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
Martha & The Vandellas' "(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave" won out over Sly & The Family Stone's "Hot Fun In The Summertime" with 60% of votes.
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.
"Summer Nights" - John Travolta and Olivia Newton John from Grease
Polar opposites, Grease's "Summer Nights" created an upset when it won out over Alice Cooper's classic song "School's Out" with 58% of votes.
On the sunnier side of things is the boppin' summer ode from 1978's Grease, "Summer Nights," which is all sweetness and no snarl. Star-crossed lovers Sandy and Danny (i.e., John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John) relate their beachy fling, which--alas--came to a sad ending when Sandy had to return home to her native Australia. Of course, we all know the big surprise that followed! In terms of the composition itself, it's hard to say if it's the "tell me more, tell me more" refrain or the "shoo bop bop" bridge that is the key element that gets even the grumpiest individual tapping their toes, but either way this is pure bubblegum magic.
Which summer song deserves to move onto the next round? Vote in the poll below, vote on other pairings (Round 2 voting ends July 28 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.
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