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Monday, 09 July 2012 10:00

Summer playlist: The best summer in the city songs

Summer playlist: The best summer in the city songs
Written by Will Kyle

When summer heat grips the city, people migrate like birds to the cooler places, but what if exodus is not an option?

During the blistering days of city sun, you might hang on with these songs.

"Hot Town! (Summer in the City)" - Lovin' Spoonful

"Back of my neck gettin' dirty and gritty," and yet, with its promise of relief, "But at night it's a different world," how could Lovin' Spoonful's 1966 smash hit not be on this list? Once upon a time, it was a different world at night, but these days it's hot as hell.

"Up on the Roof" - The Drifters

Yes, heat rises, but at least on the roof you might catch a cool breeze swept like a balmy breath off the upper film of the Mississippi.

"Summertime Blues" - Eddie Cochran

Just because there is "no cure" doesn't mean you can't chill with this classic.

"Summer in the City" - St. Lunatics

High tops, baggy jerseys, bandanas and heavy chains might not be the best choice for summer time wear, but Nelly knows how to drop a hot hook from the banks of a sweaty town.

"Big Sur" - The Thrills

Who would have thought a band from Dublin, Ireland, could make California accessible to a world of people not living there? They make a boy begging a lass not to return to Big Sur cooler than a pair of AquaSocks.

"In the Summertime" - Mungo Jerry

Mungo Jerry's 1970 number one single flooded America with Caribbean pop sensibilities and inspired Shaggy to do the same again '95. Add 25 more years, and who will be hip enough to try again in 2020?

"Hot in the City" - Billy Idol

Billy Idol certainly got it right with clement keys and sizzling back-up vocals, but don't you think Idol must be burning up under all of that leather and make-up?

"Cruel Summer" - Banarama

Wow, losing a lover during one of the hottest summers on record. Banarama certainly knows how to invert the good-times '80s style. What could be worse? Answer: a blown-out air conditioner, which makes for a real "cruel summer."

"Constructive Summer" - The Hold Steady

Pretend you're hanging out with Craig Finn and his productive (even if drunken) high-school buddies when you're really sweating your face off stuck in traffic and dying for an ice-cold beer.

"Summer of Rage" - Shooter Jennings & Hierophant

Get politically involved about heat with this song, a wartime heartbreaker crossed with Kubrick-ian anti-police state protest. Heat makes the city rage.

"Death Cream" - Sonny & the Sunsets

Is this suntan lotion? No, it's "Death Cream." Slather some on and see what it does. If nothing else, it will at least give you that chill the heat has you craving.

"Summertime" - DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince

What summer in the city would be complete without DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince relating to the searing season, cruising the city on spinners and picking up honeys?

Songs that didn't quite make the cut:

"The Boys of Summer" - Don Henley

"What Will You Do When Your Suntan Fades?" - Beulah

"Summer Dreams (Al's Song)" - Shooter Jennings

"Summer It's Gone" - Grandaddy

"Summer Town" - Third Eye Blind

"Summer of '69" - Bryan Adams

"Summer Town" - Hounds

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