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Hit the beach with the perfect playlist of music

Ever since I was a high-haired '80s scamp lugging around my toaster-sized Sony Walkman on the blue-collar sands of Hampton Beach, N.H. — aw yeah, sing it, Huey Lewis and the News — the merging of music and beach has been a sacred, symbiotic union. I'd sooner forget limes for my Corona than hit the shore sans Frank Sinatra (Summer Wind), Sam Cooke (Summertime) and the Tubes (She's a Beauty).

When I think about the best times of summers past and present, those memories are robustly soundtracked. I need tracks for all moments, too, not just making sand castles (Hot Fun in the Summertime, Sly and the Family Stone) but staring out at the waves in a existential chill-out as well (Vaporize, Broken Bells).

So herewith, a few suggestions for building your very own Beach Playlist 2012. Maybe you want to show state pride (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Petty) or rely on the typical Coppertone crew (Beach Boys, Buffett, Bob Marley). You can't go wrong either way. I'm just here for sonic inspiration. Now pass the limes and the SPF 50, and turn that radio up:


Love Rollercoaster, Ohio Players (Crucial instruction: Play as you're pulling out of the driveway, no sooner, no later. Trust me.)

Come on, Let's Go, Los Lobos

The Girl Got Hot, Weezer

Clambake, Elvis Presley

Mustang Sally, Wilson Pickett

Tallahassee Lassie, Freddie Cannon

Dogs on the Run, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

There She Goes, the Las

Summer Nights, Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta

Surrender, Cheap Trick (Not just one of the great sing-along songs, but Robin Zander lives in Safety Harbor and hangs out at St. Pete Beach all the time!)


4th of July, Shooter Jennings

Summertime Blues, Alan Jackson

Baby Workout, Jackie Wilson (If you don't listen to Jackie Wilson at least a few times a week, you're not living right.)

Good Life, Kanye West

The Girl From Ipanema, Amy Winehouse

Summertime Girls, Y&T

All the Young Dudes, Mott the Hoople

Shake, Otis Redding

Rhythm Is Gonna Get You, Gloria Estefan & the Miami Sound Machine

Cecilia, Simon & Garfunkel (If you must form a drum circle, at least do so responsibly.)


The Secret Sun, Jesse Harris

To the Sea, Jack Johnson

Tryin' to Reason With the Hurricane Season, Jimmy Buffett (Cliche? Maybe. But you're in Florida, so why not embrace it?)

Weather to Fly, Elbow

Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Elton John (Let's build to a big emotional finish, shall we?)

Take a Picture, Filter

My Eyes Adored You, Frankie Valli

Just Like Honey, the Jesus & Mary Chain

Ultraviolet (Light My Way), U2

God Only Knows, the Beach Boys (There's a reason Brian Wilson is considered a genius.)

Sean Daly can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter (@seandalypoplife) and Facebook (

Hit the beach with the perfect playlist of music 04/19/12 [Last modified: Thursday, April 19, 2012 5:58pm]
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