Whether you’re missing your long-distance love or crossing your fingers hoping to find a summer fling, one thing is for sure — you’re experiencing some good old yearning this summer. With the hot weather finally settling in, it is the perfect time to dip your toes into some classic songs that encapsulate the summer sun and your aching heart all at once. Here are five golden oldies that perfectly express that longing you might be feeling this July.
“Warm Ways” by Fleetwood Mac
Is there any better band to listen to when you’re having complicated feelings about love? Written and performed by Fleetwood Mac’s very own alto extraordinaire Christine McVie, “Warm Ways” is a hidden gem nestled in the depths of the band’s self-titled album.
McVie’s smooth voice is an ideal match for the lyrics and instrumentals of this track. The soft sounds of the keyboard mixed with the mellow base-line make it so there is no better description of this song but “golden.” It sounds as if the hot summer air became a song — swirling around in the humidity — and making the listeners miss their lovers. As McVie sings “Sleep easy by my side/Into gentle slumber you can hide,” you might have no other option but to shut your eyes and sway along.
“Dancing Barefoot” by Patti Smith
Recently brought to the attention of many young viewers due to its place in the soundtrack for the opening credits for the smash hit Amazon Prime show “Daisy Jones and the Six,” “Dancing Barefoot” proves itself to be more than a backing track upon further listening.
With abundant religious imagery and a surprisingly upbeat, groovy, bass-led instrumental line, Patti Smith uses this song to convey heavy feelings of longing and desire by comparing love to idolatry and salvation. Beginning with the lyrics “She is benediction / She is addicted to thee,” Smith sings every line of this song like a prayer as she croons about the complexities of relationships. She ends the song speaking, doubling-down on the religious imagery and further entrancing the listener. Her final lyrics “The hands of he and the promise that she / is blessed among women / Oh God, I fell for You” make it the perfect 70s tune to yearn to.
“She’s a Rainbow” by The Rolling Stones
From their 1967 album “Their Satanic Majesties Request,” “She’s a Rainbow” sounds like no other song from this ever-iconic band. Singing about a beautiful girl that is the object of all his affection, Mick Jagger paints an unparalleled picture of beauty with heart-melting lyrics such as “She shoots colors all around / like a sunset going down / Have you seen a lady fairer?”
The psychedelic instrumentals and funky harmonies make it the perfect track to blast with your car windows rolled down. Those instrumentals coupled with lyrics straight out of a poetry book make this song the quintessential summer listen if you want nothing more than to dream about love and feel the wind in your hair.
“Where You Lead” by Carole King
There are few artists that capture that summer feel better than Carole King. Her easily-recognizable, piano and harmony-based tracks are the ultimate soundtracks to sit and daydream about a relationship to.
From her classic, best-selling record Tapestry, “Where You Lead” is the best mellow, seventies tune to listen to this summer. Depicting the joys of a relationship that she never expected, King sings, “All you have to do is call my name / And I’ll be there on the next train.” The ways that she ebbs and flows with the piano and percussion throughout the duration of the song make it so you won’t be able to stop yourself from swaying along.
“Gold and Braid” by Stevie Nicks
It wouldn’t be a proper oldies list about complicated feelings if the queen of writing songs about love and exes — Ms. Stevie Nicks herself — wasn’t on this list. Though she is the iconic lyricist and performer of classic Fleetwood Mac relationship songs like “Silver Springs” and “Sara,” people often forget just how impressive her solo work is, which is why “Gold and Braid” is the perfect addition to this list.
From her first complete solo album “Bella Donna,” Stevie Nicks wrote “Gold and Braid” about her relationship with Lindsey Buckingham and the type of person she wanted him to see her as. The final lyrics of the song are impactful in this regard, as Nicks sings out “Well, and in a dream he whispered / That I never did not love you.” Her growly belts throughout the track make this song a great choice to belt out while you get ready, dancing around your room before you hit the pool on a hot summer day.