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Any Major Beach Vol. 2

July 13th, 2017 2 comments

It’s the middle of summer for most people who read this blog (though not for us poor southern hemisphereans), so it’s a good time to for summer music. For those of us in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or the colder parts of South America, there is always the Winter mix.

The four-part summer songs series finished a while ago, but last year I returned to the theme with a special focus on the subject of the beach. So this is the second mix on that theme.

The theme was suggested a while ago by reader Rob, who suggested the inclusion of The Drifters’ On The Boardwalk. The Drifters featured last time, but this mix includes a cover version of it by the never less than cheerful John Mellencamp. Here I again allow the Beach Boys an exemption from my one-artist-per-theme rule — if only to offset some of the less light-hearted songs on this mix.

As ever, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-surfed covers. PW in comments.

And don’t forget to wear a sunhat.

1. First Class – Beach Baby (1974)
2. The 5th Dimension – On The Beach (In The Summertime) (1970)
3. Françoise Hardy – Sunshine (1970)
4. Glen Campbell – Galveston (1969)
5. Three Dog Night – Yellow Beach Umbrella (1976)
6. Michael Franks – Blue Pacific (1990)
7. Colin Hay – Beautiful World (2000)
8. Blake Shelton – Some Beach (2010)
9. George Strait – Marina Del Rey (1982)
10. Natalie Merchant – Maggie And Milly And Molly And May (2010)
11. The Pogues – House Of The Gods (1990)
12. John Mellencamp – Under The Boardwalk (1985)
13. Brenda Lee – White Silver Sands (1962)
14. The Brothers Four – Marianne (1960)
15. Frank Sinatra – Sand And Sea (1966)
16. Elvis Presley – Never Ending (1964)
17. The Who – Bell Boy (1973)
18. The Beach Boys – The Girls On The Beach (1974)
19. Brian Eno – On Some Faraway Beach (1974)
20. Diana King – Summer Breezin’ (2002)
21. The Bloodhound Gang – Screwing You On A Beach At Night (2007)

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Any Major Summer
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Any Major Beach Vol. 1

June 23rd, 2016 8 comments

Any Major Beach

Summer is on its way, in the northern hemisphere, and for many people that means going to the beach — or dreaming of sun, sand and sea. So, having given you five mixes of Any Major Summer already, let’s go to the beach.

On our way, we give a tip of the hat to reader Rob, who suggested this idea as a sequel to the summer mixes. The idea in the Any Major Beach mixes — yes, there will be more — is that the songs must be set on the beach or at the sea, even if only as an idea or memory.

Obviously many beach songs are cheesy, evoking Elvis in modest bathing shorts on Hawaii. There must be space for such banal fun, and The Supremes provide it here with their ditty from a 1965 movie. But many songs here offer a more sober view of the beach.

Of course, a beach mix must include the Beach Boys. They are represented here twice: with a 1968 song, and an exquisite cover of Surfer Girl by the very fine Dave Alvin. The Beach Boys track is as superb as it is pitiable in Mike Love’s desperate appeal for the Beach Boys to return to the old beach, surf and cars tropes of yesteryear, rather than Brian Wilson’s studio doodling. Wilson was game though. He wrote a fantastic melody for Love’s lyrics, and made an arrangement with Carl that would satisfy both Love’s anachronistic sentiments as well as his creative production values, with loads of overdubs. Wilson calls it his best collaboration with Love.

One man we don’t really associate with beaches is Prince; still, here it is suggesting sex on the beach. The song was credited to “The Artist (Formerly Known As Prince)”.

My new friend Rob suggested the inclusion of The Drifters’ On The Boardwalk. That song may feature in another volume in the form of a cover version (not Bruce Willis’ though!); here The Drifters offer something of a sequel to that great hit.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R to play in your transistor radio and includes home-sunburnt covers. PW  in comments.

And don’t forget apply your sunscreen!

