Fun in the sun and music go hand in hand. Rolling Stone magazine published an article that made that point a couple of years ago with "The Best Summer Songs Of All Time." They took the liberty of collecting over 50 mega hits from the summer, and I added a few songs to the pile for good measure. Take a look at the tracks we listed below.

Let us know if we can add a tune, and we will keep the list going and growing to create the ultimate summertime library. In the meantime, enjoy what we have so far, and feel free to add a few to your playlist! There is a little something for everyone here!

Kool & The Gang, "Summer Madness" (1979)
Light Of Worlds
Out of all the songs in this post, this track has not achieved the same success. However, it is one of the most recognizable instrumentals of all time. Summer Madness only reached #35 on the charts, but when it was sampled to produce one of the biggest summertime anthems on the planet. In addition, the song has become one of the most sampled R&B singles of all time.

Chubby Checker, "Let’s Twist Again" (1961)
Everything's Gonna Be Alright
Chubby Checker put out the ultimate summer party jam with “Let’s twist again like we did last summer.” Rock & Roll collided with doo-wop in the late 50s and early 60s and created a whole new era of timeless music to spark the senses. Checker recorded "The Twist" in 1960 and re-released the song to keep the dance craze he started going a year later. With a slightly different title, "Let's Twist Again" was a bigger hit than the original in the summer of 1961.

Sly & the Family Stone, "Hot Fun In the Summertime"(1969)
Everybody Is A Star
The summer of 1969 was almost over, but that didn't stop Sly Stone from dropping his iconic summertime smash in August. It was an unusual thing to do, but there was nothing ordinary about the famously eclectic artist anyway. The funky soul ballad was a major hit nonetheless and ranked as the 7th biggest single in the U.S. in 1969. There was something about having hot fun “at a county fair in the country sun.”

Snoop Doggy Dogg, "Gin & Juice" (1993)
Doggystyle
You can't have a neighborhood BBQ in the LBC without something to chase it down. In 1993, the summertime drink of choice was none other than “Gin & Juice” of course! Dr. Dre had the chronic and a gang of Tanqueray, and that's all anybody needed to get the summertime party started. This G-funk track was and will always be a summer classic.

Superchunk, "This Summer" (2012)
Majesty
This song describes the best summer memory ever. Going back to a simpler time with “sweaty sheets and an ocean view.” It's a fist-pumping, beat-thumping track of the anticipation of summer we all had spending time with that special someone. Mac McCaughan sings, “I age backward when I’m next to you/So erase this summer with me” as the tune takes you to another place and time.

Len, "Steal My Sunshine" (1999)
Can't Stop The Bum Rush
Hip-hop had a heavy influence in the 90s on other genres, especially bands like Sugar Ray and Smash Mouth. This joint by Toronto brother-sister duo Marc and Sharon Costanzo is a prime example. This dope track talks about all the fun summertime offer from sipppin your favorite drink to baking in the sun, you know. When your "mind was thugged, all laced and bugged, all twisted round and beat.”

The Drifters, "Under The Boardwalk" (1964)
I Don't Want To Go On Without You
Released in June 1964, “Under the Boardwalk” is among the greatest and probably the most memorable doo-wop teenage tracks ever. What's better than a summertime rendezvous with your sweetheart under the boardwalk down by the sea? This track is especially significant because, according to Rolling Stone, the day before it was recorded, Johnny Moore had taken over lead vocals due to the heroin-related death of Rudy Lewis.

The Lovin’ Spoonful, "Summer In the City" (1966)
Hums Of The Lovin 
John Sebastian sings about how uncomfortable summer can be in this song but reminds us about the payoff once the sun goes down. The party has just begun as he sings, “Back of my neck getting dirt and gritty.” The car horns are blaring, the rooftops are jumping, and everyone is twistin’ the night away.

