45 Summer Songs You Better Have…Or Else

Posted May 28, 2012 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

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“Crazy in Love”
Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z
#1 pop, May 2003 (Columbia)

Booty-poppin’ bass-rap jams had been experimented before on much of the ‘90’s club bass summer anthems of 95 South “Whoot! There It Is,” 69 Boyz’ “Tootstie Roll” and Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo”, but Beyoncé’s 2003 percussion-driven party jam, which samples the Chi-Lites and showcasing a killer rap spot from Jay-Z, simply perfected it and proved to be the queen mother of the urban discos.


“Boys of Summer”
Dan Henley
#3 pop, December 1984 (Geffen)

The longtime Eagles’ vocalist and drummer echoes a repetitive Nu Wave riff over a lamenting Grateful Dead lyric chronicling mid life crisis and a sympathetic love letter for the ages (“My love for you will still be strong, after the boys of summer have gone”). It’s a pretty sad tune through and through, but Henley has a hint of optimism in his voice and the soothing ‘80’s rock is some of the era’s best.


#16 pop, June 1988 (Epic)

Exotic summer breezes, conga beats and tranquil smooth R&B alongside Sade Adu’s enchanting vocal deliveries heard on “Paradise” helped serenade the ears of many romantic nights in the summer of 1988.


“Carribean Queen ( No More Love on the Run)”
Billy Ocean
#1 pop, September 1984 (Jive)

Billy Ocean’s breakout pop/dance hit, detailing a story about a dazzling island girl, lit up the discos in ’84 and quickly turned up the ante on his music career. Thanks to the song’s producer and co-writer Robert “Mutt” Lunge, who had previous successes with AC/DC and Def Leppard, “Caribbean Queen” became synonymous with ‘80’s music and gave R&B an extra jolt of energy for MTV’s video airplay.


“Good Times”
#1 pop, July 1979 (Atlantic)

Just when disco was wrapping up its time in the public eye and the US economy still in peril, Chic pulled out a monster of a dance hit with “Good Times.” The song’s melody and juicy bass lines, highly sampled in iconic rap classics and borrowed on Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust,” proved to be more valuable than gold in the eyes of advanced musicians, but the ears of music lovers were finding too much relief in the getaway adages of the lyrics. On the album Risque’, “Good Times” was followed by the therapeutic smooth ballad “A Warm Summer Night.”
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About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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