Everybody has their quintessential summer jams to listen to, but here is my all-encompassing list of the greatest summer classics for the last 20 years. This playlist can apply to each and every aspect of summer, so use this as your personal guide to relive the memories of summer 2013.
1. “Graduate” by Third Eye Blind
This single from Third Eye Blind’s self-titled debut album serves as a reminder to us that, whether it be high school or college, graduating is a highly anticipated event. The song does not discuss much as far as dense subject matter is concerned; Stephan Jenkins just really wants to graduate. “Graduate” is always a great song to play on that last day of school or as a motivator to study for your summer classes.
2. “All The Small Things” by Blink 182
Back in 2000, Blink 182 ruled the airwaves. For one, they ushered punk rock into the new millennium. Second, this song specifically is one that can bring back fond memories of summer romances that are long past. In the midst of all the constants that control our lives, be it working a job or taking classes, those little reminders and surprises that loved ones make for us can be a very welcome distraction.
3. “Stronger” by Kanye West
Released in the summer of 2007, Kanye West brings us back to a time when George W. Bush was president, when Klondike Bar had a brilliant marketing scheme and when Daft Punk was still relatively unappreciated in the American music industry. “Graduation” was one of West’s most successful albums, and it was a foundational to his trailblazing career that has already changed the rap game for years to come.
4. “Scar Tissue” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
A crucial aspect of any summer playlist, “Scar Tissue” embodies the season. The lyrics can make anyone envision sunny days and relaxing poolside. The mellow guitar riffs provided by John Frusciante and the smooth vocals from Anthony Kiedis are the perfect combination for an easygoing jam such as this.
5. “Knee Deep” by the Zac Brown Band featuring Jimmy Buffett
One can never go wrong with a little bit of the Zac Brown Band. This collaboration with Jimmy Buffett is the go-to song for me whenever cruising out to Pillsbury Crossing with the top down on a Jeep. Buffett adds an element of Caribbean flavor and the Zac Brown Band perfects it, making it a must-have on a soundtrack whilst being knee deep in the water anywhere.
6. “Ocean Avenue” by Yellowcard
If “Ocean Avenue” does not bring back memories of your childhood then there is probably something wrong. Yellowcard is one of the most unique pop punk/alternative rock bands due to their incorporation of violin into their music. Lastly, the song is called “Ocean Avenue.” It screams summer.
7. “Beat This Summer” by Brad Paisley
Brad Paisley topped the country charts this summer with this very popular track from the album “Wheelhouse.” Lyrical content is a little bit ironic in comparison to most summer music, but not every summer romance is the ideal summer romance.
8. “Island in the Sun” by Weezer
“Island in the Sun” immediately puts an image in the mind of driving down the coast of a California highway as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean. It could also make one think of a bonfire on a west coast beach at sunset. For some reason, it’s just a great song for a summer sunset.
9. “Doin’ Time” by Sublime
“Summer time and the livin’s easy.” There really doesn’t need to be much more said about it. “Doin’ Time,” off of Sublime’s most successful album, closes out a record that is chalk full of some of the greatest summer music available on the market.
10. “My Hero” by Foo Fighters
People are running in slow motion across the sand of a beach and this is the song that I immediately think of. It’s like something out of an advertisement or a film scene. Heck, bring back the show “Baywatch” and make this the theme song. I can guarantee you that David Hasselhoff would not object.