About this playlist

Barbecue season is creeping up. Time to prepare for sitting around in the sun, condensation dripping off a beer bottle in hand, sweet sounds on the stereo, tender cuts on the glowing coals, coleslaw, mayo and bag of buns. Oh, and some salad. However, grill wizards know that everything tastes much better when the meat has been lightly tenderized and left sitting overnight in a marinade. They have secret recipes for this, all lime, ginger, Bourbon, salt and herbs. By the same token, we offer a musical marinade for the ears, ensuring that while everyone eats, they bathe in the finest spice of sounds.

So we start with the late Tennessee soul man Bobby Hebb, here to set the mood, kicking things off on a peak of heartfelt good cheer, then Fela Kuti’s son Seun arrives to protest “Na Oil”, but in a manner that suggests the grandest Afrofunk party, leaving it to Finnish nutters Pepe Deluxé to leap in with the wildest easy listening party cut most people will have ever heard. And we’re on our way. Barbecue music needs to be up, like the weather, full of sizzle, and not dragging anyone to introspection.

Our playlist is seasoned with a few cuts that actually reference sun and barbecues – Nineties pop-dance princess Zoe’s ‘Sunshine on a Rainy Day’ (although it’s to be hoped the drizzle will stay away!), ZZ Top in raunchy ‘70s form with ‘Bar-B-Q’, The Kinks’ deathless classic ‘Sunny Afternoon’, jazz keyboard whizz Jack McDuff with his Latin lounge ‘Hot Barbecue’, and Shadows-like British early ‘60s also-rans The Outlaws with ‘Barbecue’ – but, for the most part, the music is not explicit, it’s simply conducive to sunshine. The early Shakira cut is tinted with melancholy but still bathed in her native Colombian heat, ‘60s hit-makers The Lovin’ Spoonful take it oh-so-easy down in ‘Coconut Grove’, The Eagles muster stoned cowboy blues with ‘Tequila Sunrise’, and Canadian one hit (technically two hit) wonders Bran Van 3000 are still busy ‘Drinking in LA’. So whether you’re cooking on gas or layering firelighters with charcoal, things will soon be sizzling. Press play and let our playlist take the weight.

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