I've had a request from James. He enjoyed my snowy photo from a couple of weeks ago, but it's making him feel cold. He's had enough of the winter and wondered if I could post some 'summery music' to warm things up a bit. Well James, your wish is my command. It's a great idea, and I've had a blast putting together a summery/warm playlist this morning.
Rather than risk the authorities taking me away for posting tracks without permission, I thought a Spotify playlist might be the safest bet, so I hope that the majority of you have access to Spotify. If not, you should be able to hunt down the tracks elsewhere. I present — with great pleasure — the Summer Heat playlist.
- Ma'Africa - Mahotella Queens and Ulali (from 1 Giant Leap). This had to be the first choice, as it warmed me up very effectively on a snowy walk recently. It's a great, bouncy, sunny track, which will put a spring in your step.
- Night Scented Stock - Kate Bush (from Never For Ever). It's a short, sweet gem of a song, and other than the title, it isn't obviously summery. But somehow I always think of a hot, midsummer night in a secret, moonlit garden when I listen to this. YMMV.
- Psychedelic Shack - The Temptations (from Psychedlic Shack). Party music! You will be dancing by the end of it (or at least jigging in your seat) and that will warm you up.
- Firefly - Michael Franti (from Songs from the Front Porch). I find Michael Franti's voice wonderfully warm, and the atmosphere of this song just says warm summer night to me.
- Plastic Factory - Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band (from Safe As Milk). What would a playlist be without Beefheart? This is another that might not scream summer to everyone, but for me it makes me think of driving off on holiday, windows down, yelling the line "Factory's no place for me, Boss Man leave me be!" at the top of my voice while drumming on the steering wheel. It also has a lovely, dirty, stomping quality to it that somehow says summer freedom to me.
- Marieta - Ibrahim Ferrer (from Buena Vista Social Club presents Ibrahim Ferrer). A deliciously lively, infectiously upbeat track. In contrast to Plastic Factory, if listening to this doesn't immediately conjure up images of hot, Cuban nights, dancing your flip-flops off in a sweaty, smoky club, you have a faulty imagination. I particularly love the bit near the end where it all kicks off.
- Mustt Mustt - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (from Mustt Mustt). I could have chosen any of the Sufi master's music, but even though this is one of the most well known of his works, I really love it. Nusrat's voice a source of warmth of its own, and that's reason enough to include it.
- Nocturn - Kate Bush (from Aerial). The song is actually about skinny dipping in the sea on a midsummer night, so it's very appropriate. Plus, it's a great song, and her voice has the same warmth inducing properties as Nusrat's.
- Summerfield Avenue - Chris Wood (from Trespasser). This makes me remember playing in the garden in the summer when I was a kid and splashing about it the paddling pool.
- Sankofa - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (from Hypnotic Brass Ensemble). Brass — I have decided — is inherently summery, and this is just the right music for sitting in the sun and drinking a beer or two.
- Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd (from A Retrospective). More, 'going away on holiday in a carefree mood' music. Also, classic track.
- One Day Like This - Elbow (from The Seldom Seen Kid). This is one of those songs which is in danger of over-exposure, because it seems to be used as background music to just about every TV programme. However, it's a lovely song — uplifting, life-affirming and sunny.
- Bonus track! Sexual Healing - Kate Bush (B side of King of the Mountain). I had absolutely no idea that Kate had covered Sexual Healing until I found it by chance on Spotify. It's hard to compete with the Marvin Gaye original, but this is pretty special. I'm including it because a) it's Valentine's Day and b) if this doesn't warm you up, nothing will!