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!
"Vacation" – The Go-Go's
In an unexpected upset, The Go-Go's' "Vacation" beat out Madonna's "Holiday" with 56% of votes. Despite having won over one of the biggest pop star of the last few decades, they face an even larger challenge against one of the most iconic bands of the last century. Will "Vacation" be cancelled?
Long before Katy Perry came along, Belinda, Jane, Charlotte, Kathy, and Gina were the ultimate California gurls. L.A.'s feisty ladies of the '80s made history as the first all-female band that both wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to hit number one on the Billboard album chart, with 1981's Beauty and the Beat — and they continued to break new ground when 1982's "Vacation," which was a top 10 hit, became the first cassette single (or "cassingle"). The effervescent song has been included on countless summer mixtapes ever since, and with good reason: It truly captures the sound of carefree Cali summers in the bopping, mall-hopping '80s.
“Surfin’ U.S.A.” – The Beach Boys
After destroying every competitor with the largest margin of all match-ups in the first two rounds, The Beach Boys struggled in Round 3, winning over the surprisingly powerful "Summer Nights" from 'Grease' with just 57% of votes—their narrowest margin yet. Will their downward trend continue against The Go-Go's?
Few can argue the legendary status of the Beach Boys, and it’s likely those who’ll be doing the talking remain in awe of early track “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” the 1963 hit which helped launch the band’s career and helped the band ascend to the very top of pop’s pantheon. Borrowing liberally from Chuck Berry’s earlier classic “Sweet Little Sixteen,” the song name-dropped some of the very best Stateside surfing beaches, oozed nothing but good cheer and good times, and helped establish the calling card for a younger generation looking to bust out of the straight-laced conformity they felt—rightly or wrongly—had been laid out for them by their well-meaning but, frankly, fuddy-duddy parents. An inescapable treasure of the ‘60s, “Surfin’ U.S.A.” signals that summer means fun like virtually no other track in pop history.
Which summer song deserves to move onto the next round? Vote in the poll below, vote on other pairings (Round 3 voting ends August 7 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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