Summer is here: the grill is fired up, the sun is beating down, and all you want to do is take a dip in the pool. You need some tunes to go with your BBQs and late-night bonfires, though! Check out our ultimate playlist of the best summer songs to jam to this season.
- “Saturday in the Park” – Chicago
A great summer song, this tune conjures feelings of breezy love and relaxing weekends outdoors. Our favorite is this 1973 live version.
- “School’s Out” – Alice Cooper
The best part of summer is the end of the school year (unless you’re a parent, of course). Alice Cooper’s hard rock anthem has been the summer chant of schoolchildren for the past three decades and is an iconic summer song.
- “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” – Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
This poetic symphony is an ode to Springsteen’s adopted Jersey Shore hometown. The lyrics of carnival lights and beautiful women will have you wishing for the Jersey Shore, too.
- “Summer of ‘69” – Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams’ nostalgic hit is a classic 80s jam. Play this song at your next BBQ and everyone is bound to sing along.
- “California Gurls” – Katy Perry
This newer song is no less iconic for its young age—2010 brought us Katy Perry’s smash hit that spoke of a land where it’s always summer.
- “Under the Boardwalk” – The Drifters
A slow harmony by classic R&B group The Drifters, this song evokes images of slow walks on the beach and romantic summer nights.
- “Surfin’ USA” – The Beach Boys
It’s impossible to have a summer playlist without the Beach Boys; for many people, their music is synonymous with the summer season. “Surfin’ USA” makes us all wish we were in the ocean!
- “Dancing in the Streets” – Martha and the Vandellas
This song is a fun summer soul hit that will make you want to spring out of your desk and run into the street to dance.
- “Summer Girls” – LFO
This song was originally recorded as solely a demo for pop group LFO but became a smash hit. There’s something about the repetitive chorus: “for the summer, for the summer.”
- “Summertime” – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
This song might be the ultimate nostalgic summer jam. The song samples “Summer Madness” by Kool & the Gang and is a great song to dance to.