Top 10 Greatest Summer Songs
In June 1970, British band Mungo Jerry topped the charts in the U.S., U.K. and countless other countries with their debut single, “In the Summertime.”
As we rapidly approach the solstice, we’re commemorating the occasion with DoYouRemember’s ten greatest summer songs of all time.
10. “All Summer Long”—The Beach Boys (1964)
Considering the fact that nearly every one of their songs made reference to a beach, surfing or a bikini under the sun, it’s hard to select just one song from Brian Wilson and the gang, but we made the right choice with this one.
9. “Saturday in the Park”—Chicago (1972)
Listening to the vivid descriptions of everything from “a man selling ice cream” who sings “Italian songs” to the “slow motion riders” reminds us of just how much fun a trip to the park in the summer can be, and how badass Chicago was back in the day.
8. “Summer Wind”—Frank Sinatra (1966)
The Chairman of the Board earned his spot on this list as soon as this jazzy vocal dropped. This song makes us want to grab that special someone by the hand and stroll slowly along the boardwalk in Atlantic City, gazing at the stars on a warm summer night.
7. “Summertime”—Billy Stewart (1966)
This hip, jazzy number showcases what many believe to be the origins of the human beat box, performed with scatting, soothing vocal perfection by the immensely talented Mr. Stewart.
6. “School’s Out”—Alice Cooper (1972)
Alice Cooper’s summertime rock anthem epitomizes the meaning of the season to students long frustrated by algebra equations and pop quizzes in classrooms everywhere. It’s no wonder it earned itself a spot inside the top ten on the Hot 100 chart.
5. “Cruel Summer”—Bananarama (1983)
Dance-pop queens Bananarama had a huge hit on their hands when they dropped this gem in the early 1980s. At least a part of the song’s success was based on it being featured in the box-office smash The Karate Kid.
4. “Summer in the City”—The Lovin’ Spoonful (1966)
The highs and lows of life in the big city in the summertime are perfectly intertwined and captured in this number-one hit. It’s no wonder the song been featured in everything from commercials to television shows to movies of all genres.
3. “Dancing in the Street”—Martha and the Vandellas (1964)
Nothing says summertime like a block party, and there’s nothing better at a block party than dancing in the street, as Martha and the Vandellas so memorably reminded us with a song that was in heavy rotation during the civil-rights movement of the 1960s.
2. “Summer Breeze”—Seals & Crofts (1972)
Everyone from the Isley Brothers to the Three Tenors has covered this tune, but there’s nothing like the original sung by Seals and Crofts, who had us all wishing we could spend our days relaxing, smoking jasmine and staring at the window curtains.
1. “Summertime”—DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince (1991)
This song is pure hip-hop perfection, but more importantly it describes everything that we love about summer, from neighborhood BBQs to double Dutch to shooting hoops in the park. It wasn’t this act’s biggest hit by any means, but it is a classic, undisputed summer jam.