Top 10 Summer Songs
June 22, 2010 at 5:29 AM (PT)
TODAY (6/22) is the first full day of SUMMER -- a season beloved for its weather and hit music.
Here are the Top 10 Summer Songs rated by AOL RADIO listeners:
10. "Cruel Summer" - BANANARAMA. This song from BANANARAMA's self-titled debut was a big hit in their home country of ENGLAND upon its release in 1983, but it wasn't until the next year, when it appeared in the hit film "The Karate Kid" that it became a Top 10 U.S. smash.
9. "All Summer Long" - KID ROCK. Only KID ROCK would have both the cajones and the ability to take the most popular songs from unlikely partners -- like southern rockers LYNYRD SKYNYRD and singer-songwriter WARREN ZEVON -- and somehow mash them together into a danceable, hip-hop-influenced ode to summer parties.
8. "Hot Fun in the Summertime" - SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE. You can feel and see the heat radiating off a hot city sidewalk when the horn section kicks in over the lazy shuffle of this sweet, nostalgic song. This was released on SLY's 1969 "Greatest Hits" collection right after his triumphant appearance at WOODSTOCK.
7. "Summer of '69" - BRYAN ADAMS. BRYAN ADAMS and co-writer JIM VALLANCE have had a friendly public debate about the meaning of this summer song. For VALLANCE, it's a fond remembrance of the year 1969, when he turned 17 and discovered all sorts of wonderful music. For ADAMS, the number's meaning is a bit more, shall we say, carnal.
6. "The Boys of Summer" - DON HENLEY. Rumor has it that none other than HENLEY's EAGLES bandmate, JOE WALSH, owned the car that inspired the famous "out on the road today, I saw a deadhead sticker on a CADILLAC" lyric from this song on DON's 1984 solo album "Building the Perfect Beast."
5. "Summer in the City" - THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL. Reportedly, the lyrics for this song were taken from a poem MARK SEBASTIAN (JOHN SEBASTIAN's brother) submitted to a literary magazine. Dozens of artists have since covered this wonderfully evocative summer song, including BB KING, QUINCY JONES and JOE JACKSON.
4. "In the Summertime" - MUNGO JERRY. One line in this classic song from the 1970 album "Electronically Tested" is a bit too care-free when it comes to car safety, so when reggae star SHAGGY covered it in 1992, he changed the line "have a drink, have a drive" to the much safer "I'm going to ride and drive.."
3. "Summer Nights" - JOHN TRAVOLTA and OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN. JOHN and OLIVIA's characters from the hit 1978 movie "Grease" share somewhat different, but equally fond memories of their summer romance in this duet -- not realizing they are now attending the same high school. Confusion, comedy and lots of singing ensues...
2. "Summertime Blues" - EDDIE COCHRAN. Quite possibly the grand-daddy of all summer songs, this under-two minute blast of energy from 1958 still perfectly captures the excitement and angst of a teenager who simply longs for temporary escape from his summertime job. He seeks assistance from the highest of authorities, the UNITED NATIONS, who refuse to help since he's not old enough to vote.
1. "Summertime" - DJ JAZZY JEFF AND THE FRESH PRINCE. Back before he was a huge movie star, and before he had a hit TV show, WILL SMITH was hip-hop's "Fresh Prince." With the help of DJ JAZZY JEFF's laid back, but still thumping music track, SMITH's lyrics perfectly capture the joys of a beautiful, trouble-free summer day.
[Which SUMMER songs do you think were left off this list? Share your favorites below.]