Summer is almost officially here and what better way to kick off the season with a jamming playlist! Whether you like to listen to reggae or something else during the summer, my goal is to compile a list that I would love to listen to during the summer. The songs could be about summer, sun, heat, swimming or anything related to the summer. Or some songs that I have picked are just songs that I love to listen to around this time of year. Don’t like my picks? Comment down below on what you would include in your playlist!
1. Carbon Leaf – “X-Ray”
Carbon Leaf have made a perfect summer song; filled with sprinkler sounds and lyrics about just being a kid in the summer time.
2. The Busters – “Summer Time”
My all-time favorite ska summer songs!
3. Bob Marley and The Wailers – “Three Little Birds”
This whole playlist could be Bob Marley and the Wailers and I’d be happy with it.
4. Toots and the Maytals – 54-46 Was My Number”
A reggae classic!
5. Harry Belafonte – “Jump in the Line”
Dance like a bunch of dead football players.
6. Jimmy Buffett – “Margaritaville”
One of the most overplayed beach songs of all time but it’s still a song that must be on here.
7. Loudon Wainwright III – “Swimming Song”
Such a great summer song!
8. Jack Johnson – “You and Your Heart”
The newest Jack Johnson song is excellent. The music video is of him surfing the entire time. Can’t get more summer-y than that!
9. Beach Boys – “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”
Any Beach Boys song is a summer classic…obviously.
10. Hawaii Five-O – “Theme”
11. The Ventures – “Walk Don’t Run”
My favorite surf rock songs.
12. Joe Satriani – “Summer Song”
Summer Song is probably one of the few Joe Satriani songs I can tolerate. I actually like this song a lot though.
13. Bryan Adams – “Summer of 69”
80s summer classic. If you don’t have this song on your playlist, there’s something wrong with you!
14. The Aggrolites – “Reggae Summertime”
The Aggrolites are already constantly played during the summer time, but now they have an actual summer song too!
15. Wailing Souls – “Hard Living”
“Hard Living” is a just sit back and relax type of reggae song to me. I love it!
16. Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole – “Ka Huila Wai”
Get your lays and hula skirts and have a luau.
17. Big Mountain – “Reggae in the Summertime”
Big Mountain have many summer-ish songs, this one actually is about the summertime though!
18. Chris Murray – “Rocksteady”
Acoustic ska music that makes you want to get in the car and sit on a beach.
19. The Tennors – “Another Scorcher”
Rocksteady music is something I have to listen to in the summer every year, especially the Tennors.
20. Hepcat – “No Worries”
This is the type of song to just bop along and hum or whistle.
21. The Scofflaws – “Nude Beach (live)”
Get nude and head to the beach, and then head to jail! yay!
22. Don Henley – “The Boys of Summer”
You’ll find this song on any summer playlist that you google.
23. Bananarama – “Cruel Summer”
Another 80s summer staple.
24. Power Station – “Some Like It Hot”
Some like it hot, but some crazies like it cold. Why would you want it cold??
25. 311 – “Amber”
311 have a lot of reggae rock songs, but I always liked “Amber” out of the bunch.
26. Tim Armstrong – “Take This City”
Tim Armstrong fronting The Aggrolites. This album is great to play in the car, cruising in the car with the windows open.
27. Planet Smashers – “Surfin’ in Tofino”
Do Canadians surf?
28. Bedouin Soundclash – “When The Night Feels My Song”
Police sounding reggae rock band that have a lot of summer-ish songs.
29. The Jolly Boys – “Take Me Back to Jamaica”
One of the newest bands (although they are quite old!) that I found through last.fm. They play mento music, an early form of reggae, ska and calypso. Acoustic Jamaican folk rock if you will. Fantastic stuff!
30. Perez Prado – “Mambo No. 5”
Mambo! A song that has been covered by many people including Lou Bega. Yeah remember him?
31. Byron Lee and Dragonaires – “Give Me Soca”
Byron Lee was a legendary music pioneer, who popularized Soca and other types of music. If you don’t think soca is perfect for the summertime, there’s something wrong with you!
32. Mighty Sparrow – “Grenada”
A fun calypso song from the movie Club Paradise.
33. Horace Andy – “Where Do The Children Play”
I don’t know much from Horace Andy but his cover of “Where Do the Children Play” has always stood out from other songs.
34. Buju Banton – “Wanna Be Loved”
This is the first song that got me into Buju’s music. It was during the summer time when I first heard this, so it makes me think of summer when I hear it.
