This content has been archived. It may no longer be relevant

As we head into Summertime, there’s nothing better than rolling down the car windows on a Summer’s night and cranking a great tune. Recently, Parade came out with their “80 Best Summer Songs of All Time,” which got me to thinking about my favorites.

Well, listing 80 would be quite a feat, so I’ll grace you with my top 5, which are literally coming right off the top of my head. So, I’m sure when I’m done with this journal entry, 10 more will immediately come to mind.

The Cars – Magic 

The Cars – Magic 

Just because a song mentions “Summer,” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great Summer song, but nothing spells out Summer better a song with lyrics that start out with:

“Summer, it turns me upside down
Summer, summer, summer
It’s like a merry-go-round”

The Cars – Magic 

From 1984 The Cars’Magic, from the album Heartbeat City, checks-off all of the great Summer song boxes. And it doesn’t hurt that it was release in May of that year. Just in time to get us into the Summer mood.

Thomas Dolby – She Blinded Me With Science

Thomas Dolby – She Blinded Me With Science

Thomas Dolby’s She Blinded Me With Science is from the 1982 album The Golden Age Of Wireless and was released as a single in the US in 1983 where it reached number 5 on the Billboard Top 100 chart. It peaked in May, which is probably why I heard it on the radio continuously over that Summer. Incidentally, many have Thomas Dolby on their One-Hit Wonder’s lists, but check out his discography and you’ll find many gems that hit charts outside of the US.

Howard Jones – Things Can Only Get Better

Howard Jones – Things Can Only Get Better

I’m seeing a bit of a pattern here, because in May of 1985, Things Can Only Get Better by Howard Jones peaked on the charts, same month as our first two songs. So, is it possible that fabulous Summer songs are released right before Summer starts?

The Alarm – Rain In The Summertime

The Alarm – Rain In The Summertime

As with Magic by The Cars mentioning “Summer” in the lyrics, just because Rain In The Summertime by The Alarm has “Summer” in its title isn’t why this song is one of my favorites. It just brings me back to a time when life was easy and carefree. (Or at least that’s how I remember it.) Incidentally, it peaked on the charts in January of 1988 debunking my “May release date” theory.

The Romantics – One In A Million 

The Romantics – One In A Million 

A little after the start of MTV, was a show for those of us not lucky enough to have cable TV called MV3. It aired for a couple of years in the early 80s and played live music and videos. One video that I specifically remember seeing is One In A Million  by The Romantics. Best known for their song “Talking in Your Sleep,” which was released in September of 1983 (and will be on a future entry called “Best Fall Songs of All Time”), this one was the follow-up single and peaked on the charts in April of 1984.

The Style Council – My Ever Changing Moods

The Style Council – My Ever Changing Moods

And coming in as a honorable mention is My Ever Changing Moods by The Style Council peaking on the charts in June of 1984. I’m pretty much sure it was never played on the radio as The Style Council wasn’t very popular in the US, but I must have seen the video that Summer which started my love affair for the group.

Best Summer Songs of All Time
Tagged on: