It’s hot! Terribly hot, and the heat is just getting to everyone. The slightest activity brings the sweat pouring down. So how about some cool songs to chill out with? Something I am going to pull out from the vast annals of my mental history of music for you, constant listeners, to seek out and enjoy at your own convenience.
So let’s go in no particular order…
House of Cards – Radiohead (2007): One of the most beautiful songs (and amazing videos) in recent times, this one just makes you want to float on a languid stream and contemplate the universe.
Ride On – AC/DC (1976): The only AC/DC ballad, is a blues groove that talks about moving on regardless of whatever is getting you down. Kind of like the summer heat, eh? But, nevertheless, one of my ‘cool’ songs to spin at times like these.
Blue Savannah – Erasure (1990): One of the last great pop songs of the ’90s, the synthpop duo of Vince Clarke and Andy Bell racked up one of their big hits. And whenever I see a cloudy summer day I think of this song.
Lively Up Yourself – Bob Marley (1974): This is for when you begin to feel lethargic and drained from all that sun beating down on you. I dare you to not be charged up (in a chilled out way) when you hear this.
Running Up That Hill – Kate Bush (1985): One of the coolest quirky songs from the ’80s, it talks about a man and a woman swapping places and the consequences. And if you listen closely you will see where Coldplay got their inspiration for Speed of Sound. Play this while you drive across the sea ink.
Green Onions – Booker T & The MG’s (1962): Before the Beatles hit the airwaves, this instrumental track ruled and cooled America for sixteen weeks! Inspired by the walk of his pet cat, Booker T Jones’ twelve bar blues ditty is amongst the 500 greatest songs of all time. And it’s a perfect cool summer song for me.
Take Five – Dave Brubeck Quartet (1959): Pure vintage jazz that stormed the world way back then and still resonates amongst any jazz or standalone musician worth his salt. Play this song when you’re dressing up to go out on a hot summer night and you’ll forget the heat. Its that cool!
Road Trippin’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers (2000): Out on a drive? Mumbai to Goa? Delhi to Manali? Chennai to Pondicherry? Or just Churchgate to Charni Road…put this on for some inspired coolness.
Over The Rainbow – Jeff Beck (2010): From one of the coolest guitarists of all time comes one of the coolest covers ever heard. Judy Garlands spirit must be soaring. And I dare you to not feel a chill run down your spine when you hear this mind-blowing version.
From Four Till Late – Robert Johnson (1936-38): The man who gave the world the blues and, by consequence and evolution, all modern rock n roll genres as we know them. This is the root of all popular music, all the attitude and the fallout it has produced since. If you want to know real, true, unadulterated coolness, know Robert Johnson. And this song is one of only 29 songs that he recorded in his very short life.
And so ends a very short list that one has only so much space for. But I hope you will seek out these songs and find many more of your own and hopefully you will beat the heat in your own time…if I may say so.