Title: “Summer ‘72”
Release date: 1972
Favorite track: "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green
I’ve spent far too much time in my life putting together summer-themed playlists. The sunshine, water settings and warm weather — it’s all just waiting to be manifested into the most wicked mix CD ever.
But, frankly, I’m not all that creative. Most of my summer playlists turned into a predictable blend of classic oldies – the Beach Boys showed up a lot — and more recent pop hits. Lame.
My wasted effort to compile summer-themed songs reminded me I owned this “Summer ‘72” record, a compilation album of hits I found at an antique mall. I can’t imagine a more relevant time to feature this vinyl than 1972 itself.
Dear summer, here is your soundtrack.
Admittedly, this isn’t an upbeat summer record.
Badfinger’s “Without You,” Bread’s “Everything I Own” and The Carpenters’ “Hurting Each Other” aren’t exactly uplifting. But, hey, summer isn’t perfect; what season is?
All of these are 1972 hits, so there isn’t really a dud — although, I could’ve done without “Lion Sleeps Tonight.”
What makes this album a neat find is how it’s nostalgic for those alive when these tracks first saw radio play and educational for young people who want to delve into that generation’s music.
The album has a couple of my all-time favorite songs, such as Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and America’s “A Horse with No Name,” and a few with which I wasn’t familiar.
“Drowning in a Sea of Love,” written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and recorded by Joe Simon, is groovy and passionate. I dig it.
Michael Jackson’s version of “Rockin’ Robin” and Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” are peppy and fun. I love hearing Jackson’s young vocals. Simon’s track incorporates whistling.
Other tracks are Ringo Starr’s “Back Off Boogaloo,” Dennis Coffey’s “Scorpio,” Melanie’s “Brand New Key” and the Coca-Cola commercial jingle “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (in Perfect Harmony).”
Bread’s “Everything I Own” features David Gates soft, compassionate vocals.
And I would give anything I own
I’d give up my life, my heart, my home
I would give everything I own,
Just to have you back again
— “Everything I Own”
Don McLean’s “American Pie” never gets old. I love when it picks up at the end.
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
— “American Pie”
This album case has definitely seen better days, but the record remains intact. The album cover perfectly represents how I perceive 1972, as it features a mod-looking woman amid an orange starburst. Groovy.
One of the things I find interesting is how the vinyl record lists the songwriters rather than the musicians who recorded the songs. It’s an interesting snapshot in time.
Hey, I'm Savannah. I collect records, and they collect dust. Like my preferred media form, I strive to not become obsolete. I created Off the Record as a way to turn my mind inside out, into something visual and tangible. One is the loneliest number, so I asked my friends to join.