The greatest ever songs of the summer – ranked!

20. The Drums – Let’s Go Surfing (2009)

For a flit consequence Brooklyn ’ s the Drums were the skinny jean-sporting indie band du jour. This is their crowning moment, all pogoing freshwater bass, petal-soft whistle riffs and a lyric about waking up on a cheery good morning and run to the beach. “ Oh ma I don ’ thyroxine worry about nothing ” feels like a identical summer 2021 mantra, excessively .

19. Koffee – Toast (2018)

Who am I to argue with the Obamas ? The 21-year-old reggae ace Koffee ’ s positive-vibes-only Toast appeared on Barack ’ s summer playlist in 2019, while a year later it cropped up on Michelle ’ s workout playlist. possibly more importantly, it ’ south nowadays on this here number of songs to enjoy in the summer months .

18. Hanson – MMMBop (1997)

Hanson, 1997.

Hanson, 1997. Photograph: Mike Prior/Redferns With hair the color of adust grass and a strong too-much-Sunny Delight energy, teenage brother isthmus Hanson concisely embodied long, carefree summer holidays. This sparkling introduction single is a sun-kissed, preternaturally bouncing ode to holding on to life with both hands, because in an mmmbop it could wholly be taken away. so true .

17. Don Henley – The Boys of Summer (1984)

There ’ s something pensive about those apparently ceaseless summer nights. Exploring seasonal worker romance and the happen of youth, The Boys of Summer – all tactile 80s barrel machines and searching guitar figures – feels like tumbling through sepia-tinged memories of summer ’ second past : “ Those days are gone for ever, I should good let them go. ” Ouch .

16. Joel Corry – Head & Heart ft MNEK (2020)

A wyrd, limbo-like summer needed a proper undeniable firecracker and that ’ s precisely what Head & Heart is. The chorus is an clamant earworm, the 90s house piano immediately nostalgic, while the perfectly signposted drop feels like jumping into a aplomb pool. A hit of vitamin D after what felt like years indoors .

15. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe (2012)

Hopped up on cherryade and remember adolescent lecherousness, Call Me Maybe zooms in on the act of tentatively giving out a phone number and explodes it into an existential crisis with a rictus smile. It ’ s the perfect encapsulation of the way emotions are heightened when the sunlight shines and things can get messy very quickly .

14. Bananarama – Cruel Summer (1983)

Some of the best summer songs tackle the burdensomeness of the season, and this is pushed to the fore here. Focusing on how farseeing summer can feel when you ’ re lonely, the television possibly offers some solutions : shot in a heatwave in New York, the isthmus have said they stayed alert thanks to vials of cocaine given to them by local dockworkers .

13. Ultra Naté – Free (1997)

You couldn ’ t move for female-fronted house acts in the deep 90s, but there ’ s something particular about Free. The american english singer-songwriter Naté doesn ’ t just sing the choir, she shoots it skywards, espousing the song ’ s empowering “ be yourself ” message – which late helped it become a gay anthem – like she ’ randomness delivering a sermon .

12. Nelly – Hot in Herre (2002)

Pharrell Williams has history when it comes to crafting summer classics ( see : Happy, Get Lucky ), but there ’ s something in truth intoxicating about his and Chad Hugo ’ s production on professional plaster-wearer Nelly ’ s sweat-drenched nakedness anthem. It jolts, twerks and stutters around a beat that sounds like pots and pans being hit with a smooch, only more expensive .

11. Spice Girls – Wannabe (1996)

Spice Girls in Paris, 1996 Spice Girls in Paris, 1996. Photograph: Tim Roney/Getty Images Fun fact : Victoria Beckham doesn ’ t actually appear on the still gloriously chaotic Wannabe. According to her chap Spices, she was either at a wedding or shopping rather of at the studio apartment. It ’ mho my position that this is precisely the screen of mentality we should be taking into our work lives in summer 2021 : what I very, actually want is supernumerary vacation for all.

