Clockwise, above from left: Photo: Courtesy of Atlantic Records; Columbia Records; Terrible Records; Big Beat Records.
There are three key ingredients for a great Fourth of July celebration: beers, buds, and barbecue. But, for a truly spectacular bash? A stellar playlist is in order. Of course, not just any jams will do; you need the perfect blend of up-tempo tracks, old favorites, and U-S-A! U-S-A! to really pay your respects to those stars and stripes. No easy feat.
So, to craft the ultimate July 4 soundtrack, we tapped three Chicago music-industry pros who know tunes. DJs Matt Roan and Megan Taylor and The Windish Agency's Jessica Blanc gave us the low down on the songs that will really let you party on — patriotically, of course. They brought us dance tracks (Flosstradamus is "great for summer," says Blanc), old-school rock-and-roll favorites, and Neil Diamond. "If you listen to 'America' with synchronized fireworks, your heart might explode with pride," says Roan. Right.
To sweeten the deal, we've rolled all the beats together for you in handy-dandy Spotify form. So, don't lift a finger this Friday, but do raise a glass to the ol' red, white, and blue. Oh, and feel free to get your groove on, too.