1. The Hollies – Postcard (1967)
2. Blondie – In The Sun (1976)
3. Kirsty MacColl – He’s On The Beach (1985)
4. Martha And The Muffins – Echo Beach (1980)
5. Grace Jones – All On A Summer’s Night (1978)
6. Chairmen Of The Board – Beach Fever (1983)
7. The Dazz Band – Do It Again (1980)
8. The Artist (formerly known etc) – Sex In The Summer (1996)
9. George Duke – Brazilian Love Affair (1979)
10. War – All Day Music (1971)
11. Harry Nilsson – Down By The Sea (1975)
12. The Beach Boys – Do It Again (1968)
13. The Supremes – Beach Ball (1965)
14. The Pleasures – Let’s Have A Beach Party (1965)
15. Pat Boone – Love Letters In The Sand (1957)
16. The Drifters – I’ve Got Sand In My Shoes (1964)
17. Ralph McTell – Summer Girls (1992)
18. Jack Johnson – To The Sea (2010)
19. Zac Brown Band – Toes (2008)
20. Dave Alvin – Surfer Girl (2006)
21. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band & Linda Ronstadt – An American Dream (1979)
22. Joan Armatrading – Ma-Me-O-Beach (1980)
23. The B-52’s – Theme For A Nude Beach (1986)

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Any Major Summer
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Any Major Summer Vol. 5

June 18th, 2015 6 comments

Any Major Summer Vol. 5

As the northern hemisphere is enjoying (or perhaps not) the onset of the summer season, here is the fifth and final summer mix.

I have stuck by the rule of using only one song per artist in this series. The exception was The Beach Boys, the official spokespeople for summer. They featured on the four previous mixes; here they are represented by a gorgeous Brian Wilson track from 1998 and a cover version of the equally lovely Warmth Of The Sun, by Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs. Plus: Bruce & Terry’s Summer Means Fun is very obviously a Beach Boys knock-off.

Few mixes on the Internet are likely to include songs by the Bay City Rollers and Partridge Family (well, the Wrecking Crew, really) on the one hand and Pink Floyd and The Doors on the other. That’s the benefit/penance of riding with a halfhearted dude. There are three songs separating the Partridge Family and Pink Floyd tracks. Does it work out? I think it does, but what do you think?

One track here is brand new: I debated whether to include Matt Nathanson’s joyous Gold In The Summertime, the lead single of his forthcoming new album. In the end, it was too good to exclude, but in fairness to Nathanson, the version here is at a low bitrate. If you like it, buy it. Visit www.mattnathanson.com

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-sunburnt covers. PW in comments.

1. Percy Faith Orchestra – Theme from ‘A Summer Place’ (1960)
2. Martha and the Vandellas – Dancing In The Streets (1964)
3. Bruce and Terry – Summer Means Fun (1964)
4. The Happenings – See You In September (1966)
5. Billy Idol – HotIn The City (1982)
6. Aerosmith – Girls In Summer (2002)
7. Brian Wilson – Keep An Eye On Summer (1998)
8. Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs – The Warmth Of The Sun (2006)
9. Matt Nathanson – Gold In The Summertime (2015)
10. Corinne Bailey Rae – Put Your Records On (2006)
11. Michael Franks – Summer In New York (2011)
12. The Blackbyrds – Summer Love (1974)
13. Traffic – Paper Sun (1967)
14. Graham Gouldman – Sunburn (1979)
15. Bay City Rollers – Summerlove Sensation (1974)
16. The Partridge Family – Summer Days (1971)
17. The Sunrays – I Live For The Sun (1965)
18. Peter and Gordon – Green Leaves of Summer (1066)
19. Larry Jon Wilson – July The 12th, 1939 (1977)
20. Pink Floyd – Summer ‘68 (1970)
21. The Doors – Summer’s Almost Gone (1968)
22. The Cure – The Last Day Of Summer (2000)

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Previously in Any Major Summer
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Any Major Summer Vol. 4

October 2nd, 2014 6 comments

Any Major Summer Vol. 4

The title of a rather peculiar Beach Boys instrumental once announced that “Fall Breaks And Back To Winter”. And so it is for the northern hemisphere. Summer’s gone, and here is a fourth summer mix to say farewell till next year. For us in the southern half of the globe, of course, summer is still coming.

