It was the song of the summer the year you graduated from high school | Music


From doo-wop to disco and rock to rap, you can learn a lot about music history from summer songs from the past 60+ years. Over the decades, pop music has evolved through different genres, stars have risen and fallen, and new technologies have led to radically different sounding hits. However, many of the songs from the summer share similarities: brilliant lyrical content, driving tempos and warm instrumentals.

Of course, there is no national body that crowns the song of the summer. Stacker based this roundup on Billboard’s analysis of charts from previous years, dating back to 1958, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Billboard generated the following songs of the summer and their runners-up by awarding 100 points to a No. 1-ranked song for a week and one point to a No. 100-ranked song.

The list begins with one of three non-English entries and the most classically inspired track on the list and moves from there to rock ‘n’ roll, Motown, classic rock and folk-rock, all before reaching the 80s. As synths began to replace strident electric guitars, pop stars like Madonna and Mariah Carey rose to prominence. The era of electropop had begun.

Then, in the mid-90s, a change began, the effects of which still manipulate the charts to this day. Hip-hop had arrived in the national consciousness, bringing new techniques like sampling and rapping to pop music. There’s no more shocking transition on this list than going straight from Bryan Adams to Sir Mix-a-Lot. Although more traditional pop songs have found their way onto the summer charts, hip-hop’s takeover is still strong with the supremacy of artists like Drake and Lil Nas X, two rappers who continue to dominate playlists. summer throughout the 2020s.

Perhaps the next wave to take over the charts will come from another underground movement and displace hip-hop the same way it displaced mainstream pop itself. Perhaps the future of music does not lie in strict genres but in a mixture of many elements. Read on to remember which song blew out of car windows the year you graduated high school, and don’t forget to check out our curated playlist of all the winners.

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