The 50 Greatest Summer Albums, 1963-2013

Summertime, and the living is easy. The fish are jumping, and the cotton… well, you get the idea. Summer officially arrives this week, bringing with it afternoons in the park and rooftop parties and beaches. The thing is, though, every summer needs a soundtrack, and while every year there seems to be a rush to anoint a certain tune The Song of the Summer™, Flavorwire decided to go one better and choose a quintessential summer album for every one of the past 50 years, as something of a sequel to last month’s list of the 50 albums you need to own, 1963-2013. Click through and get a-listening!

1963: The Beach Boys — Surfin’ USA

The Beach Boys got infinitely better when they stopped recording songs (and albums) with “Surf” in the title, but nevertheless, this is a pretty fine place to start a list of essential summer albums. The title track is a classic, obviously, but there’s also a cracking version of “Misirlou” (you may know it from Pulp Fiction), along with another, lesser-known Dick Dale instrumental entitled “Let’s Go Trippin’.” A harbinger of things to come, perhaps.