Every Single Song of Summer—From 1985 to the Present

Perrie Samotin
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Memorial Day came and went, which means it’s time to start thinking about which pop confection will be crowned the definitive Song of Summer.

While there hasn’t been a behemoth of “Call Me Maybe” or “Blurred Lines” proportion this year to make us want to slam our heads against a wall hop in a convertible and drive like we’re reenacting the opening credits of “The Hills,” there are a few buzzy contenders: Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson‘s “Uptown Funk, Jason Derulo‘s “Want You to Want Me,” Fetty Wap‘s “Trap Queen,” Omi‘s “Cheerleader,” and Walk the Moon‘s “Shut Up and Dance,” to name a few.

While thinking about which tune we’d be willing to hear every. single. place. we. go. for the next two-plus months, we also started thinking about what past tracks have nabbed the coveted Song of Summer crown. Turns out, the tradition dates back to the mid-1980s, when easy-rock artists like Tears for Fears, Huey Lewis and the News, and Steve Winwood reigned supreme.

In a wildly entertaining project, we’ve amassed every single Song of Summer since 1985 as compiled by Billboard, which ranked each song based on its performance on the Hot 100 chart during the season.

Read on and let us your favorite—or your least favorite (cough*Richard Marx*cough.)

1985: “Shout” by Tears for Fears

Also in the top 10 that summer: The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis & The News, “Sussudio” by Phil Collins, St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)” by John Parr.

1986: “Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna

Also in the top 10 that summer:  “Glory Of Love” by Peter Cetera, “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood, “Venus” by Bananarama

1987: “Alone” by Heart

Also in the top 10 that summer: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston, Head To Toe” by  Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, “Only In My Dreams” by Debbie Gibson

1988: ‘Roll With It” by Steve Winwood

Also in the top 10 that summer:  “Hold On To The Nights” by Richard Marx, “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses

1989: “Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx

Also in the top 10 that summer: “Toy Soldiers” by Martika, “Cold Hearted” by Paula Abdul, “Baby Don’t Forget My Number” by Milli Vanilli

1990:  “Vision of Love” by Mariah Carey

Also in the top 10 that summer: “Step By Step” by New Kids On The Block, “If Wishes Came True” by Sweet Sensation, “Hold On” by En Vogue

1991: “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams

Also in the top 10 that summer:  “Unbelievable” by EMF, “I Wanna Sex You Up” by Color Me Badd, “Summertime” by The Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff

1992: Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot

Also in the top 10 that summer: “End Of The Road” by Boyz II Men, “Baby-Baby-Baby” by TLC, “Under The Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers,  “Just Another Day” by Jon Secada

1993: “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by UB40

Also in the top 10 that summer: “Whoomp! (There It Is)” by Tag Team, “Weak” by  SWV,  That’s The Way Love Goes” by Janet Jackson

1994: “I Swear” by All-4-One

Also in the top 10 that summer: “Stay (I Missed You)” by Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories, “Don’t Turn Around” by Ace Of Base, “Fantastic Voyage” by Coolio, “Regulate” by Warren G & Nate Dogg

1995: “Waterfalls” by TLC

Also in the top 10 that summer: “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal, “Don’t Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days)”by Monica, “Run-Around” by “Blues Traveler

1996: “Macarena” by Los Del Rio


Also in the top 10 that summer: “Tha Crossroads” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, “C’mon N’ Ride It” by Quad City DJs, “Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey, “I Love You Always Forever” by Donna Lewis

1997: “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy & Faith Evans 

Also in the top 10 that summer: “MMMBop” by Hanson, “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” by Backstreet Boys, Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind, “Mo Money Mo Problems” by B.I.G., Puff Daddy & Mase

1998: “The Boy is Mine” by Brandy and Monica

Also in the top 10 that summer: “You’re Still The One” by  Shania Twain, “My Way” by Usher, “All My Life” by K-Ci & JoJo

1999: “Genie in a Bottle” by  Christina Aguilera

Also in the top 10 that summer: “If You Had My Love” by  Jennifer Lopez, “Bills, Bills, Bills” by Destiny’s Child, “I Want It That Way” by Backstreet Boys, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin

2000: “Bent” by Matchbox 20

Also in the top 10 that summer: “It’s Gonna Be Me” by ‘N Sync, “Everything You Want” by Vertical Horizon, “I Wanna Know” by Joe“Higher” by Creed

2001: “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” by Eve feat. Gwen Stefani

Also in the top 10 that summer: “Drops Of Jupiter” by Train, “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!)” by Blu Cantrell, “Bootylicious” by Destiny’s Child,  “Fallin” by Alicia Keys

2002: “Hot in Herre” by Nelly

Also in the top 10 that summer: “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne, “Without Me” by Eminem, ” “Foolish” by Ashanti

2003: “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z


Also in the top 10 that summer: “Magic Stick” by Lil Kim feat. 50 Cent, “Right Thurr” by  Chingy, “This Is The Night” by Clay Aiken

2004: “Confessions Part II” by Usher

Also in the top 10 that summer: “The Reason” by Hoobastank,  “Lean Back” by Terror Squad, “Turn Me On” by Kevin Lyttle

2005:  “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey

Also in the top 10 that summer: “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani, “Don’t Cha” by The Pussycat Dolls feat. Busta Rhymes, “Pon De Replay” by Rihanna

2006: “Promiscuous” by Nelly Fertado

Also in the top 10 that summer: “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira, “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley, “It’s Goin’ Down” by Yung Joc

2007:  “Umbrella” by Rihanna

Also in the top 10 that summer: “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie, “Party Like A Rockstar” by  Shop Boyz, “Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” by T-Pain feat. Yung Joc

2008: “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry

Also in the top 10 that summer: “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis,  “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay, “Disturbia” by Rihanna

2009: “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas

Also in the top 10 that summer: “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift, “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” by Pitbull, “Lovegame” by Lady Gaga

2010: “California Gurls” by Katy Perry 

Also in the top 10 that summer: “Airplanes” by B.o.B feat. Hayley Williams, “OMG” by Usher feat. will.i.am., “Cooler Than Me” by Mike Posner

2011: “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO

Also in the top 10 that summer: “Rolling In The Deep” by Adele, Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj, “The Edge Of Glory” by Lady Gaga

2012: “Call Me Maybe” Carly Rae Jepsen

Also in the top 10 that summer: “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye feat. Kimbra, “Lights” by Ellie Goulding, “We Are Young” by Fun.

2013: “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell and T.I.

Also in the top 10 that summer: “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk feat. Pharrell, “We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus

2014: “Fancy” Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX

Also in the top 10 that summer: Rude by “Magic!” “Problem” by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea, “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith, “Am I Wrong” by Nico and Vinz, “Summer” by Calvin Harris.

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