Perfect Tunes for your “summer send-off soiree”
Phew! It seems like we’ve finally passed the sweltering summer temperatures. While I’m not quite ready for summer to be over, at least in Ohio, it appears that we can now look forward to cool, crisp nights and gathering around the fire pits. With the humidity a bit more under control for the rest of the season, we can return to inviting the neighborhood and friends over for some end of season fun. It’s time to get off of our smartphones and away from our computers! We’ve only got a month or so left of the summer season, why not enjoy it? Planning a gathering doesn’t have to be difficult either. Simply hold a potluck style party. That way everyone is responsible for a certain dish, alleviating you from doing all of the heavy lifting. As the host, you will have to handle creating a playlist of songs perfect for your party. Well, no need to stress on that front, we’ve put together your perfect summer music playlist!
We’ve included everything in this playlist–the classics, the hits, and even some singles you may not have heard before. As I doubt you’ll use all of these tracks, I know that these will definitely help you find inspiration. Remember, your summer song playlist is important– it will set the tone, pace and overall atmosphere for your party. If you’re looking for a subtle, relaxing party, dance and techno will probably not be the genre for you. Even though we’ve included a mix of today’s hits and past classics, you won’t be finding Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” single on this one–even though he’s one of my favorites!
*TIP: Be careful not to be biased in your song selection. Just because you have a love for polka doesn’t mean everyone does…Also, while we mention a few classics below, try to stay away from the over-the-top cheesy summer songs like “Summer of ‘69” by Bryan Adams or “School’s Out For Summer” by Alice Cooper. Those two could benefit from some time off.
Unless you’re going for a certain theme, keep the music mixed. You can create a great summer song playlist with a variety of different genres and still fit your party’s mood.
Classic Summer Songs
It wouldn’t be an actual summer music playlist if we didn’t credit the artists who paved the way. Those of you who think Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” was an original title and not a summer homage you are sorely mistaken, not to mention strangely sheltered… Here are some of the summer classics we’ve all heard!
Beach Boys – “I Get Around” (1964)
No summer music playlist would be a signature, seasonal soundtrack without the original boys of summer. The Beach Boys made their career off of singing about beach parties, surfing, and good times. They even have a whole CD devoted to their greatest hits about summer!
Mungo Jerry – “In the Summertime” (1970)
Here is the perfect song to kick off any summer music playlist. British pop-blues band Mungo Jerry found success with this summer celebration selling over 30 million copies. As soon as the first melodies hit your ears this catchy single is immediately stuck in your head. You’ll even find yourself whistling or humming it without realizing! Over forty years old, this classic carefree song is one of the highest selling singles of all time.
Don Henley – “Boys of Summer” (1984)
One of Henley’s most well known songs has been covered countless of times, and is a perfect song for the cool summer nights. Following his success with The Eagles, Henley went solo and continued to release chart topping singles. This love-lost, end of season reflection is the perfect track for active, dance parties as well as your calming, social gatherings.
Jimmy Buffet - “Margaritaville” (1977)
Buffet wrote this song after discovering the drink down in Austin, TX and as a reflection on Key West’s sudden tourist takeover. I’m usually not a betting person but I know for sure it’d be pretty difficult to find someone who doesn’t know this single! Here’s a great laid-back song that will have you and your guests singing the tune all night!
The Drifters – “Under the Boardwalk” (1964)
Here’s a song synonymous with a passion for the seaside. It’s a classic that many know the words to but are unfamiliar with the group themselves. The Drifters had their fair share of lead singers, with Ben E. King, Rudy Lewis and Johnny Moore who was the actual vocalist for this hit single. This beach hit has been covered by many with one of the most recent covers performed during the NJ Hurricane Sandy Benefit where Jimmy Fallon, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Steven Tyler.
Bob Marley & The Wailers-“Sun is Shining” (1971)
It’s almost entirely impossible to create an ultimate summer song playlist and not include the late and iconic Bob Marley. This reggae artist helped bring a new genre of music to the masses singing messages about peace and loving one another instead of resorting to violence. Even though Marley has been dead for over two decades his songs live on, spreading his message for peace for generations to come.
Chicago - “Saturday in the Park” (1972)
The flourishing horns, harmonies, and light melodies make this memorable single a great addition to any summer song playlist. According to one of the band members singer/songwriter Robert Lamm was inspired after seeing a group of steel drummers, singers, and dancers performing in Central Park on July 4th. It’s a great track to liven up the mood and get people dancing or a great way to kick off a party!
