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Six Songs of Summer to Celebrate the Start of the Season
Written By: Nate Brunet
*Click images below to view larger versions.
Six Songs of Summer to Celebrate the Start of the Season
Six Songs of Summer to Celebrate the Start of the Season
Six Songs of Summer to Celebrate the Start of the Season
Six Songs of Summer to Celebrate the Start of the Season
Six Songs of Summer to Celebrate the Start of the Season
Six Songs of Summer to Celebrate the Start of the Season

Wow. That’s all that I can say, as I am pretty much speechless after the craziness of the past two weekends. Summer has officially begun, and I think I can speak for all locals that this has already been the busiest summer in a very long time. After a long winter, locals have been craving this season’s action, but I don’t think anyone has prepared for this many visitors. Still, I don’t see this so badly as others; this truly could be the most memorable summer in recent memory. As we prepare for the onslaught of the summer season, I would like to share with you my six favorite songs with the word “summer” in the title you should jam out to while making great memories in Ocean City this season.

“Deadbeat Summer”
By: Neon Indian
Off the album: Psychic Chasms (2009)

Do you recognize that opening passage? If so, you are probably the world’s biggest Todd Rundgren fan. The trippy, yet chill electronic band Neon Indian from Texas sampled the intro of Rundgren’s song “Izzat Love?” and distorted it to make you feel like  you are in the middle of living the “Deadbeat Summer” life. This was the first full-length song on Neon Indian’s debut album Psychic Chasms. It sets the tone of the dreamy, retro-like sounds you hear throughout the album. It is a great record to put on while relaxing at the beach.

“Summer Nights”
By: John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
Off the album: Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture (1978)

From the moment I step out of my place to go out at night in Ocean City, there’s only one voice I want to hear: John Travolta’s. One of the three mega-hits of the Broadway musical-turned-Hollywood musical, Grease, this version of “Summer Nights” hit #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, its charting in the UK was even more impressive. Combining this song’s seven-week run as #1 and the nine-week #1 stint of “You’re the One That I Want,” Travolta and Newton-John were the #1 artists in the UK for 16 weeks in 1978.

“Summer of ‘69”
By: Bryan Adams
Off the album: Reckless (1984)

After hitting the club with a John Travolta ego boost, I’m in the mood to…wait, this is a family magazine! It seems that everyone knows the answer about the meaning of this song, and I’m here to tell you all that you’re wrong. This song was written as a 50-50 collaboration between Adams and his songwriting partner Jim Vallance. According to Vallance, who has said the line “Summer of ‘69” appeared once in the original draft and that the song was first titled “Best Days of My Life,” the number was a reference to his favorite music of that year by the likes of The Beatles, The Byrds and Bob Dylan.  Yet, Adams admitted in 2008 that the song title was in reference to what everyone thinks it was referencing. So, it’s a song that was written by two different people with two different meanings.

“The Boys of Summer”
By: Don Henley
Off the album: Building the Perfect Beast (1984)

This song’s sound is a little easier to identify than our first example. In the process of writing “The Boys of Summer,” Henley walked into the studio where Pat Benatar’s husband, Neil Giraldo, was recording “Love Is a Battlefield.” Henley got the approval of Giraldo to use a similar up-tempo beat, and the similarities are apparent. Although many think of the song as a story of growing up and losing innocence, Henley has said it is more about reflection looking back at your youthful days. The “Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac” line is a reference to an experience he once had while driving on the highway. Henley was passed by a rather expensive Cadillac car that represented upper-middle-class stature at the time, only to notice a Grateful Dead sticker was on the car.  He loved the irony of the scenario.

“Summertime Blues”
By: Eddie Cochran
Off the album: “Love Again” B-Side (1958)

I bet you got the blues after realizing this song wasn’t written by The Who. Originally the b-side of his own cover of fiancée Sharon Sheeley’s “Love Again,” it peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at #8 when it was released in 1958. There have since been several famous covers of this song. Most famously, it was a concert staple of The Who in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and their live version was officially released on the band’s famous Live at Leeds live album. While the song was still played live at times in shows after the ‘70s, the band has not performed “Summertime Blues” live since bassist John Entwistle’s death in 2012.

“Last Dance”
By: Donna Summer
Off the album: Thank God It’s Friday Soundtrack (1978)

Alright, you caught me. Yes, I love to cheat while making these lists and Donna Summer has so much soul, this column could have been comprised of entirely Donna Summer songs. When writing the song, co-producer Bob Etsy wanted the introduction of the song to be a ballad similar to the structure of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” According to Etsy, this was never done before in a disco song. “Last Dance” was an instant hit, reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and winning both an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original song (remember, it was first released on the soundtrack of the film Thank God It’s Friday). This is a fitting tune while winding down a wild night in Ocean City.

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