Initially, this article was going to be a list of my favorite songs from the summer. Pretty easy, typical article idea, right? But there I was, brainstorming for literal weeks, trying to come up with a perfect list that encapsulated nearly all genres of music (it’s really hard, by the way), and I had a realization: a) people don’t really want to read that much about me, and b) my summer recap would be at least 50 percent Taylor Swift.
And so, as I was having this realization that maybe this article choice was not the best on my end, it came to me: the perfect way around this dilemma. I wouldn’t make it about my songs of the summer; I’d make it about the 2023 songs of the summer according to the Billboard Hot 100. For every week this summer, I would check what song was at #1 on the chart, and that was officially a song of the summer.
So, I looked it up, and throughout the whole summer, four songs hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. And, of course, I thought to myself, “This is too easy. This article needs more.” And suddenly I found myself spending far too much time on the concerningly glitchy Billboard website on a Friday night in August, figuring out what the songs of the summer have been for the past five decades: 1983, 1993, 2003, 2013 and 2023.
So here it is, the complete list of Songs of the Summer: Throughout the Decades.
– “Last Night” by Morgan Wallen
– “Vampire” by Olivia Rodrigo
– “Seven (feat. Latto)” by Jungkook
– “Try That in a Small Town” by Jason Aldean
– “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Ray Dalton)
– “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell Williams
– “21 Questions” by 50 Cent and Nate Dogg
– “This is the Night” by Clay Aiken
– “Crazy In Love” by Beyoncé (feat. Jay-Z)
– “That’s The Way Love Goes” by Janet Jackson
– “Weak” by SWV
– “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You” by UB40
– “Flashdance…What a Feeling” by Irene Cara
– “Every Breath You Take” by The Police
And…now for the fun part! I get to share my opinions. Wow, I love being a columnist for a newspaper.
My top three of the top songs:
1. “Crazy In Love” (2003)
I feel like this is obvious. How could I not put Beyoncė at the top of the top songs? An infectious energy and beat has let this song stand the test of time. There’s a reason this song and Beyoncé are so popular. She’s brilliant, and so is her music (not to fangirl too much!).
2. “Every Breath You Take” (1983)
I definitely have a soft spot for ’80s music, and my parents played this song a lot when I was young, so this review might be a little biased. Despite that, by 1983, The Police had perfected their sound, and it’s clear in this song. Not to mention the bridge: This song might have one of the best bridges ever written. (The lyrics are definitely creepy, though.)
3. “Can’t Hold Us)” (2013)
I distinctly remember dancing and singing along to this song in second grade (crazy!). It’s just such a fun song. That’s most of it. It’s just upbeat and fun. In case you were wondering about its staying power, junior Daniel Reilly actually recommended this song ten years after its release in the last Beat article.
My bottom three:
1. “Try That in a Small Town” (2023)
This song only got to the top of the charts as a political statement, and that’s clear in the quality of the song. The song just isn’t good. I’m not just saying that because the political views and motivations behind the song don’t align with my own. I’m also not saying that because I don’t like country music; I actually really enjoy country music sometimes. I’m saying it’s not good because it’s really and truly a bad song. The lyrics—the problem most people have with the song—aren’t creative, and nothing else about the song is terribly creative either.
2. “Seven” (2023 — this year was just a little bit of a miss, I guess)
To be fair, “Seven” has been stuck in my head for the past couple of days, and it follows the formula for a pretty standard pop song right now. It’s got the lyrics about sex, the upbeat track behind it, a verse from another rapper in the middle of it and impressive vocals from Jungkook interspersed within it. In this instance, though, the formula hasn’t quite added up and has made something a little more grating than enjoyable.
3. “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You” (1993)
In case you didn’t get it from the title, “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You” was UB40’s cover of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” A good thing first: It definitely avoided sounding too much like the original song, which is a trap that many covers can fall into. Despite that, though, the vocals didn’t work well with the instrumental that they had going on in the background. I like the idea of it, but the execution just didn’t really work.
1. “Weak” (1993)
It was nearly #3 on the top three list, but Macklemore & Ryan Lewis just barely beat SWV out!
2. “Blurred Lines” (2013)
This song is the most 2013 song ever. I didn’t recognize the name at first, but when I listened to it, it was like it was summer 2013 all over again. Crazy.
3. “Flashdance…What A Feeling” (1983)
Although this song was nowhere near the top three, I listened to it while making lunch, and it had me literally dancing around my kitchen.