25 More Essential Summer Songs
One of our most popular old posts is this list of 25 Essential Summer Songs. Since the list is almost four years old now, however, it seems like a good time to update it with some new songs and old favorites. (Confession - I love, love, love making lists like this. It makes me search through my own songs, YouTube and other random lists and is a great way to discover and rediscover great music.).
So what makes an "essential" summer song? Generally speaking, it should be upbeat, not too serious and sound great with the windows down. With that in mind, here we go!
Update: Some our new 2010 list of essential summer songs.
- LDN, by Lily Allen: This song sounds like a happy, summer day even though it's really about the not-so-good life in London.
- Rock N Roll Hoochie Koo, by Rick Derringer: The ultimate in mindless summer rock.
- One Particular Harbour, by Jimmy Buffett: While almost any Buffett song could be on the list, I choose this one for the singalong chorus. There's something about summer that makes you want to singalong.
- Skateaway, by Dire Straits: This isn't a very peppy song (Dire Straits could never be described as peppy), but I the imagery sounds like a hot summer day in the city.
- My Life Would Suck Without You, by Kelly Clarkson: This is the summer of 2009 anthem that carloads of girls will be singing together. No doubt about it.
- Santeria, by Sublime: Ignore the lyrics and this is just feels like a nice, relaxing, sway to the music kind of song. Pay attention to the lyrics and yeah, not so much.
- Radar Love, by Golden Earring: Simply the ultimate driving song.
- Make My Day, by Common & Cee Lo: A happy, bouncy song that's sure to be another big summer of '09 hit.
- Summer's Cauldron/Grass, by XTC: Listening to this pair of songs is like laying on the grass with your ear to the ground and literally listening to the birds, bugs and bees.
- Summertime, by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Price: An obvious favorite that captures the fun and carefree feel of the season.
- Foundations, by Kate Nash: For some reason, the first note of this song reminds of an old school 60s hit that might have been sung by the Jackson 5.
- I Want You Back, by The Jackson 5: And, the real thing.
- Something So Strong, by Crowded House: A happy & sweet love song with a video that looks and feels like a country summer - or, more specifically, like those Old Country Lemonade commercials.
- Come Dancing, by The Kinks: Another just plain sweet and uncomplicated song - because it's summer and thinking is hard (witness "Rock N Roll Hoochie Koo" above, again).
- Everybody Ona Move, by Michael Franti & Spearhead: A good old fashioned summer ass shaker that sounds equally perfect blasted in your car or at a cool rooftop party.
- I'm Not Down, by The Clash: Life may suck sometimes, but less so if you're listening to a defiant song like this this summer.
- Big Brown Eyes, by Old 97's: Especially done live, this song is a hot 'n' sweaty rocker. What makes it a great summer song are the fun singalong parts.
- Don't Change, by INXS: A lot of INXS's music is very sexy, but not this song. It's more exhuberant than anything, which is why it works better as a summer song than as a love song.
- Borderline, by Madonna: Oddly enough for something by Madonna, this is really kind of a light and innocent reflection of summer love. In other words, it's pre-cone bra era stuff.
- Late In The Evening, by Paul Simon: The perfect sountrack for summer nights on your porch or deck.
- Tennessee, by Arrested Development: A funky, lazy song that you'd happily listen to while tossing frisbees, drinking beer and grilling meat. Although, it does lose points for sort of having a message and trying to teach us something. How dare they?
- Summer Of Drugs, by Soul Asylum: This song reminds me of faded Polaroids from the 70s. Soul Asylum may have been on drugs, but I was on pink terrycloth. Parents, just say no.
- Party At Ground Zero, by Fishbone: My friend Shel used to have great parties in her alley. They were frantic, but fun. When I hear this song I think of that summer and my own personal "ground zero".
- Our Lips Are Sealed, by The Go-Gos: This song is sealed as a great summer song by the image of the band joyfully playing in a fountain. The only thing better would be if they were playing in a backyard sprinkler.
- Pull Shapes, by The Pipettes: There something about girl groups that's tailor made for summer. The Pipettes are the next wave in a movement that has given us many a brilliant summer song.
Posted by at April 21, 2009 03:01 PM
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|# April 22nd, 2009 6:24 AM cherlynda|
|I would add
"You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Party" Beastie Boys
A great summer song.
|# April 24th, 2009 3:51 PM drew|
|"Big Brown Eyes, by Old 97's: Especially done live, this song is a hot 'n' sweaty rocker. What makes it a great summer song are the fun singalong parts."
He did an acoustic set last night in Austin and played this. It was outstanding. You could also easily sub "Barrier Reef."
|# April 24th, 2009 4:55 PM kris|
|I saw him in February, but he didn't play Big Brown Eyes :-( |
|# April 24th, 2009 5:00 PM drew|
|Really? Did he just do his solo stuff? I've never seen the full band not play that one. |
|# April 24th, 2009 5:08 PM kris|
|It was just him and he did both his stuff and Old 97's stuff. When he did "The One" it was cute because he actually looked around the stage to where Murray, Ken & Phillip would have been when he sang their names. |
|# April 24th, 2009 7:52 PM kris|
|Here's my front row picture of Rhett from their show in Oshkosh, WI (opening up for that asshat Todd Rundgren) last summer:
|# April 25th, 2009 2:57 AM Daddy|
|One hit wonders you may have heard of, that I just can't match up with "rainy February day":
Hooters---And We Danced
John Steward (no, not THAT chooch)---Gold (you know the words: When the lights go down in my California town, people are in for the evening.... Stevie Nicks sang backup).
Almost anything by the Monkees.
Good list, though.