MP3: America - Ventura Highway
So, seems like summer's here kids. Well at least it feels like it. It's one of the first properly sunny days here in England, and I was actually sweating from the sun, and that's pretty impressive for Southampton. I always think we Brits enjoy the summer far more than say, a lot of Americans do, because we see so damn little of it. That's why as soon as the sun comes out from behind a cloud, even if its the middle of winter, you are guaranteed, if you're walking down a British street, to see a fat man in sandals and shorts with his shirt off. So for me the beginning of summer means that my musical diet will change quite a lot. The Joy Division and Smiths will go away a bit, and the Big Stars, Beach Boys and (for me today) Sparklehorse get a bit more rotation. I've always thought that the best summer songs are the sad ones. Oh Yeah, Thirteen, Summer Of 69, even Boys of Summer, a bit of bittersweetness is definitely what's needed for creating Dawson's Creek style teenage moments, and today I thought i'd give you another song in that vein.
America are best known for their debut 1972 single A Horse With No Name, notable for knocking Neil Young's Heart Of Gold off the top spot. America always got painted as a bit of a Neil ripoff, and i'd say that's a little true (though CSN comparisons work better). However i've never really liked Horse as much as I completely loved the lead single from their second album (Homecoming, again 1972), the quite stunning Ventura Highway. It's just completely beautiful, one of the best summer songs ever. I'm not sure why I love it so much, something about the harmonies and the wonderfully warm production that help me overlook the slightly silly lyrics about lizards. Hope it's sunny where you are, and that you like the song.
More America info at Wikipedia.