Seeing single-digit temperatures across much of the U.S. and the thermometer finally dipping here in Los Angeles, I felt compelled to offer a fantasy getaway to alternative climes to defrost via this Spotify playlist. So crank up the heater (or put on another layer), and imagine yourself sipping a cocktail on the beach as you listen. Ahhhh!
- Let’s Get Away from It All / Frank Sinatra / Capitol Records: Classic Sinatra takes off on multiple adventures, on the Lockheed Constellation with Billy May providing lively orchestral backup.
- Haiti / Issa El Saieh / Mini Records (Haiti): The great Issa El Saieh’s love song to his beloved Haiti. Notice how he pronounces the umlaut on the “i” in Haïti, which thus sounds like “hi-aaa-tee.”
- Joía / Boy Ge Mendes / Lusafrica (Cape Verde): The Cape Verdean concept of “morabeza” is similar to Hawaiian aloha, and this Boy Ge Mendes’ song delivers a fresh island breeze.
- Domingo em Copacabana / Elis Regina / Columbia (Brazil): The late great Elis Regina’s song helps us spend a Sunday afternoon on Rio’s famous Copacabana beach.
- Vatapá / Danilo Caymmi / DRG Records (Brazil): Danilo Caymmi sings his father Dorival’s famous song about a savory Brazilian dish. Dorival Caymmi is the godfather of modern Brazilian music. He introduced Carmen Miranda to the world in 1939, and wrote songs about Bahia, sun, fisherman, and life.
- Amor De Loca Juventud / Buena Vista Social Club / World Circuit (Cuba): A song about crazy youth from the great, short-lived Cuban band. Never have octogenarian musicians produced so much joyous music in so short a time.
- Parfum Des Iles / Kali / Hibiscus Records (Martinique): The French Caribbean entices us with many wonderful tropical songs, and here is one of them.
- To Oe Unauna Te Ua’a Taina / Maeva Tahiti / Editions Le Motu (Tahiti): A lovely old-timey choral piece evocative of the islands.
- White Sandy Beach of Hawai’i / Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole / Big Boy Records (Hawai’i): Few singers can invoke the Hawaiian spirit like the late Brother Iz.
- Over the Rainbow / Melody Gardot / Verve: A nice version of the beloved fantasy getaway song.
- The Warmth of the Sun / The Beach Boys / Capitol Records: Hope you’re feeling the warmth of the sun by this point in the playlist!
Bonus video: Trade Winds / Mark Almond / One Way Records: A fantasy voyage into a tropical paradise. I used to feature this 1980’s song often on Morning Becomes Eclectic. I couldn’t find it on Spotify, but luckily it’s on Youtube.