The Beatles – “Here Comes the Sun” (1969)
This just happens to be one of the quartet’s many gems as you or I could probably take some considerable time going through the list. It’s got everything you need in a song, the dreamy melody, catchy guitar, smooth singing and great harmonies. Top that off with lyrics basically saying no matter how bad it gets it’ll always get better and you can see why it’d be a great addition to any playlist.
Summer’s Chart Toppers and Popular Singles
Throughout the past few years, there have been singles released in the early summer months that dominated the charts for the entire season. Others are classics overlooked by some and cherished by others. You’ll still be able to pick and choose through the variety of songs below as their only common trait is being released in the last decade.
Weezer – “Island In The Sun” (2001)
Before singing about Beverly Hills and how they have the “Magic” in them, Weezer kept churning out catchy singles while staying low-key. Their commercial success came with their single “Island in the Sun.” This catchy single makes us all yearn for a trip to Hawaii or somewhere else tropical, and relaxing. While we continue to save our change we at least have this breezy song filled with good times for motivation. “Island in the Sun” is a great summer song and addition to any summer party playlist.
The Ataris – “In This Diary” (2003)
Little known pop-punk artists The Ataris rose to MTV and commercial status when they released So Long, Astoria which was a nod to “The Goonies.” One of their first singles was this nostalgic radio rock sensation, “In This Diary.” This song spanned generations bringing every individual back to their childhood summers. Even if you don’t choose it for your summer music playlist, still give it a listen and return to your favorite summer memories.
Daft Punk – “Get Lucky” (2013)
The first tantalizing track off of their latest release Random Access Memories, Daft Punk kicked off this summer season perfectly with their hypnotic melodies complementing Pharell’s vocals without fail. This catchy toe-tapper took over the radio and the charts hitting the top ten in 32 countries. With the nostalgic disco era music and the smooth vocals this song is perfect addition to your summer music playlist. If you’ve been following them since they release “One More Time” this is definitely one track you can overlook!
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “Can’t Hold Us” ft. Ray Dalton (2013)
Probably one of this year’s biggest up-and-coming groups Macklemore and Ryan Lewis take the independent music scene to new heights. The track’s title is perfect as nothing seems to be able to stand in Macklemore & Co.’s way as they churn out hit after hit. For those of you looking for an upbeat gathering be sure to add this to your summer music playlist. It will only be a matter of seconds before your guests are clapping and singing along!
Justin Timberlake – “Summer Love” (2006)
Another hit single from past summer seasons is this pop hit “Summer Love.” Off of JT’s follow-up to Justified this single was just one of many to contribute to his success. Since going solo Timberlake has show that he definitely had the talent and potential to surpass the “boy band” stigma. Enjoy this upbeat single on your summer music playlist!
Zac Brown Band – “Free” (2008)
For me, it wouldn’t be a true summer music playlist without a little hint of country! Of course it’s debatable with Zac Brown Band as “Free” and many of their other singles cross many genres, appealing to a wider audience. This single in particular is an amazing seasonal pick as the laid back folkish melody and harmonies create a perfect song about finding that perfect person.
Jimmy Eat World – “The Authority Song” (2001)
Here’s a track many of you may not be familiar with. While the rock band Jimmy Eat World went platinum after their commercial success with “The Middle,” Bleed American (later changed to Jimmy Eat World) also contained this upbeat hidden gem. Combining a catchy rhythm, dual gender vocals, and lyrics saying, “I want to live my life with no care” this track could definitely be a great addition to your summer song playlist.
Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe” (2012)
It’s amazing what the Internet has done for certain new artists. Little known singer Carly Rae Jepsen gave viral a whole new meaning as she dominated the greater half of last year. With all corners of pop culture covering her song in one way or another. Still, it’s one of those songs you reluctantly find yourself singing when you’re alone in the car, only to realize you have an audience of cars all staring at you as you rock out. Not that I’ve ever found myself in a situation like that…
Summer’s Perfect Soundtrack Wrap-Up
As you can see there are plenty of great songs you can add to your summer music playlist for your next gathering or party. From the relaxing, cheerful classics to today’s catchiest songs this collection can fuel your backyard barbecue through the night! Although I have a slight bias towards country music I tried my best to keep it assorted. That is what’s great about making playlists, all are unique based on your preferences, and no two will ever be exactly the same. Feel free to put together your ultimate summer song playlist; I’d love to see who makes it onto yours!
Did any of these popular tracks make it onto your latest summer music playlist? Let us know what your favorite summer tracks are!