The 50 best summer songs: Hit the beach with these summertime tunes

The sun is out, the beach is a bus ride away, and you live in New York City. All you need is our best summer songs playlist and you’re good to go.

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Photograph: Ilyashenko Oleksiy/Shutterstock


We’re going to make an outlandish claim here. We’re willing to bet you love at least 98% of the songs on our list of the best summer songs. Why? Because the nature of the perfect summer song is that it makes you feel good: It lifts the heart, puts a little sweat under the armpits, makes you feel like the city might just be yours for the taking today.

Of course, the classics are represented; America’s lords of summer, the Beach Boys make a high showing, as do Motown scorchers Martha & the Vandellas. You can get your groove on with the likes of Nelly and Kool and the Gang, or blush along to coy indie hits by the Smiths and Belle and Sebastian. There’s blistering karaoke drama from Meat Loaf, and (of course) the cast of Grease, plus mellow cuts from Bob Marley and Kanye West. In short, we have your summer soundtrack covered—complete with a Spotify playlist. Now get to it, New York! Turn it up and let’s make this the best summer ever!

RECOMMENDED: Summer in New York guide


View the 50 best summer songs >>


Users say

10 comments
Martha Johnson
Martha Johnson

The real kick comes from seeing how good a song makes people feel, not making a "best ever list". Still it wouldn't hurt when you do see your song in there with some of these epic summer hits. I sang the original lead vocal on 'Martha and the Muffins' song ECHO BEACH and here it is 33 years later and the song endures. That's satisfaction. MJ

jh
jh

where is--- Surf City by Jan and Dean, and Margaritaville by Buffett. also, Day of the Locusts by B Dylan. i could only read down to # 47. TONY website is always technically F*&^% up

Bill Blagger
Bill Blagger

Did I miss Echo Beach? Did I miss Echo Beach? So far away in time.

Paul Czekaj
Paul Czekaj

Hi my name is Paul Czekaj, Singer/songwriter from New Jersey. I've just released a new music video called "At the Beach." It shows all the fun and interesting things one can do where the sand meets ocean. I hope you enjoy it and add it to your beach list. here's the link: http://youtu.be/yd93dZXatWk Thanks!

Jen
Jen

Well, I must say I was rather disappointed to see Sinatra's "Summer Wind" omitted from this list as well as not one Jimmy Buffet song being included. And have NO clue why that Meatloaf song is on a summertime song top 50 list. However, you redeemed yourselves by including my favorite band of all time...The Ramones. Oh, did "Hazy, Lazy, Crazy Days of Summer" by Nat King Cole make the list? I forgot if it was on here, if not then that should have been on here too.

Jack Watters
Jack Watters

"Summertime" by The Sundays is better than about 20 songs on this list. Perfect summer pop song!

Tammy sharpe
Tammy sharpe

Thanks it really helped! We as at a bar and grill and a band was taken requests for songs to sing or play!!! I love surf city, NC;P

Tim A
Tim A

@Martha Johnson  Really? That is on most of my summer playlists. Not sure if you are still in Toronto but they play you a lot on Sundays on 102.1. From 11-5 they go back to the glory days. 


This list is pretty junk anyway. 


TONY summer songs playlist on Spotify

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