It’s hard to say if whatever tune comes on the radio the most this summer will actually endure the test of time, but we can at least say that these classics made a lasting mark on pop culture history.
(Note: all of the songs fell into Billboard’s top 10 highest charting songs of the summers of their respective years.)
1965- “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”– The Rolling Stones
One of the most ageless bops of the ‘60’s, blues rock went pop on this memorable hit.
1975- “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”– Elton John and Kiki Dee
A legendary duet for the prime era of smooth soft pop.
1979- “My Sharona”– The Knack
The one-hit wonder to end all one-hit wonders.
1983- “Every Breath You Take”– The Police
Whether viewed as passionate love or stalker confessions, it’s a legendary performance from the band.
1984- “When Doves Cry”– Prince
One of the first major hit songs without a baseline, it doesn’t lack anything for it; if anything, it adds.
1988- “Sweet Child O’ Mine”– Guns N’ Roses
Axl Rose’s powerhouse vocals exploded onto the scene with this “Appetite for Destruction” cut.
1995- “Kiss from A Rose”– Seal
A pitstop for every night at a karaoke bar, no matter the crowd.
1999- “I Want It That Way”– Backstreet Boys
The boy band classic that inspired a generation of road trip sing-alongs… (quietly groans).
2002- “Without Me”– Eminem
One of Em’s biggest hits continued the censorship battle of hardcore hip-hop vs. a conservative older audience of politicians and teenagers’ parents.
2003- “Crazy in Love”– Beyonce feat. Jay-Z
So good you could even pin the two stars’ future marriage on its success (ok, maybe a stretch).
2006- “Crazy”– Gnarls Barkley
Jam back to CeeLo Green’s soulful psychological introspection anthem.
2008- “I Kissed a Girl”– Katy Perry
About as edgy as whipped cream, it catapulted the strawberry swirl of a pop star into fame in an instant.
2009- “You Belong With Me”– Taylor Swift
Maybe it didn’t create the legion of Taylor fans, but it certainly made them multiply like rabbits.
2014- “Problem”– Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea
Return to a more loose and carefree time in her catalogue.
2017- “That’s What I Like”– Bruno Mars
Bruno ruled the airwaves not so long ago, bringing back the funky soul swag of the ‘90’s.
(A public playlist called “Summer Songs Throughout the Years” created by Forrest Irvine is now available on Spotify!)