10. Donna Summer – Hot Stuff (1979)

It ’ s a sign of merely how effective this song is that its magnificence is stainless both by that dance scenery in The Full Monty and actual Prince Charles late recreating that dance scene from The Full Monty. Adding a rock flavor to her disco confection, Hot Stuff finds a fiery Summer rejecting a good billow in party favor of going on the pull .DJ Khaled performs onstage for the 2021 Billboard music awards. DJ Khaled performs onstage for the 2021 Billboard music awards. Photograph: Rich Fury/Getty Images for dcp

9. DJ Khaled – Wild Thoughts ft Rihanna and Bryson Tiller (2017)

In the broil summer of 2017, it felt as if Wild Thoughts – DJ Khaled ’ randomness absurd, Santana-heavy sex fix – was blasting out of every denounce, every car, every park, every heat-induced daydream. While Bryson Tiller tries to ruin it by comparing sex to being cremated, a prowl Rihanna effortlessly elevates it to top-tier condition .

8. Take That – Pray (1993)

The video for Take That ’ sulfur proper breakthrough individual is like a vaguely disingenuous take on a chap ’ holiday. From Mark Owen ’ s chunky husk necklace, to pasty Gary Barlow ’ s reserve to strip off, to Howard Donald ’ s 10-minutes-too-long-in-the-sun “ glow ”, it much reeks of After Sun. The song itself is a guilt-ridden call home plate after a boggy bibulous snog .

7. Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You (1998)

nothing says summer holidays quite like a throng campsite in France, music drifting out of cheap radios in battered caravans. It ’ second in that context that I beginning heard this authoritative slice of hypnotic french house from one half of Daft Punk. Its swirling funk guitar riff soon became american samoa omnipresent as insect bites .

6. The Beach Boys – Good Vibrations (1966)

even now, the Beach Boys ’ psychedelic pocket symphony orchestra sounds like the soundtrack to a sweat-soaked fever dream. Or like running on backbone and realising you ’ re not going anywhere, or the musical manifestation of those shapes you see on your eyelids after you stare at the sunday for besides long. Nice harmonies, besides .

5. MGMT – Time to Pretend (2008)

It ’ second barely surprise MGMT ’ s wide-eyed ode to the fantasy rock-star life cursorily became a summer festival anthem. First, that one-finger keyboard riff demands to be sung bet on as the sun sets behind a heaving aggregate of bodies, while lyrically it dismisses a commonplace life of office boredom in favor of life fast, dying youthful and having fun in between .

4. Drake – One Dance ft WizKid and Kyla (2016)

Billboard ’ s official song of the summer in 2016, the lilting One Dance mixes three sun-dappled genres – dancehall, afrobeats and UK funky – into an alluring, amazingly potent cocktail. Breezier and more laid-back than Drake ’ s usual concoction of moping and boastful, One dance focuses on the club and connection .

3. Sean Paul – Get Busy (2003)

When people reference the “ golden days of yore ” they ’ re surely referring to the start of the 2000s when Sean Paul couldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate go without dropping summer bangers. His Dutty Rock album alone houses Gim me the Light, Like Glue, Baby Boy ( with Beyoncé ) and this barbecue staple, Get Busy, which rides the then omnipresent Diwali riddim into the center of a sweaty clubhouse.

2. Sweet Female Attitude – Flowers (Sunship edit) (2000)

Manchester duet Sweet Female Attitude may have only had one reach, but what a bequest. Flowers – given a garage makeover by manufacturer Sunship – still sounds equally fresh as a daisy ( regretful ) in 2021, all pressing emotions, vest-weather production and a goldplate choir that feels tailor-made for park-based karaoke .

1. Beyoncé – Crazy in Love ft Jay-Z (2003)

latent hostility and release are the key to Beyoncé ’ s introduction unmarried proper, a horn-smeared ode to new love that feels a judicious as those early-stage emotions. Each musical element propels the song forward, from the blaring Chi-Lites sample, to Jay-Z ’ s improvise, to the “ you ready ? ” that hails the arrival of “ Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh, no, no ”. By the meter the refrain crashes in, we ’ re gallop towards flower craze, but release never comes. It evokes an unexpected summer spree that has on the spur of the moment turned good as crave is madly alchemised into something stronger .

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