Time to reflect on the summer’s passing as the warm embrace of endless days turns into the first cool caress of fall. And as you think back, what’s that haunting tune playing in your head?
Any number of elements can make up your criteria for the perfect summer song. Is its melody infectious? Is it danceable? Does it cross genres from pop to R&B, hip-hop or elsewhere? In the case of this hit from Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Fight the Feeling,” it’s all of that. Cheery, celebrating love and dance and just the joy of singing a happy jam, it’s certainly in the running. Here’s the video:
Of course, there have been times when it’s been too difficult to pick any one song. About a dozen or so years ago, there was a summer populated by Cher’s iconic comeback single, “Believe,” Janet’s “All For You,” “Music,” one of Madonna’s biggest ever, and this titanic ode to female empowerment by a little group from Houston called Destiny’s Child:
One sure way to get a hit is to steal from not one, but two classics like Kid Rock did in layering his high school yearbook inscription-lyric over the music of Warren Zevon (whose “Werewolves of London” was sampled under the verses) and Lynrd Skynrd (who unwittingly donated the chorus of “Sweet Home Alabama”) to create “All Summer Long.” Here it is:
On the other hand, when you hear something you know has all the right elements, it can last decade after decade. We’ll leave you with this one: Sly and the Family Stone’s “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” which appeared just weeks before the band of blacks, whites, guys and girls brought down the stage at the Woodstock Festival.
Last modified: September 29, 2017