|Warren Dunes State Park (image from Michigan Science & Nature blog)|
Lately, I must admit that I haven't been very social on the blogosphere. Because I haven't had much time to devote to it, this blog has been mainly a one-way street where I've made an occasional post and then disappeared, rarely getting out to visit other bloggers.
But I've decided that in spite of my limited time, I do need to improve my on-line presence and interaction. Taking part in a fun blog-hop is one way to do that, and so this is my entry in the Songs of Summer blog-hop sponsored by the bloggers The Armchair Squid, Cygnus, and Suze from the wonderful Subliminal Coffee.
The point of the blog hop is to create a five-song personal summer soundtrack, and so I've put together the songs below. I will admit that my list is entirely subjective and personal -- rather than just being "about" summer, most of these songs bring back memories I associate with summer, like my fond memories of the time I spent at Warren Dunes on Lake Michigan (see pic above) during my summers as a teen.
But here's my list -- see if I hit any ones that you might have on your own soundtrack:
- Hot Fun in the Summertime (Sly and the Family Stone): OK -- this first one IS indeed "about summer." But as a kid, I remember hearing this a lot in the summer, and it brings back many happy memories of the times at my friend's grandmother's pool, listening to music on a small transistor radio. It's a fun mix of mellow and funky, with some incredibly infectious bass, and it holds up surprisingly well for a song recorded in 1969 -- 45 years ago. It's a song that just feels like summer. Here's a recording of it where the old original mono has been redone into stereo (yes, they were still recording in mono in 1969):
- Stranglehold (Ted Nugent): Ted Nugent's first, self-titled 1975 solo album after leaving the Amboy Dukes was a record that I played a LOT during the summer of '76, and this track was the main reason. As a 15-year-old struggling, wanna-be guitar-player, I loved the power and vibe of the long, extended solo. The vocals and all-around bravado also appealed to my immature masculinity, despite my overwhelming introverted shyness and awkwardness. But man-oh-man, that in-your-face, screamin' guitar just called to me (and now I have the tinnitus to prove it how loud and how often it did, LOL!). Here's the original studio recording:
- Blue Sky (The Allman Brothers): This was recorded in 1972, but I didn't really discover the Allman Brothers until the late '70s in my later teens. This song was on Eat a Peach, the album the band was working on in 1971 when Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident at the age of 24. The song was written (and sung) by Dickey Betts and has some of my most-favorite guitar playing of all time -- Duane's first solo, Dickey's second, and their harmonies are simply exquisite. This song just oozes joy and warmth, and is such a perfect song for a lazy, sunny summer day. Still a staple of the band's live shows, here's the original version from Eat a Peach:
- Are You Going With Me? (Pat Metheny) -- Nine minutes of haunting, ethereal, and (eventually) intense playing over a simple, catchy groove, this is from my favorite Pat Metheny album, Offramp. Released, in 1982, right when I was really starting to get into his music, I completely associate it with summer because of one special night: July 12, 1983. That's when I saw the Pat Metheny Group live at Meadowbrook It was a warm, clear summer night at a gorgeous outdoor, wooded amphitheater on the campus of Oakland University in Auburn Hills, MI. The band's playing that night completely blew me away -- it was a magic event and still stays in my memory as one of the best concerts I've ever seen. No "big production" -- just incredible musicians making amazing music in a beautiful setting. This concert had most of the pieces from Offramp, including the jaw-dropping Ornette Coleman inspired title track, the beautiful James, the groovin' Eighteen, and the moody Au Lait among them. Below is a live version of Are You Going With Me -- I still smile and get goosebumps when I hear it. It's mostly keyboardist Lyle Mays in the beginning, with Pat coming in on his guitar-synth just before the 4:00 mark:
- There are also several movies I associate strongly with summer, so it's natural for me to think of their theme songs as part of my "summer soundtrack." The soundtrack from Caddyshack (summer of 1980 -- love the version of "I'm Alright" as used in the film's openings) and the soundtrack from Ghostbusters (summer of 1984 -- note the '80's synth drums and the low-budget cheesy early MTV video) are especially relevant here. But after thinking about it, there is one soundtrack that stands out as having particular significance. So, from the summer of 1975: The Theme from Jaws, by John Williams. No summer at the beach was ever the same after this movie. For years, even small ponds in Iowa had kids chanting this "duh-duh... DUH-DUH..." Jaws theme music when they went anywhere near the water:
So there you have it -- my personal five-song "Summer Soundtrack." But I supposed I could also add a write-in sixth song of my own. How about my wikiloops jam, Summertime Smile? I think it's the most summer-y of anything I've done so far (click on the image to go to the jam):
So that makes my "Summer Soundtrack (+1)" -- what do you think?
Thank you very much for stopping by! I encourage you to visit all the blogs in this blog hop. You can see the linky-list at The Armchair Squid's blog: HERE