Eric Church, "Springsteen" (2011)
Chief
This is the perfect country song about memories of The Boss and being Born In the USA. The song is an all-time summer classic, as it took hold of the charts in 2012. Church sings the “soundtrack to a July Saturday night” and vibes with his high school sweetheart in the summer. Flip flops, summer nights, and the taste of beer, and you're good to go. It's the ultimate song to play on hot summer nights.

Chic, "Good Times" (1979)
Risque'
This disco classic landed right on time and dominated the charts in the summer of 1979. It was a summertime anthem because the song was all about the party. Chic put you in the state of mind of heading to the skating rink with a new fit and skate routine ’bout a quarter to ten.” According to Chic, sporting life includes clams on the half-shell and roller skating. The single would be sampled by the Sugar Hill Gang in “Rapper’s Delight” and help transform music forever with the birth of Hip-Hop.

Wizkid feat. Tems, "Essence" (2020)
Made In Lagos
“Essence” was a major summertime hit in 2021, even though it dropped in the fall of 2020. This sexy Afrobeat track is bold and romantic. It carries a groove you must move to whether you can make out what Tems is crooning about. Her thick Nigerian accent is so sweet it doesn't even matter. Wizkid and Tems dropped an inescapable vibe that has you yearning for the sunny days and sultry nights of summer with "Essence."

Chicago, "Saturday in the Park" (1972)
Chicago V
The melodic soft-rock sounds of Chicago have stood the test of time. Defined by the mellowness of the 70s, this song gives a shout-out to Central Park in the summer and has been a radio staple ever since. Robert Lamm couldn't remember the day he enjoyed the famous park as he sang, “I think it was the Fourth of July.” But one thing's for sure. He couldn't wait to go back. He was reminiscing about his feelings in New York in the summer of 1972.

Marvin Gaye, "Got to Give It Up" (Pt. 1 & 2) (1977)
Live At The London Palladium
The silky soul singer Marvin Gaye could make the alphabet a #1 single. The summertime hit from 77 commands a foot-stopping crowd on the dancefloor. Its irresistible beat was the perfect antidote to getting the party jumping or the summertime BBQ slamming with family and friends. Like many classic R&B songs, the iconic tune was sampled and produced two more mega-hits for The Jacksons: "Shake Your Body" and Robin Thicke and Pharrell's "Blurred Lines."

Bananarama, "Cruel Summer" (1983)
Bananarama
Bananarama wanted to write a song that keyed into the “darker side” of summer. Defined by a plinking earworm hook and drum-pad beats, this is essentially the British synth-pop answer song to Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City,” as if to say, “Hey, we have humid summers, too, wot?” And yet, they chose to shoot the video in New York.

Taylor Swift, "Cruel Summer" (2019)
Lover
The ultimate Swiftie mystery: Why didn’t Taylor release this as a single so it could blow up into the summer blockbuster of 2019? We’ll never know. In “Cruel Summer, Taylor sneaks out the window for a steamy summertime rendezvous.

Ginuwine, "Pony" (1996)
Ginuwine...The Bachelor
This is not only a summer anthem, it's the track from the Channing Tatum movie, Magic Mike. "Pony," was produced by super producer Timbaland, it was his first huge.  The mega-hit was the debut single from iconic R&B artist known as the Bachelor's first album.

Nelly, "Hot in Herre" (2002)
Nellyville
Over one of the Neptunes’ signature beats, Nelly drops a massive summer hit. His message is simple. It's hot in here, so take off all your clothes. Background singer Dani Stevenson keeps her answer to the point. “I am gettin’ so hot, I wanna take my clothes off.” Perfect for those days when the mercury hits the nineties and clothing becomes optional.

Luis Fonsi, feat. Justin Bieber, Daddy Yankee, "Despacito" (2017)
Vida
Few songs have ever dominated a summer like this landmark Latin-pop smash — a seductive reggaeton groove that took the beats of San Juan to Middle America. “Despacito” hit U.S. shores in late spring, took over the Number One spot on the charts, and refused to let go until school was back in, becoming your suburban grandmother’s favorite Spanish-language song since “La Bamba.”