35. Desmond Dekker – “007 (Shanty Town)”
Desmond Dekker’s music is something I have to listen to all the time, especially in the summer.
36. Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers – “Tomorrow People”
One of the best and most popular Ziggy Marley songs to date.
37. Thomas Mapfumo – “Marudzi Nemarudzi (Different Races)”
I discovered Thomas Mapfumo’s music from the Long Way Down soundtrack. There’s something about his music that makes everything all peaceful around me and just makes me relax.
38. Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars – “Soda Soap”
African rootsy reggae world music and the summer time is an ideal time to listen to them.
39. Sublime – “Santeria”
The kings of stoner reggae rock.
40. Slightly Stoopid – “Sweet Honey”
Whenever I hear this song, I think of the beach and surfing for some reason.
41. The Aquabats – “Pool Party”
What better way to celebrate the summer than a kick ass pool party?!
42. The Pietasters – “Change My Ways”
The Pietasters latest album is definitely one of my favorites from them. They managed to strip down their sound and go raw and the result is excellent. “Change My Ways” is a stand-out track.
43. The Specials – “Pressure Drop”
Out of all the covers The Specials have done, “Pressure Drop” from their Today’s Specials album is still my favorite.
44. The Pogues – “Summer in Siam”
A simple yet beautiful sung song by the one and only Mr. Shane MacGowan.
45. Great Big Sea – “Summer”
Great Big Sea gets pigeon-holed into the Celtic category a lot, but they aren’t just some band to listen to around St Patrick’s Day. A lot of their songs evokes the imagery of fishing, sailing, and the sea of course.
46. Oysterband – Sail on By”
…Same goes with Oysterband
47. Saw Doctors – “Last Summer in NY”
The Saw Doctors always play in NY & Boston in the summer, well besides the usual St Patrick’s Day time.
48. Glenn Fry – “The Heat Is On”
Crank this song in the car and be as cool as Axel Foley.
49. Guns N Roses – “Paradise City”
“Take me down to the paradise city, Where the grass is green, And the girls are pretty…”
50. Katrina and The Waves – “Walking on Sunshine”
This song always made me want to dance like an idiot.
51. Michael McDonald – “Sweet Freedom”
I remember this Michael McDonald song in the 80s action thriller Running Scared. The song was used when Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines were taking time off in Key West. No, not like that!
52. Dick Dale – “Miserlou”
“Any of you fucking pigs move!…”
53. The Chantays – “Pipeline”
Hang ten dude!
54. Chicago – “Saturday in the Park”
Hanging out in Central Park during the summer is always nice.
55. Lovin Spoonful – “Summer in the City”
Summer in the city? Does the song sing about rotten smell of hot dogs, pee, homeless people and manhole steam stank?
56. James Taylor – “Mexico”
This song makes me want to go to Mexico and take a nap in a hammock.
57. Tom Waits – “Ice Cream Man”
“ICE CREAM! THE ICEAM MAN IS COMING!”
58. Jerry Fish and The Mudbug Club – “Summer of Love”
Jerry Fish’s voice is so soothing and laid back.
59. Peter Bjorn and John – “Say Something (Mukiya)”
This indie somewhat instrumental has steel drums in it. I wish more bands would use steel drums in their songs.
60. Decemberists – “Summer Song”
It’s a summer song, in a Decemberists own way.
61. DeVotchka – “We’re Leaving”
A bit of a sad song but a song that sounds a lot happier than it really is. It’s got a Mariachi flavor to it.
62. The Queers – “Hawaii”
Excellent Brian Wilson cover. The Queers are the best beach punk bands out there. Period!
63. The Riverdales – “Party on the Beach”
Slamdance on the beach!
64. The Hawaiians – “Travoltas Summer (I Don’t Wanna Go Home Tonight)”
A nice tribute to the Travoltas.
65. The Travoltas – “Pray For Sun”
Perfect pop punk band that captures everything about the beach and summer time.
66. Westbound Train – “Check Your Time”
One of the best songs from Westbound Train. A smooth and groovin’ reggae tune.
67. Laurel Aitken – “Sally Brown”
A classic ska song from the Godfather of Ska. Skank it up!
68. Inner Circle – “Sweat”
I wanna make you sweat. If you know what I’m saying.
69. Beres Hammond – “Double Trouble”
Beres Hammond soulful R&B reggae singing voice is something I need to listen to during the Summer.
70. Freddie McGregor – “Loving Pauper”
I always listen to this song in the summer.
