The Songs of Summer #16: ‘Cruisin’ Music’ by The Raspberries
Ahhh, the summer road trip. Can’t be summer without a road trip to somewhere. ‘Cruisin’ Music’ is The Raspberries ode to hopping in the car, flying down the highway on the way to the beach to meet up with the suntanned girls, crankin’ the loud rock and roll music to put the fun back in summertime. My God, is there anything better than that?
When I was a teen, our car didn’t have a tape deck. All we had was the radio, and I can clearly remember flipping from one station to another to find just the right song to fit whatever particular mood I was in at the time. Now we can pretty much choose any song in the world and listen to it anywhere in the world, but back then it was much harder. And I think because we had to work at it to find it, individual songs had much more importance to us.
The Raspberries pretty much perfected the ‘power pop’ sound back in the early 70’s. Allmusic described their sound as featuring “exquisitely crafted melodies and achingly gorgeous harmonies.” ‘Cruisin’ Music’ is all about loud rock music, drivin’ to the beach to meet up with a ‘beach-drenched chick’ and dancing and singing through the night ‘to put the pop back into summertime.’
This country’s got so many horrible problems…News came this morning of a hate crime in South Carolina where 9 people were killed by a gunman in a church. It’s honestly hard for me to be writing about something as light and meaningless as summertime music with so much hate and violence in the air. But you know what, music’s not meaningless. Music is important. Music can bring people together, and music can heal. I truly believe that.
So while my heart is heavy for those lost in yet another senseless act of violence, I think we all need more music. I had this song picked out before learning of these shootings, but there’s a line in the song that hits home this morning:
“It’s time you heard some happy music
God knows this world could really use a little sunshine…”
From 1974, off the album ‘Starting Over,’ it’s The Raspberries, doing what they do best: