Are you craving more lists of fantastic songs? Of course you are. You can almost feel the sand crunching beneath your toes and the ocean waves in the background as you listen to all of its talk of hot dogs, the sun beating down on a tar-papered roof and getting cozy on a blanket with your beloved. This is beachside existentialism Nothing says summer like a little harmony-driven folk-pop, and this AM Gold staple epitomizes that mini movement about as well as any track we could name.
A high-pitched laugh, a drum fill that inspired thousands of kids to annoy parents at the dinner table and an instantly recognizable guitar riff: This is how you start a song. Ah, summer flings. Everyone—well, a lot of people, anyway—deserves that one big summer romance.
It even landed the group the No. Billboard Hot , as well as No. And how could it not? Fun fact: Near the end of the song, Withers holds a single note for 18 seconds, which is purportedly the longest note in a U. Top 40 single in history. How could a list of the best summer songs ever and not include this surf-rock staple?
No one does wistful nostalgia and pure, unadulterated joy quite like Jonathan Richman, the reformed punk godfather turned wide-eyed purveyor of childlike wonder. But Martha Reeves insisted that it was not intended in that spirit. But back in , Cooper and his rough-and-tumble band perfectly captured the rowdy spirit of the last day of school—which Cooper rated as second only to Christmas as the most important day on the calendar.
Though Adams himself has tipped fans off to the cheeseball innuendo in the title, we prefer to think of this one in PG terms: an all-purpose ode to the endless possibility of three gloriously school-free adolescent months. Just try not to bop your body when the brass kicks in at the ten-second mark of this jolt of pure pop joy.
A giddy, unguilty pleasure of a one-hit-wonder track, this best-seller bounces with a feeling that positively radiates effervescent summertime fun. Fact: This nasty, timelessly cool burst of proto-punk perfection came out before the Beatles performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. Yes, summer is fun, but good gosh can it be melancholy, too. According to fellow Chicago founding member Walter Parazaider, Robert Lamm penned this single after a particularly inspiring jaunt through Central Park, while the band was in NYC recording their fifth studio effort, Chicago V.
Blige, Common, P. Dawn and plenty of others. Whether you hate it or love it, it is no secret that every ultimate summertime party playlist needs this smash on it. Motown soulsters the Commodores scored a crossover hit with this bittersweet soft-rock ode.
Clocking in at eleven minutes, a full five and a half minutes pass before Kuti even sings a note. Frontman Samuel T. Teeming with key shifts, complex harmonies and unorthodox instrumentation it features a cello, a jaw harp and an electrotheremin , this Beach Boys classic was a feat of both composition and production.
For summer '02 pretty much the entire planet was Nellyville, and the St. Louis rapper exhorted people of all genders but mostly women to strip down for their own good. A typical first response would be apprehension—from the man with the Band-aid on his face? But logically speaking, his argument follows if heat, then no clothes , and he was smart enough to tap the Neptunes for the song's frisky production.
After enough listens, it's impossible not to agree, whether your "herre" is a sweaty club, a hot summer night or, the argument could be made, anywhere on our globally warming earth. Hot, it certainly is. Okay, so technically the lyrics reference rain, not sun, but just listen to that wispy guitar, warm, ambling bass and shimmering keys. This tune is made for hazy summer evenings. Wavves frontman Nathan Williams is like a modern incarnation of the fun-loving beach bums that the Beach Boys sang about four decades ago—if those dudes had also had an affinity for Blink records and weed by the sackful.
Nowhere is this more clear than on this single, all sunny surf-rock guitars with a gnarly pop-punk twist. The result was this sunny gem featuring Atlanta rapper Young Thug and Jamaican dancehall phenom Popcaan.
Fresh, Eve and 50 Cent. You can't help but jam out to the absurdly cheery, bubblegum-smacking melody and catchy lyrics in this global megahit featuring Snoop Dogg, no less. Perfect for driving down the highway with your windows down, "California Gurls" is a summer tune for the ages, even if you are a die-hard, true-blue New Yorker. What happened? Odds are this GnR blazer is to blame. What would summer be without summer flings? Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey capture the magic of transient teen romance in this clever doo-wop number from their musical, Grease , which achieved even greater cultural ubiquity in its blockbuster movie adaptation.
Hit the road, Jack, and crank up the dial with our definitive list of the best road trip songs ever. Time Out New York. Get us in your inbox Sign up to our newsletter for the latest and greatest from your city and beyond. We already have this email. Try another? My Account My Profile Sign out. My Account. Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right New York State icon-chevron-right New York icon-chevron-right The 60 best summer songs of all time.
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