The Series Finale: Ozmoe’s “Songs Of The Summer”


Welcome to the final Sun-Soaked episode of The Songs Of The Summer Series from friend and Contributing Author Ozmoe!

This week:

The Series Recap

As a reminder or for those just joining us, I categorize a summer song basically as the fun tune you’d like to do at karaoke with your friends. It’s hummable, singable, danceable, and probably some other kind of optimistic labels I can’t think of right now. summer charts expert ozmoe

What a short, fun trip it’s been!

As I finish this series on what readers think are the best summer songs (meaning upbeat and fun to sing and dance along with) by year, I’m elated.

Exhausted, too.

But a good kind of exhausted.

When I pitched this series to mt58 back in May, I did so without knowing exactly what years I’d profile.

I knew that I’d do 1984 for the start because it was one of the favorite years for TNOCS voters. And I thought it would be fun to do 1976 during the July 4 weekend due to the Bicentennial observation.

Beyond that? I only knew that I favored starting after 1964, when the Beatles began the English invasion and set most of the standard music favorites for Boomers. I didn’t want to go beyond 1989 either.

That marked a healthy 25-year span to cover.

Also, by the 1990s, the songs that Billboard ranked on the Hot 100 didn’t include many hits that weren’t released as singles.

I’ve tried to include a wide variety in that quarter century of eligibility. Based on the quantity and quality of comments, I think most readers enjoyed what I offered.

For that, I’m grateful.

Now it’s Labor Day weekend, and as summer is ending…

so is this series.

And with that, I want us all to pick the Ultimate Summer Song (patent pending). 

Here are the following contenders to choose, based on the readers’ results for the top three for each year surveyed.

Pick your top three – among any listed in any years, – with “One” being your favorite.

We’ll see which one is the top pick to deserve this honor.

Episode #1: 1984

Bruce Springsteen: Dancing in the Dark

ZZ Top: Legs 

Dan Hartman: I Can Dream About You

Episode #2: 1967

The Rascals: Groovin’ 

The Monkees: Pleasant Valley Sunday

The Association: Windy

Episode #3: 1974

The Hues Corporation: Rock the Boat

George McCrae: Rock Your Baby 

ABBA: Waterloo

Episode #4: 1982

The Go-Go’s: Vacation

Survivor: Eye of the Tiger

Tommy Tutone: 867-5309/Jenny

Episode #5: 1976

Andrea True Connection: More, More, More

Starbuck: Moonlight Feels Right

KC and the Sunshine Band: (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty

Episode #6: 1965

The Beach Boys: California Girls

The Four Tops: I Can’t Help Myself

The Rolling Stones: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Episode #7: 1988

INXS: New Sensation

Johnny Kemp: Just Got Paid

Def Leppard: Pour Some Sugar on Me (a popular write-in vote)

Episode #8: 1970

Stevie Wonder: Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours

The Jackson Five: The Love You Save

Freda Payne: Band of Gold

Episode #9: 1978

Olivia Newton-John (RIP) and John Travolta: You’re the One That I Want

Frankie Valli: Grease

A Taste of Honey: Boogie Oogie Oogie

Episode #10: 1985

Katrina and the Waves: Walking on Sunshine

Huey Lewis and the News: The Power of Love

Tears for Fears: Everybody Wants to Rule the World 

Episode #11: 1966

The Lovin’ Spoonful: Summer in the City 

The Capitols: Cool Jerk 

The Cyrkle: Red Rubber Ball (a popular write-in vote)

Episode #12: 1972

Alice Cooper: School’s Out

The Hollies: Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)

The Looking Glass: Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)

Episode #13: 1977

The Emotions: Best of My Love 

Jimmy Buffett: Margaritaville 

Fleetwood Mac: Don’t Stop

Happy voting, everyone!

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Famed Member
September 5, 2022 10:48 am

Wow — what a challenge! I tried to figure it out by picturing myself at a beach and hearing a transistor radio and saying, “Crank that up!” With that in mind, my top three from this list would be:

3) Summer in the City
2) Best of My Love
1) Rock the Boat

There are *so* many runners-up, but let’s just say I can’t quibble with any of these finalists. Great job, Ozmoe, and TNOCS folks, for a fun seasonal set.

