Summer is here, and the time is right for dancing in the streets. But what's the best summer song to soundtrack such activities? We here at Y! Music decided to hold a mega-poll to answer that (sun)burning summer question: a no-holds-barred tournament to determine the best summer anthem of all time.
After lots of heated (pun intended) debate, we've selected 32 of the most memorable summer songs ever, pitting them against each other in a winner-takes-all bracket. Scroll down to vote for this match-up!
“(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave” – Martha & The Vandellas
A huge hit in 1963 and one of the first and most visible proponents of the so-called “Motown Sound”—a throbbing bass, highly danceable rhythm, and a flat-out good time—“Heat Wave” is one of the all-time greatest hits by the legendary Martha & The Vandellas. Penned by the estimable songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, the track reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, received a Grammy nomination, and essentially set itself in stone as one of the all-time greatest of summer hits. While it’s been covered by a stunning array of artists over the years—from Phil Collins and Bruce Springsteen to even Whoopie Goldberg—there’s no denying that the original itself, as the cliché would have it, is still the greatest.
"Hot Fun In The Summertime” – Sly & The Family Stone
Recorded in 1969 and released at perhaps the best possible moment in this legendary band’s career—shortly after their rousing performance at the historic Woodstock Festival—this anthemic call-to-action typified the band’s cross-genre appeal and approached the very top of both the pop and R&B charts. Take Sly’s uniquely rhythmic approach to pop and throw in three absolutely emotion-laden terms—hot fun, and summertime—and you’ve got a hit record by design. A memorable track that hasn’t aged one iota in the intervening years.
Which summer song deserves to move onto the next round? Vote in the poll below, vote on other pairings (Round 1 voting ends July 23 at 6 PM PT), tweet out your choices using the hashtag #YSummerSong, and hit the comments to tell us about all the great summer songs we forgot to include.