The 10 Coolest Summer Albums of All Time

From the Beatles to Prince, 10 classic albums to break out when the temperature rises

1

Prince and the Revolution, 'Purple Rain' (1984)

1. Prince, 'Purple Rain'

Well, there's no contest over the Number One spot, right? Purple Rain is the summer album of all summer albums, the peak of the purple pyramid, the blood-and-thunder blockbuster all hot-weather pretenders have tried to match ever since. The summer of '84 was already a hit-packed pop-radio orgy of historic proportions, but Prince topped everyone with the mutant electro-blues of "When Doves Cry." Then he just kept rolling from "Let's Go Crazy" to "I Would Die 4 U." And the majestic guitar heroics of the title hymn purify your soul in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.

 

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