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Top 10 Summer Anthems


Perhaps the greatest thing about summer, besides the possibility of drinking in the sun at noon judgment-free, is the outdoor musical festival. You get several bands, Vitamin D, and the afore-mentioned unshameful daytime drinking all in one. Unfortunately, the tickets can also be rather expensive and the masses rather obnoxious. So if you are feeling misanthropic or are just plain recession broke, your best option may instead be a jaunt through the iTunes music store to download a summer-worthy playlist.

What is summer music? Well, I’ll tell you what it’s not. Summer music is not anything by Arcade Fire or Tool. Summer music is not anything that seems as though it could accompany a French film about a curiously charming coquette of a waitress and a writer’s-blocked young depressive. It doesn’t need to be particularly good, have indie cred, or even mention the beach. If you want to be reductive, consider whether a song seems as though it could have a girl in a tank top jumping on her bed or a slobbering dog hanging its head out the window of a roadtripping pickup truck in its music video. If so, it can be summer music. So in the name of all that is young, bouncy, and popsicle-stained, here are our picks for the Top 10 Summer Anthems.

1. “California Love” by 2Pac
East coast, west coast, who cares? This song is to the beach what tequila is to a margarita.

2. “Roadhouse Blues” by The Doors
It’s impossible to be blue when you listen to this classic Jim Morrison masterpiece.

3. “Paper Planes” by M.I.A.
Sticks and stones and weed and… the beach?

4. “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynard Skynard
I’m pretty sure it’s summer all the time in Alabama, but then again, I haven’t crossed the Mason-Dixon line in quite a while.

5. “Calabria” by Enur
A popular cross-genre club anthem that can make it seem like summer regardless of season.

6. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones
But if you try sometimes, you might just find, you get what you need to deal with the mosquito bites and heat.

7. “Tush” by ZZ Top
In this song, old ZZ sings, “I’m just lookin’ for some tush.” Yeah, you and seventy-five percent of the men cruising the beach every summer Z.

8. “Life is a Highway” Tom Cochrane
This is just one of those songs that begs raising a Budweiser, Miller, or other equally crappy American lager and singing

9. “I Shot the Sheriff” by Bob Marley
Any beach playlist that eschews Bob Marley is a bit suspect in my book, if not downright oblivious to its genre.

10. “No Games” by Serani
The first several times I heard this song, I was convinced that Serani was singing “I just wanna say, ‘Hey, hey!'” He wasn’t and in fact it’s pretty damn difficult deciphering what the hell he is singing half the time, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t a quintessential beach song.

About TracyOneill

Tracy is a freelance writer based out of Brooklyn obsessed with nutritional supplements, mediocre music, audacious (to put it politely) apparel, literary giants, and perfecting the fine art of the Sunday Bloody Mary.

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  1. Chase

    June 12, 2009 at 1:38 am

    For the ones you missed…

    Party Like a Rock Star – Sprung Monkey. Yep, this one rocks!

    Fast Love – George Michael. I’m the only guy who thinks he’s cool enough to rock this one with a straight face. You haven’t lived until you’ve gotten a strip tease to this song.

    Last but not least…

    Mister Big Time – Bon Jovi. One of the coolest tracks on the planet and the inside joke Mike Stoute could never get.

    Yep called a friend to do this for me, yada yada yada. Party like a rock star kick a little ass!

    If anyone would like a good laugh from the past.

    • MikeStoute

      June 12, 2009 at 2:41 am

      and Bon Jovi is from NJ… he he.. Good choices buddy! I love that song “Party Like A Rock Star”

  2. Li

    June 13, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Pitbull – “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”

  3. The_Dude

    June 15, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    “Summertiiiiiiime …and the livins easy…” Sublime

  4. Kevin M

    July 6, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    I’m sorry, but a list of summertime anthems, without SummerTime by Will Smith????? That’s the schiznizzle

  5. Karl

    July 16, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    How the heck can you leave off “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves – that was voted like #5 by Rolling stone and Spin for Summer tunes if I recall a couple of years ago and dont forget “Santeria” by Sublime…great summer tune….

  6. Matt

    December 24, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    And for some songs none of you have probably heard before, from down under, check these out for summer anthems.

    28 Days – Whats the Deal
    Thirsty Merc – In the Summertime

    they epitomise summer culture

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