71. Harry J Allstars – “Liquidator”
Classic instrumental reggae tune
72. Tony Tribe – “Red Red Wine”
I could have done UB40’s version or even the original Neil Diamond song, but there’s something about this version from Tony Tribe that I think is the best for a summer playlist.
73. The Pioneers – “Long Shot Kicked De Bucket”
I’m a sucker for rocksteady music!
74. Steel Pulse – “Steppin’ Out”
Steel Pulse’s albums Earth Crisis and True Democracy are played quite a lot during the summer season.
75. UB40 – “Kingston Town”
Can’t forget UB40 on your summer playlist!
76. Buck O Nine – “My Town”
“Walking to the beach with a bottle of black and tan…”
77. English Beat – “Ackee 1 2 3”
English Beat is another band you can put any song on this playlist and it will be fine.
78. Fishbone – “Jamaica Ska”
Skank with Annette Funicello and do the ska. The Jamaica ska.
79. Remmy Ongala – “Dodoma”
African roots song that makes me think of warm weather.
80. Rachid Taha – “Ida”
A fun Arabic rock song to dance to. I don’t know if people will consider this a summer song per say but it’s on my list.
81. Gogol Bordello – “Tribal Connection”
One of Gogol’s more reggae-ish songs.
82. Moneybrother – “Just Another Summer”
I hope this summer isn’t like last summer. All it did was fucking rain!
83. Weezer – “Island in the Sun”
A relaxing tune to listen to while sitting in a beach chair and watching the ocean.
84. The Kooks -“Shine On”
A poppy & boppy song.
85. The Push Stars – “Everything Shines”
You might know this song from There’s Something From Mary or even Great Big Sea’s cover of it. This is the original and just a fun song to listen to.
86. The Undertones – “Here Comes The Summer”
I probably should have put this song up a lot higher on this list. Oh well.
87. Joe Strummer – “Island Hopping”
An older Joe Strummer song that not everybody knows about.
88. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – “Seasons in the Sun”
The Gimme Gimmes wear Hawaiian shirts. That’s an automatic addition to this playlist!
89. CIV – “Boring Summer”
Hopefully this summer isn’t boring.
90. Bouncing Souls – “It’s not the Heat, it’s the Humidity”
“My balls are sticking to my legs…” Doesn’t get more real than that line right there.
91. Mustard Plug – “Summertime”
“We want the summertime”
92. The Porkers – “California Sun”
Many people have covered “California Sun” but gotta give props to my boys from Down Under!
93. Mighty Mighty Bosstones – “Simmer Down”
The Bosstones can’t be left off this playlist. So here’s their cover of The Wailers’ “Simmer Down.’
94. Screeching Weasel – “First Day of Summer”
Punk rock summer-themed song that has a deeper meaning.
95. El Centro – “Waiting for the Sun”
You might not have heard of El Centro before but you should have. Ska/reggae punk rock band and this one has a Sublime feel to it.
96. Dennis Brown – “Sitting and Watching”
This song will get stuck in your head.
97. Mighty Diamonds – “I Need A Roof”
I got into the Mighty Diamonds music later in the game but really dig this song. If you can’t tell, I love roots reggae.
98. Shaggy – “In the Summertime”
Shaggy’s version of the oldies song “In The Summertime.”
99. Prince Buster – “Madness”
Another classic ska/rocksteady tune from legendary Prince Buster.
100. The Hiltonaires – “Jamaica”
The Hiltonaires play mento music. This song is a great beachy song about Jamaica.
101. Derrick Morgan – “Blazing Fire”
The temperatures in New York lately have been blazing fire.
102. Alton Ellis – “Can I Change Your Mind”
I really love the Pietasters cover of this song but I’ll stick with the Alton Ellis version for this playlist.
103. The Slickers – “Johnny Too Bad”
One of the many reggae classics featured on the Harder They Come soundtrack.
104. Edna’s Goldfish – “Sunrise to Sunset”
This song was an early favorite of mine when this album first came out.
105. The Yum Yums – “Here Comes Summer”
People love summer, what can I say?
106. Authority Zero – “One More Minute”
Get away and go to the beaches.
107. The Hotknives – “Summer Never Comes Too Soon”
It does feel like summer never gets here, and then it does, and then you blink and it’s over.
108. Mephiskapheles – “Satan on the Beach”
I don’t blame Satan for being at the beach.
