What do you want in a summer album? You want fun, obviously. You want sun, sweat, sex, sparkle, beats, rhymes and life. Nothing too deep and nothing dense, as Run-DMC would say. Music that’s danceable or trippy or fist-pumping or ass-bumping. Music for making out or singing along or snagging your first speeding ticket. You want an album you can hear next winter and think, “Hey, this was playing when I got that toxic sunburn and/or hideous tattoo and/or hickey of unknown origin. Turn it up!” So here’s an all-too-brief salute to 10 of the coolest summer albums ever made, from all over the musical and historical map. Some of these albums were hits, others got slept on, but they’re all guaranteed to make your summer a lot hotter. And louder.
[This list was originally published in July 2012]