Back in early June, I wrote about my favorite summer songs of all time knowing well and good that I’d be back again with another group. In fact, it was just weeks later when these songs below came to mind. Although, I did find another great article, this time, from TimeOut.com with their “60 essential songs for your summer playlist” and I do agree with them that “It takes more than repeating the season’s name to become an all-timer summer classic.”

So, as Summer is coming to an end, I hope these bring a little bit of nostalgia of those warm summer days.

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Summertime

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Summertime

Actually, I’m not exactly sure what I was thinking in my June post as Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince has to be at the tops of the greatest summer songs of all time. This 1991 classic samples the song Summer Madness by Kool & the Gang. Rolling Stone magazine placed it at number 12 in its 2020 “Best Summer Songs of All Time”, saying, “Over a funky laid back beat, a young Will Smith does a fantastic Rakim impression over a sample of Kool & the Gang’s “Summer Madness” and drops a sweet ode to hanging out and driving around his native Philly: “Honking at the honey in front of you with the light eyes/ She turn around to see what you beeping at/ It’s like the summer’s a natural aphrodisiac.” It’s still hip-hop’s finest summer celebration.”

Third Eye Blind – Bonfire

Third Eye Blind – Bonfire

In this 2009 song, taken from the album Ursa Major , Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind sings:

A little early in spring, a bonfire ring

Third Eye Blind – Bonfire

I’m taking the lyrics literally (as I normally do) because Jenkins told the site Alternative Addiction “Bonfire is about sex and in particular when a relationship starts to thaw, it’s very erotic and it’s all about desire I guess.” But to me, just the imagery of the word “bonfire” screams summers at the beach around a bonfire. Ok, maybe a stretch…but such a great song!

Done Henley – Sunset Grill

Done Henley – Sunset Grill

From his 1984 album Building the Perfect BeastSunset Grill is a song by Don Henley which peaked at number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1985. The title and lyrics reference the Sunset Grill, a hamburger restaurant (at the time) located at 7439 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.  The original Sunset Grill was open until 1997 when the building was torn down, rebuilt and reopened with the same iconic name. 

Survivor – Summer Nights

Survivor – Summer Nights

Once again, let’s go to the lyrics:

Girl it always seems about September
That’s the time, again I remember the lights
And all the fun of those summer nights
Young and innocent and livin’ fast
Didn’t know enough to know
That a summer love can’t last
Can’t last

Survivor – Summer Nights

There’s nothing worse than unrequited love especially when the summer is over and all you have is a memory (how sad). Survivor hit it right on the head with Summer Nights from the 1981 album Premonition. It was a minor hit for them, but definitely on the top of my favorites.

Katrina & The Waves – Walking On Sunshine

Katrina & The Waves – Walking On Sunshine

As the TimeOut article noted “Katrina and the Waves’ 1985 radio hit isn’t literally about summer at all; it’s about the excitement of awaiting a visit from someone you love (and the thrill of knowing that he or she loves you in the first place). But the song’s irresistible feel-good energy suggests that summer is less a season than a state of mind that can be tapped into anytime—even, in the original music video, on a cold and cloudy London day.”

Although, let’s face it, how can you not without thinking about bright sunny days.

More of the Best Summer Songs of All Time