This mix brings the summer comps to a full cycle: I posted the first summer mix during the northern winter, to warm you up. The second mix was in spring, by way of anticipation. The third mix was posted during summer, which made sense. And now the fourth goes out in the autumn.

There’s still enough for a fourth mix (yes, with The Doors closing the series).

summer-covers

As always, the mix fits on a CD-R and includes bright, summery covers. PW same as always.

1. Meat Loaf – You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (1977)
2. The Cars – Magic (1984)
3. The Go-Go’s – Vacation (1982)
4. Bananarama – Cruel Summer (1983)
5. Wham! – Club Tropicana (1983)
6. Windjammer – End Of Summer (1982)
7. Chairmen Of The Board – Summerlove (1983)
8. Billy Paul – July, July, July, July (1975)
9. Brighter Side Of Darkness – Summer Ride (1972)
10. Spanky Wilson – The Last Day Of Summer (1969)
11. The Beach Boys – The Girls On The Beach (1964)
12. Lesley Gore – Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows (1965)
13. Connie Francis – Vacation (1962)
14. Pat Boone – Love Letters In The Sand (1957)
15. Robin Ward – Wonderful Summer (1963)
16. John Tavolta & Olivia Newton-John – Summer Nights (1978)
17. Stray Cats – Lonely Summer Nights (1981)
18. The Kinks – Sitting In The Midday Sun (1973)
19. Elvis Costello – The Other Side Of Summer (1991)
20. Belle & Sebastian – A Summer Wasting (1998)
21. The Alarm – Rain In The Summertime (1987)
22. Foo Fighters – Summer’s End (2007)

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Any Major Summer Vol. 1
Any Major Summer Vol. 2
Any Major Summer Vol. 3
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Any Major Summer Vol. 3

July 24th, 2014 12 comments

Any Major Summer Vol. 3

First I gave you a summer mix when the northern hemisphere was freezing its collective ass off.

When things became milder, I offered a second summer mix to build up the anticipation.

And here, as the north has its toes (socked or not) peeping through sandals and the south puts another log on the fire, is the third mix. I dare say it is fairly eclectic fare, taking us from Nat King Cole to Hüsker Dü in about an hour.

Of course there’ll be another summer mix, when the seasons change again.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-speedoed covers. PW in comments.

1. Nat ‘King’ Cole – Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer (1963)
2. Sammy Davis Jr. & Count Basie – The Girl From Ipanema (1965)
3. The Beach Boys – The Warmth Of The Sun (1964)
4. Mungo Jerry – In The Summertime (1970)
5. First Class – Beach Baby (1974)
6. DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince – Summertime (1991)
7. J.T. Taylor – Long Hot Summer Night (1991)
8. Enchantment – Sunny Shine Feeling (1977)
9. Jon Lucien – A Sunny Day (1974)
10. The Manhattans – Summertime In The City (1974)
11. Sly and the Family Stone – Hot Fun In The Summertime (1969)
12. Scott Walker – Joanna (1968)
13. Gene Watson – Love In The Hot Afternoon (1975)
14. Bob Dylan – In The Summertime (1981)
15. Sheryl Crow – Soak Up The Sun (2002)
16. Hüsker Dü – Celebrated Summer (1985)
17. Nick Heyward – The Queen Of Summertime (1996)
18. The Smiths – Cemetry Gates (1986)
19. Josh Rouse – Summertime (2006)
20. Herman Düne – This Summer (2006)
21. Jens Lekman – A Sweet Summer’s Night On Hammer Hill (2005)

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*     *    *

Any Major Summer Vol. 1
Any Major Summer Vol. 2
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Any Major Summer Vol. 2

May 8th, 2014 5 comments

Any Major Summer Vol. 2

In January I posted the first summer mix to chase the northern hemisphere winter blues away. Here is the second summer compilation to prepare the northerners for summer, and for us southerners to say goodbye to the heat. Of course there will be at least one more mix, in the summertime.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-tanned covers. PW in comments.

