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Bryan Adams | Photo: Marco Maas, by CCA 2.0 Generic
Bryan Adams | Photo: Marco Maas, by CCA 2.0 Generic
Jan Hamerský -

10 Coolest Summer Hits

Recording a summer hit is not rocket science. The trick is not to let it turn into a disaster that you can't get out of your head. The following top ten shows that it can be done genuinely and without cliches.

1. Here Comes the Sun – Beatles

A purely rhetorical question: could anyone else be at the very top other than a band that (quite seriously and rightfully) claimed to be more famous than Jesus?

2. Summertime – Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

Perhaps everyone has heard it in a fancy restaurant at some point. But few suits realise that the lullaby comes from Gershwin's jazz opera Porgy and Bess and that a black maid sings it to her master's child.

3. Sun is Shining – Bob Marley

What could be better than lying on the beach on a humid summer evening and listening to Bob Marley? Who would have thought that this is a song about the sun shining and people suffering?

4. Water No Get Enemy – Fela Kuti

A Nigerian cop wanted to arrest Kuti for growing weed. Kuti ate the joint and promptly told him he would happily go to jail and wait for it to come out. The officer let him go. And it became an Afrobeat classic.

5. Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams

Adams references the Beatles, Foreigner and Bruce Springsteen but that is not what the song is about. And it only seems to be about the memory of the summer of 1969. No disrespect to Adams' sexual preferences.

6. Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince

Long before Fresh Prince from Bel Air conquered Hollywood, he was a kick-ass rapper and a party animal. And why wouldn't he party, when he could perform like this from a deck chair with a drink in his hand?

7. Holiday – Vampire Weekend

Double retro. Relaxed sixties and carefree rococo fit together perfectly, despite the two-hundred-year age difference.

8. Jacqueline – Franz Ferdinand

Originally known by the more apt title "Better On Holiday". Why the Scottish indie-rock band ended up naming this pop song about a night out after the girl behind the counter will probably forever remain shrouded in an alcoholic haze.

9. Summer in the City – Loving Spoonful

The 1960s hit contrasts excruciatingly hot summer days full of "people looking half dead" with cool and exciting nights when the city suddenly comes to life. This mood change is also reflected in the changing major-minor key. Most city people can probably relate.

10. Paradise City – Guns N‘ Roses

The Guns have been gone for a quarter of a century (thanks to someone), although they did try their best at Glastonbury in 2023. But I will not be surprised if "Paradise City" remains the unofficial anthem of motorcycle rallies for another twenty-five years. It's well deserved.

And what do you consider the best summer hit? Let us know in the comments.


Tagy top 10 summer hit

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Jan Hamerský
Born in 1988. When he was fifteen and deciding what to do next, writing was the obvious choice. At nineteen, he changed his mind. It seemed to him that it is history that writes stories. Then he found out that history is written by winners—he joined the losers. He majored in h…