Donna Summer, "Hot Stuff" (1979)
Bad Girls
In 1973, LaDonna Andrea Gaines was the Disco Queen and at the top of her game. The summer of 79' went up in flames when she released the forever summer anthem, “Hot Stuff.” The chart-topping, sex-craving disco track is the anthem of all anthems. Sommer's summer disco track took the longest ride at the top of the charts in 1979, spending 14 weeks on Billboard's Top 10 list.

Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, "It Takes Two" (1988)
It Takes Two
In the summer of 1988, kids at block parties from Brooklyn to Boise skipped rope, played hopscotch, and got down to “It Takes Two,” the quintessential James Brown-sampling club banger. Writer-producer Rob Base penned it with the hopes of coming up with a song that was so fun everybody couldn’t help but jam to it. Mission accomplished.

BTS and Megan Thee Stallion, "Butter (Remix)" (2021)
What a dream team: The Bulletproof Boy Scouts meet the Hot Girl Coach. BTS takes their Number One hit to the dance floor with Megan, who gives them a hip-hop boost. She says, “They know I’m the wave, take over every summer.” Houston’s finest, in the room with bosses.

Alice Cooper, "School’s Out" (1972)
Trashes The Wolrd
Alice Cooper had the ultimate anti-school anthem in "School's Out." He said of the Monster 70s track, “The few minutes waiting for that final school bell to ring are so intense that when it happens, it’s almost orgasmic.” This song was for everyone who hated going to school in 1972 and today. A track like this never gets old.

LFO, "Summer Girls" (1999)
LFO
With its jarringly specific references to Abercrombie & Fitch, Kevin Bacon, and New Kids on the Block, this endearingly goofy recollection of a summer crush became a monster hit for LFO (a.k.a. Lyte Funkie Ones), the hottest boy band ever to bounce out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Some wistful guitar spritz, a lighter-than-air hip-hop beat, and a stream of lovably clunky pop culture allusions made “Summer Girls” an enduring embodiment of the weird, sweet, and awkwardness of a pre-teen romance.

Drake, "In My Feelings" (2018)
This is not only the ultimate summer hit, it's a dedication to Louisiana bounce. The track has a classic bounce cadence throughout. As he tries to convince his boo KiKi that he loves her. Then out of nowhere, an internet comedian named Shiggy decided to dance to the single and singal-handedly ignited a dance craze called the Shiggy Challenge. Next thing you know celebrities and everyday people around the globe were taking the challenge.

Harry Styles, "As It Was" (2022)
Harry's House
Harry Styles’ summertime hit was all about late-night talks with your Boo, and the joy of love, food, and laughter. It is another monster summertime hit to blast on the radio or rock on your earbuds while you get your workout in. "As It Was" is the ultimate playlist track because it's a feel-good song about following your heart and choosing happiness with the one you love.

Martha & The Vandellas, "Dancing in the Street" (1965)
The ultimate invitation to get outside and cut loose, “Dancing In the Street” reinvents the world as a giant summertime block party. Co-written by Marvin Gaye, it has the greatest party-jam lyrics ever written and the drums hit like a gunshot. The song took on political meaning during the riots of the 1960s, becoming a civil rights anthem in the process. Martha Reeves sounds like she’s doing more than just kick off a party – she sounds like she’s starting a revolution.

Eddie Cochran, "Summertime Blues" (1958)
“There had been a lot of songs about summer, but none about the hardships of summer,” co-writer Jerry Capehart, who was Eddie Cochran’s manager, said of “Summertime Blues.” The 1958 rockabilly raver tapped into suburban teen boredom and angst, blazing a trail toward heavy and metal and punk by making edgy, bound-up energy seem thrilling. Years later, thunderbolt covers by the Who and Blue Cheer would make its trailblazing hard-rock legacy explicit.