1. The Temptations – It’s Summer (1972)
2. The Blackbyrds – Hot Day Today (1974)
3. Love – Bummer In The Summer (1967)
4. Bruce Springsteen – 4th Of July Ashbury Park (live) (1986)
5. Bob Seger – Night Moves (1976)
6. Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – That Summer Feeling (1983)
7. The Stranglers – Peaches (1977)
8. Jimi Hendrix Experience – Long Hot Summer Night (1968)
9. The Isley Brothers – Summer Breeze (1973)
10. The 5th Dimension – On The Beach (In The Summertime) (1970)
11. The Beach Boys – All Summer Long (1964)
12. Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues (1958)
13. Jerry Keller – Here Comes Summer (1959)
14. Brian Hyland – Sealed With A Kiss (1962)
15. The Tempos – See You In September (1959)
16. Betty Everett – June Night (1964)
17. Sam Cooke – Summertime (1959)
18. Carolyn Franklin – Sunshine Holiday (1976)
19. The Dramatics – Hot Pants In The Summertime (1972)
20. Don Henley – The Boys Of Summer (1984)
21. Jay Ferguson – Thunder Island (1977)
22. Chris Rea – On The Beach (1986)

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Any Major Summer Vol. 1

January 16th, 2014 15 comments

Any Major Summer Vol. 1 - front

While most readers of this obscure corner of the Internet are freezing their arses off in their winter climes, we denizens of the southern hemisphere are in the midst of summer. So, for the readers in Australia, South Africa, Brazil (where there are quite a few readers; E aí, tudo certo?)  and possibly New Zealand, here is a mix to get us into the summer groove. And for my friends in the North, I hope this mix will warm you up with the idea of summer.

I think I might have three or four good mixes on the theme, so please don’t bombard me with complaints about how I could possibly have omitted this or that tune. The groundrules are that the songs must be about summer or set in summer. “Heatwave” isn’t about summer, so it won’t feature, nor will “Walking On Sunshine”, nor “It’s June In January” (though if you’re in Europe or the US, listening to this ix might create the illusion that it is indeed June in January).

One song that makes no reference to summer but does feature is “Groovin’”; it is inconceivable that the Sunday afternoon on which the groovin’ is taking place falls into any other season but summer.

With one exception, I will follow my usual rule of not duplicating an artist in a series; the exemption here is obvious: I cannot possibly choose only one Beach Boys song. So the Wilson brothers and their pals and cousin will feature on all mixes. The first of these is an anachronistic call by Mike Love to the band to return to the cars, beach and girls tropes of earlier years, released in 1968 (Cousin Mike famously was not a fan of Brian’s innovations)! And often summer is a bit like that: it evokes memories of more innocent, happier times which we cannot hope to recapture; times when the sun shone every day, even if it didn’t.

In case anybody wonders: the version of the War song is the longer LP version; the Style Council’s “Long Hot Summer” is the single version.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-tanned covers. PW in passwords.

1. The Beach Boys – Do It Again (1968)
2. Young Rascals – Groovin’ (1967)
3. Lovin’ Spoonful – Summer In The City (1966)
4. Chicago – Saturday in the Park (1972)
5. War – Summer (1976)
6. Roy Ayers – Everybody Loves The Sunshine (1976)
7. Osibisa – Sunshine Day (1975)
8. Kool & the Gang – Summer Madness (1974)
9. Ronnie McNeir – In Summertime (1972)
10. The Style Council – Long Hot Summer (1983)
11. Violent Femmes – Blister In The Sun (1983)
12. Blondie – In The Sun (1976)
13. Ramones – Rockaway Beach (1977)
14. Weezer – Island In The Sun (2001)
15. The Lilac Time – Jeans + Summer (2001)
16. Carly Simon – Two Hot Girls (On A Hot Summer Night) (1987)
17. Johnny Rivers – Summer Rain (1967)
18. Loudon Wainwright III – The Swimming Song (1974)
19. Joni Mitchell – The Hissing Of Summer Lawns (1975)
20. Chad & Jeremy – A Summer Song (1964)
21. The Drifters – Under The Boardwalk (1964)
22. Joe Jones – California Sun (1961)
23. Ann Cole – Summer Nights (1958)
24. The Shangri-Las – Remember (Walkin’ In The Sand) (1964)

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