Pauly Steyreen
Famed Member
Pauly Steyreen
Online Now
September 5, 2022 11:44 am

1. Vacation – Go-Go’s
2. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
3. Red Rubber Ball – The Cyrkle

Honorable mention: Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours, School’s Out, Grease, Rock Your Baby, The Love You Save, Best of My Love

JJ Live At Leeds
Famed Member
September 5, 2022 11:50 am

Tough call, I hadn’t realised there was going to be a follow up with an even more difficult decision to make.

Best not to overthink it, I’m going route one with songs with a direct summer theme.

3) Pleasant Valley Sunday
2) School’s Out
1) Summer In The City

I say I’m not overthinking it but I typed them in and immediately rearranged the order. Leave it there before I change my mind again.

Look forward to the lavish ceremony where the winner is presented with their prize – the budget stretches that far mt?!

Famed Member
Online Now
September 5, 2022 12:36 pm

Goodboy just checked the petty cash drawer. We’ll need to find an alternate source of funding for the trophy. .

We may or may not qualify as an “essential public resource.” I’m negotiating with the GoFundMe people as we speak.

Famed Member
Online Now
September 5, 2022 2:28 pm

I’m sorry. There’s no way I can limit it to three.

  1. Katrina and the Waves: Walking on Sunshine
  2. Tears for Fears: Everybody Wants to Rule the World 
  3. (tie) The Cyrkle: Red Rubber Ball / The Monkees: Pleasant Valley Sunday

Thanks for this series, Ozmoe. It’s been a blast.

Phylum of Alexandria
Famed Member
September 5, 2022 4:30 pm

I think I would have to go:

3) Vacation
2) School’s Out
1) California Girls

But obviously, if we’re talking best summer song of all time, there’s only one king:

Edith G
Famed Member
Edith G
September 5, 2022 5:46 pm

It’s difficult to choose to me, because there are many great songs.

All I can say Ozmoe is congratulations on this series, I really enjoyed it.

Famed Member
September 5, 2022 6:33 pm

It’s not easy judging art(for me, music, film, literary fiction) from different decades. This is hard.

1) Brandy(You’re a Fine Girl)
2) Dancing in the Dark
3) Grease

I’m going to miss this series, Ozmoe.

Dance Fever
September 5, 2022 6:44 pm

Congrats to Ozmoe for a job well done!
As to our songs
“Vacation” naturally
“Walking On Sunshine” of course
“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” definitely
But, wait a minute, those wiley veterans are at it again!
For longevity (fifty seven years and counting) and worldwide renown (the best opening chord in pop music), it’s the Rolling Stones and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” walking away with first (annual?) Ozmoe Summer of Music championship.

Famed Member
September 5, 2022 6:49 pm
  1. Vacation
  2. California Girls
  3. Walking on Sunshine

Great series Ozmoe!!

Famed Member
September 6, 2022 11:59 am

I tried to break the #3 tie, but even when I flipped a coin it landed on the edge, so there you go:

1. Walking On Sunshine
2. California Girls
3. School’s Out / Vacation

Safe to assume that next Summer you’ll take on the other years from 1964-89 that didn’t make this year’s cut? (I hope I hope I hope)

Last edited 1 year ago by Aaron3000
Famed Member
September 6, 2022 3:20 pm

Here is my top three, plus seven more:

1. The Go-Go’s: Vacation
2. Katrina and the Waves: Walking on Sunshine
3. The Beach Boys: California Girls
4. Jimmy Buffett: Margaritaville 
5. Frankie Valli: Grease
6. Tommy Tutone: 867-5309/Jenny
7. The Monkees: Pleasant Valley Sunday
8. Stevie Wonder: Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours
9. Tears for Fears: Everybody Wants to Rule the World 
10. Dan Hartman: I Can Dream About You

There are better songs not on this list, but not better summer songs (IMO)

Famed Member
September 6, 2022 3:47 pm

Oh that’s just not right!!! There’s too much to consider, ack!

Ok, so these probably don’t match what I chose before, but when looking at the finalists, I went by a gut reaction of ‘what screams summer vibes to me?’

#3. Vacation – the Go-Gos
#2. Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard


School’s Out – Alice Cooper.

Thanks for being our tour guide with this all summer, ozmoe!!

Noble Member
September 7, 2022 12:46 pm

So hard, but here goes.

3) Brandy
2) Walking On Sunshine
1) Rock The Boat

Honorable mention : Groovin’, Summer In The City.

Great series – lots of fun!

Famed Member
September 8, 2022 3:10 am
Reply to  reggie


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