Hot Summer Morning

Hard to say what I was going for with this mix. I found myself identifying more and more songs as ones I associate specifically with hot summer mornings. More than a few are literally about getting up or which take place in the morning.

“Out Of My Head” by Sun 60

This is one of what seems to be a thousand bands that briefly had major-label contracts in the early 90’s, got a bit of buzz and then are mysteriously forgotten about today. I saw this duo live at a free show around the time of this album’s release and I was quite impressed. One aspect of this recording I love is when the first chorus comes. I’m not sure what recording techniques were used, but it’s like it goes from 2D to 3D. I swear the hairs on the back of my neck stand up each time I hear this.

“Get Up” by R.E.M.

My second-most favorite track by the group, and my very most favorite music video by anybody, ever. One neat little trick the song employs is having nearly identical lines at different points in the song, with a sly variation between them: “Dreams they complicate/compliment my life.”

“Morning Glory” by Bobbie Gentry

Honestly, I could have used any song by Bobbie Gentry for this mix. She could have done a Christmas song and somehow made it feel the studio it was recorded in was in a swamp on the hottest day of the year.

“Gotta Get Up” by Harry Nilsson

I wish I was a bigger Nilsson fan, but something about most of his work keeps me from appreciating it on a personal level. Instead, I often find myself appreciating the craft but not losing myself in the listening experience. I gotta admit, however, this particular track is awfully bouncy and catchy.

“Wake Up Delores” by Los Lobos

Almost any song from the Kiko album could have been used here, it being the best album by one of America’s most underrated bands.

“Some Velvet Morning” by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood

There are some recordings that just seem to come out of nowhere and blindside you. This is such an unprecedented, and genuinely bizarre, track that it thoroughly confuses me as to how it could have been so popular.

“Breakfast In Bed” by Dusty Springfield

If you don’t have this album, you need this album. Go. Go get it now.

“Early In The Morning” by The Merry-Go-Round

The Merry-Go-Round was an early band of Emitt Rhodes’s, who would find some success on A&M with such tracks as “Live” and “Time Will Show The Wiser”. The album containing those songs is considerably more solid than many similar albums of that Nuggets era. Even deep tracks like this one are far from being toss-offs.

“She Says Good Morning” by The Pretty Things

I have never been as a big of a fan of this film, so much as I respect it. Largely ignored in its own time, this was one of the great many concept albums that followed in the wake of Sgt. Pepper. This track, one of the harder-edged ones on the disc, is one of the few that really clicked for me.

“Solace Of You” by Living Colour

It’s a shame interest in this group seemed to cool considerably following the spectacular reception given their debut, Vivid. Tracks like this one, from their sophomore effort, deserved to be bigger hits than they were.

“In The Heat Of The Morning” by David Bowie

This is a song from that period when Bowie had an album or two under his belt, but I still consider him to not be fully formed yet. He was curiously dismissive of this track, which I find odd, as I like it far more than the great deal of music hall type fare he was doing at the time. Initially released on the compilation LP The Wonderful World of David Bowie, it was recorded for the Toy album which was only posthumously released.

“Tô” by Tom Zé

Brazilian music always makes me think of summer, and the lighter of this artist’s works feels right for lounging on a hot morning. This track is not representative of most of his work, however, as he routinely uses such “instruments” as car horns and blenders to make unique, but sometimes challenging, fare.

“Jennifer” by Faust

There is a peculiar, shimmering sound throughout this track that I feel suits this mix.

“Wonders Never Cease” by Morcheeba

Chose this song only because it has a certain vibe that feels specifically to me like a hot summer morning.

“Rocking Chair” by House of Freaks


“Good Morning Good Morning” by The Beatles

The title says it all. Not sure why, but I can’t imagine the scene set by this song being staged in cooler weather.

“So Lonely Without You” by Bettye Crutcher

I was completely unaware of this artist until I bought the stellar 2023 box set Written in their Souls: The Stax Songwriter Demos. The track I have selected here was the first track off her only album, a song that should have been a big hit. I was tempted to instead use deep cut “So Lonely Without You”, as it has even more of the vibe I was going for, but I felt it is important to put her best foot forward as an introduction to newcomers.

“Be Here In The Morning” by The Beach Boys

Friends is a bit overlooked in the Beach Boys’ catalog, which is a shame. It is a sweet and gentle record from a group still recovering from the hangover that was the aborted Smile sessions.

“In The Morning” by Friends

Friends is yet another fake band created by Peter Howell and John Ferdinando for another extremely limited run, private-press album. I only became aware of them through a Record Store Day compilation a few years ago of their oeuvre, and that may be my favorite thing I have bought on an occurrence of that event. I can’t imagine life now without Ithaca’s (another fake band of theirs) A Game for All Who Know. A weird bit of trivia: Howell went on to work in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and even did a new version of the Doctor Who theme in the Tom Baker years.

“Spending The Day In The Shirt That You Wore” by Poi Dog Pondering

Capping off this set with what is, to be honest, too cute of a song, but I like it, regardless. If nothing else, that title conveys some nice mental imagery.