The Best ’80s Summer Songs Ranked by a New England Millennial
Let’s face it: the 1980s were a decade comprised of the years 1980-89. And as someone who was born in 1983, I consider myself an '80s expert.
So put down that can of Tab that you stole from RadioShack and take a look at this definitive list of the 13 Best Summer Songs of the 80s.
13. “Summer of Love,” B-52s.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “What about Rock Lobster?” Sorry, dogfish. Any song with flying sea robins is a straight-up Halloweener.
12. “The Tide is High,” Blondie.
This dark but insightful song serves as a lesson on dangerous undercurrents. It remains a must-listen for me during each beach excursion and could be why my daughter asks to sit far away.
11. “Walking on Sunshine,” Katrina & The Waves.
You know who I feel bad for? The people in the band who were just labeled “Waves” while Katrina got to be Katrina. Let’s check some of the other names in the band: Kimberly, Vince, and Alex. Ah well – better names next time, Waves!
10. “Ice Cream Man,” Van Halen.
Perhaps the only time you’ll see Van Halen truck chasin’ ;)
9. “The Boys of Summer,” Don Henley.
When it comes to “boys of summer,” one might prefer baseball anthem “Centerfield” by John Fogerty. But baseball starts in March and Summer begins on June 21. If it takes you three months to tell me you’re ready to play, that tells me you lack skill, poise, and focus. Now get back out there and umpire.
8. “Windsurfer,” Roy Orbison.
If a man dressed all in black with shoe polish in his hair can enjoy summer, so can we.
7. “Cruel Summer,” Bananarama.
A great song, despite a band name that sounds more like a bowling alley for bananas.
6. “Hot in the City,” Billy Idol.
Okay. So one time I got an Apple receipt for, like, six Billy Idol songs. As this was pre-cloud, I called Apple from work and argued the charges, but they insisted I bought the songs. I go home, check my computer, and sure enough – I had purchased six Billy Idol songs in my sleep. More like “face without two eyes!” (because of the sleeping).
5. “Brown Eyed Girl,” Jimmy Buffett.
Far better than Van Morrison’s cover of “Jolly Mon.”
4. “Blister in the Sun,” The Violent Femmes.
Also a contender for “Song we all think we have a special dance for at Karaoke Night, but it turns out we all do the same dance for it at Karaoke Night.”
3. “Wipeout,” The Fat Boys (Featuring The Beach Boys)
What is the greatest music video of all time, and please list every reason it's this one.
2. “Summer of ’69.”
And topping the list...
1. “Kokomo,” The Beach Boys.
I was on hand at age five when the band debuted this song, and thought, “Did somebody call for an elevator?”
But six months later when the Boys showed up at the Tanner House on “Full House,” I was the coolest kid in kindergarten. Therefore, it is the winner, and still the champion.
(Trivia: Brian Wilson does not appear on this song, perhaps because he felt it couldn’t top his earlier work, such as “Wipeout” with The Fat Boys.)
CHECK IT OUT: See the 100 most popular brands in America