For any summer party venue, I enjoy a mix of classic and modern songs.
10. The Drifters – “Under the Boardwalk”
This lighthearted 1964 pop song back tells of a private date under a boardwalk, and its Latin American rhythm brings all swimsuit-wearing partygoers to the dance floor.
9. Martha and the Vandellas – “Heatwave”
Back in the ’60s, when Martha and the Vandellas was a popular staple of Motown’s Gordy Label, they released “Heatwave,” which boasts a double meaning of summertime weather and an impassioned love affair.
8. P.J. Harvey – “Dress”
P.J. Harvey’s infectiously danceable 1991 single shows that summer parties aren’t only about soaking up the sun. For some it involves putting on their sexiest dress and seeking some summer loving.
7. Eddie Cochran – “Summertime Blues”
Eddie Cochran was 19 when he recorded it back in 1958, and its theme of adolescent angst resonated with his teenage fans and made him a breakout star. Today’s youth won’t find it too shabby either.
6. Florence and the Machine – “Drumming Song”
With her seductive siren voice and a diverse instrumental collaboration, Florence Welch evokes a sense of euphoria in this entrancing melody. A perfect song for getting caught up in the excitement of summer.
5. Donna Summer – “Hot Stuff”
The Queen of Disco’s irresistibly catchy tune was a No. 1 hit single back in 1979. Though it’s about looking for a one-night stand (making it a potential theme song for your own steamy summer fling), it’s also not bad for a hot day, when you’re just looking for a tan.
4. Lana Del Rey – “Diet Mountain Dew”
This song about a short-lived fling between a teen girl and a bad boy conjures images of feeling the wind in your hair while riding a white Pontiac through New York City with the top down.
3. The Ramones – “Rockaway Beach”
Inspired by the real Rockaway Beach in New York, where Joey Ramone grew up, this carefree song takes you to a place of hot pavement, disco music, and a rollicking good time.
2. Kate Bush – “The Big Sky”
With her ethereal voice and upbeat tune, Kate Bush shines a light on the simple pleasure of lying on a beach towel, gazing at the sky and finding shapes in the clouds.
1. Mick Jagger and David Bowie – “Dancing in the Streets”
Originally recorded by Martha and the Vandellas in 1964, “Dancing in the Street” been covered by many artists, including Mick Jagger and David Bowie. Their vivacious energy (and memorably campy music video) makes their cover my personal favorite.