The Beach Boys, "California Girls" (1965)
With apologies to the other forty-nine, Brian Wilson‘s ode to his home state’s hotties elevated California girls to mythic status. Wilson wrote the melody the first time he took acid and the swirling piano chords at the opening give the simple teenage fantasy a dream-like grandeur. The lyrics, written by Mike Love, were inspired by Wilson’s assertion that “everybody loves girls.”

Kenny Chesney, "Summertime" (2006)
“Summertime” reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart in 2006. To describe the impact of this song a fan said it best, 'It's a smile, it's a kiss, it's a sip of wine, it's summertime! Gets you in the mood every time it plays!' Your gotta love it!

Prince, "When Doves Cry" (1984)
Purple Rain
The all-time king of summer hits. From “Raspberry Beret” to “U Got The Look” to “Alphabet Street,” Prince served. But he never shut down a summer like he did in 1984 when he dropped Purple Rain. “When Doves Cry” was radical avant-garde freak funk, but also a Number One hit — the ultimate Prince combo.

Lil Nas X, ‘Old Town Road’ (2019)
This single spent 19 weeks at the of the charts and became the longest-running number-one song since the chart debuted in 1958 Lil Nas X’s genre-defying creation blends banjo strums and jaw-rattling bass, rural imagery, and hip-hop signifiers. "Old Town Road” took off on TikTok, and was a phenomenon kindergartners and grandmas alike were singing to. It was one of those rare songs that seemed to unite the world.

TLC “Waterfalls” (1995)
CrazySexyCool 
The song was the third single released from the album and dropped in the summer of 95 on May 22. Widely considered TLC's signature song, "Waterfalls" was an international summer hit. "Waterfalls" spent seven weeks at No. 1 in America and peaked at No. 1 in New Zealand and Switzerland while reaching the top ten in many other countries. The track received critical acclaim, earning two Grammys in 1996 for Record of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. There is no doubt that it was the most popular song of the summer.

Seal“Kiss from a Rose" (1994)
Seal
"Kiss from a Rose" won Grammys for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. It is a song from British singer-songwriter Seal's second eponymous album (1994). The song was first released as a single in July 1994 by ZTT, Sire, and Warner Bros., and was included in the film The NeverEnding Story III that year. It was re-released in 1995 as part of the Batman Forever film soundtrack, helping it top the charts in the United States and Australia. The song also reached the top 10 in several other countries, including Canada, France, Iceland, and Norway.

Cardi B, Bad Bunny, and J Balvin, "I Like It" (2018)
Invasion of Privacy
In the summer of 2018, it was nearly impossible to stand on any street corner in any American city without hearing “I Like It” blasting from the window of a passing car. “I Like It” was where Cardi B reps her Latin heritage, joining forces with Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny and Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin, the trio rocked this summertime track featuring Pete Rodriguez’s 1967 boogaloo classic “I Like It Like That.” While Cardi hits the timbale beat like a piñata, she gives a shoutout to Celia Cruz, Jimmy Snuka, and Lady Gaga all in the same verse.

DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, "Summertime" (1991)
Album: Homebase
Summertime is one of the greatest summer tracks of all time. The song won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, and a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Rap Artist. For many, it was a summer anthem growing up around here. He's the King of blockbuster movies and the iconic Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from the legendary 90s TV show. It's crazy to think this kid from Philly used to have a music career, and he was pretty damn good at that too!

ShaggyBoombastic” (1995)
Album: Boombastic
Jamaican superstar Shaggy had the sixth-most popular song of the summer of 95. One fan wrote, "I'm a 63 year old man who loves English literature and classical music: but this song is truly FANTASTIC." "Boombastic" was released on May 1995 as the second single from his third studio album. The track features samples from King Floyd's song "Baby Let Me Kiss You" and Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On. "Boombastic" was a major hit worldwide and is Shaggy's most successful song to date. It peaked at number one in America, Australia, El Salvador, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, and the UK. Making the top 5 in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland.

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