deserve it. Buy
'Repo Man Soundtrack' - Various
Alex Cox’s cult-ier than very cult film about suburban LA punks and aliens produced that rare thing: a hardcore album with a sense of humour. Can the Circle Jerks or any of this be considered summery? Of course – the film’s set in LA, and it's always hot there, so... Anyway, just stick it on. Buy
'Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme' - Simon & Garkfunkel
Christ, you don’t want to be caught out playing this…no, you do. You’re a modern man, and this is amazing, and you can lie on the grass twirling your girlfriend’s hair in your finger, acting all dreamy in a polo-necked jumper even though it’s 40 degrees and you’re so hot it looks like you’ve urinated in your corduroy trousers. Buy
'The College Drop Out' - Kanye West
We still prefer the earlier Kanye, before he got Kardashianed and went insane. Buy
'Our Music is Red - With Purple Flashes' - The Creation
The music of this highly influential but rarely listened to 60s beat scene band makes perfect sense in the sunshine. ‘Making Time’ is obviously great, ‘How Does It Feel To Feel’, phenomenal. If you weren’t too old to do LSD then surely this would be the time to do it. Buy
'Selected Ambient Works 85-92' - Aphex Twin
One of those records now exclusively put on at dinner parties, which makes you die inside a bit – but if you put it on REALLY loud on a summer’s day it is still capable of melting your mind like a Solero on a hot patio. Buy
'Blank Generation' - Richard Hell & The Voidoids
Surpisingly jaunty New York punk record which contains the best ever song about ejaculation anxiety: “Love comes in spurts, Oh God, it hurts!” We’ve all been there. Er, haven’t we? Buy
'Beat Street Soundtrack' - Various
Music from the early block party hip hop scene, as shown in the classic movie. One to play at an insane volume in your street (back garden), with kids playing in a gushing fire hydrant (hose pipe), while you sit on a stoop (garden furniture) sipping from a quart of whisky (cup of camomile tea). Buy
'Themeology' - John Barry
Easy listening but not shite. Features the composer's best film and TV music including The Persuaders, and The Ipcress File. Put this on and literally everything you do will seem cool. Cutting cucumbers, reading a paper on the toilet, everything. Buy
'Honey's Dead' - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Still the most effective mesh of girl groups and punk this side of The Ramones, it’s another dreamy album perfect for summer morning moods - just you, a coffee, and some false memories about a misspent youth. Buy
'Here's Little Richard' - Little Richard
Have you ever put on Little Richard for toddlers? They go insane. Primal instinctive affirmation of body and soul. Buy
'Nasty Girl' - Betty Davis
A staggering figure in early funk, post-psychedelia. Filthy, furious, and cool as anything. Can you wear leather in the sun? You can now. Put talc on first. Buy
'Crazy For You' - Best Coast
Modern summer classic by Californian duo. Grungy summer vibes for putting on clothes which show off your ‘discreet’ tattoo just so. Buy
'It's Shame About Ray' - The Lemonheads
Pretty obvious, but pretty essential all the same. So laid back it slounches into your ears and stays in there, hanging out for days until it gets right on your nipples. Buy
'Songs of Leonard Cohen' - Leonard Cohen
A more intimate and arresting listen. This ain’t BBQ music, but on the right day when you’re in the right mood, there is nothing better than the heavy but delicate world of the man Bob Dylan wishes he was. Buy
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