The Beach Boys entire catalogue seems to evoke the very essence of the summer months. “Surfin’ U.S.A.” is a staple song from their collection that is guaranteed to snap you into the laid-back, surfer mentality that’ll have you hitting the beach so you can surf just like “Californ-i-a.”
A party anthem like no other, Sammy Hagar sure knows how to make the most of the summer. Hagar tells the story about “the way [they] like to party” down in Baja, Mexico, “where the big blue agave grow,” and where the tequila never stops flowing. This song is a definite party hit that’ll get you moving and grooving all summer long.
Roth’s take on the Beach Boys classic marked his debut as a solo artist in 1985. This fun-loving summer tune (and hilarious video) provide vivid imagery of bikini-clad women and the California coast we all long for in the hot summer months. Roth sure knows how to get us all in the right mentality this time of year, so enjoy a nice ‘80s twist on this ‘60s classic.
The perfect summer song that will take you to the place “where the water tastes like wine,” Canned Heat’s “unofficial hippie anthem” is one you don’t want to be without. The iconic flute intro is sure to put a smile on your face as the lyrics conjure up feelings of the historic pilgrimage that thousands of kids took to Max Yasgur’s farm for the Woodstock Music and Arts festival. Let the upbeat sounds of this song carry you away, and enjoy the ride.
From the widely popular album Cheap Thrills, “Summertime” combines Janis’ iconic soulful vocals with Big Brother and the Holding Company’s grooving blues instrumentals. Starting out melodic and slow, it soon builds to a climax that will remove you from wherever you are and transport you to your dream vacation.
Guns N Roses speak for all of us as they begged to be taken home to the “paradise city, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.” This hard rocking tune comes straight out of Guns’ 1987 debut, and has been a staple ever since. Axl Rose’s passionate vocals along with the rest of Guns’ strong, hard-hitting melody will have you packing your bags and hitting the road in search of the sought-after paradise that we all long for.
This six-minute instrumental marked the beginning of Santana’s popularity. Performing the song at Woodstock, it was previously widely unknown, having just been released, but that didn’t last long. A counterculture masterpiece, this song brings to mind all of the soul of the Woodstock experience, so kick back and let the melody take you back to 1969.
Don’t forget to add this popular Experience track to your playlist Jimi Hendrix makes this Bob Dylan cover his own, with spiraling guitar solos and his usual bluesy poetic vocals, evoking the spirit of the youth of the late ‘60s. “All Along the Watchtower” is a Hendrix classic that builds layers upon layers of emotive riffs until it reaches its grooving climax.
An energetic ‘60s jam by the Rivieras, “California Sun” is an essential summertime tune. Coming from the group’s album Let’s Have a Party, the track kicks off with a catchy beat that blasts out right from the start. When you add this lively little tune to your summer playlist, it’ll be hard to resist jamming along.
What better way to start your summer than shouting along to Alice Cooper’s teenage anthem, “School’s Out“? This song perfectly sums up the innermost feelings of school-bound youth who dare to sing that they’re “out for summer, out till fall, [they] might not come back at all!” In celebration of one of the best parts about summer, be sure to let loose and blast this one at full volume.