109. Korpiklaani – “Under The Sun”
Are there beaches in Finland? I don’t know, I do know that Korpiklaani wrote an awesome song that could be on my future pirate playlist. Pirates = summer.
110. The Ramones – “Rockaway Beach”
The Ramones started the beachy pop punk sub-genre. It would be foolish not to include one song from the Ramones on here.
111. Jimmy Cliff – “Club Paradise”
One of my favorite 80s movies. The soundtrack is hard to find but if you look hard enough, you can find it. This song is also on a new Jimmy Cliff Anthology.
112. Black Uhuru – “Take Heed”
“Take Heed” made me a fan of Black Uhuru the moment I heard it in the 90s comedy Men At Work.
113. Michael Rose – “It’s Alright”
Everything is “alright,” so just relax and enjoy the day.
114. Everton Blender – “Life Up Your Head”
I used to watch some reggae show called “Caribbean Rhythms” on BET back in the day and this song got a lot of airplay. Good thing, because I love Everton Blender’s stuff.
115. Gregory Isaacs – “Thank You Mr. Judge”
This song got me into Gregory Isaacs’ music.
116. Luciano – “Messenger”
“Messenger” is by far my favorite Luciano song.
117. Slightly Stoopid – “2am”
If smokin’ weed is your thing, you’ll love Slightly Stoopid.
118. Rebelution – “Lazy Afternoon”
I love lazy being on the weekends, especially the afternoon. Afternoons are the perfect time to nap.
119. Jack Johnson – “Breakdown”
Any song from Jack Johnson could be on this playlist. I particularly like Breakdown because it features a ukulele.
120. Vampire Weekend – “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”
A very Police/Paul Simon-ish song from VW.
121. Belle & Sebastian – “A Summer Wasting”
Belle & Sebastian are great music to relax to, especially on the beach.
122. Grand Archives – “A Setting Sun”
This indie rock tune isn’t really a summer song but whatever, I like it.
123. Noah and the Whale – “5 Years Time”
Just about the only song I like from Noah and The Whale. It’s a catchy song that will get stuck in your head.
124. The Drums – “Let’s Go Surfing”
A catchy beachy, surfing tune from The Drums. Lots of whistling.
125. The Tornadoes – “Bustin’ Surfboards”
One of the many surf rock tunes used in Pulp Fiction.
126. Beach Boys – “Surfin’ Safari”
Catch some bitchin’ waves dude.
127. Johnny Nash – “I Can See Clearly Now”
The first non-Jamaican to record in Kingston, Jamaica! Fun Fact: Nash recorded this with the Wailers too!
128. The First Class – “Beach Baby”
I love this 70s tune.
129. Jan & Dean – “Surf City”
Always thought this song was the Beach Boys but nope, it’s not.
130. Young Rascals – Groovin’
Birds chirping and just groovin’. Just a great song to relax to and have a drink on the beach with that special someone.
131. Chad & Jeremy – “A Summer Song”
One of the many oldie summer songs.
132. Martha and the Vandellas – ”Heat Wave”
Heat waves suck in the summer time, but listening to a song about isn’t so bad.
133. The Embers – “I Love Beach Music”
A light and delightful song about beach music.
134. The Kinks – “Sunny Afternoon”
Be a lazy bastard on a sunny afternoon.
135. The Police – “Message in a Bottle”
Can a desert island song be considered a summer song? Sure why not.
136. Loney Island – “I’m On A Boat”
Ok, I’ve been very critical of Loney Island and Andy Samberg in the past but some of their songs are actually funny, and very catchy. If you’re rich and got a nice boat, blast this out into the ocean.
137. 38 Special – “Back to Paradise”
Rock out like a bunch of Nerds!
138. Buckwheat Zydeco – “Make A Change”
Whenever I listen to Buckwheat Zydeco, I just think of summer BBQs in the backyard.
139. The Rifles – “Rock The Boat/Beautiful Music”
This Rifles b-side song is very reggae-ish.
140. Fountains of Wayne – “It Must Be Summer”
A poppy alternative rock ditty. Yeah, I said ditty.
141. Bon Jovi – “Summertime”
A newer Jovi song but it’s about summer so, on the list it goes!
142. Kid Rock – “All Summer Long”
Ok, let’s get this out of the way. I usually HATE Kid Rock but this is a catchy song, even though he rips off Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Werewolves of London”
143. Alice Cooper – “School’s Out”
One of my least favorite Alice Cooper songs, especially since he just sang this on American Idol. But it’s a fitting song nonetheless.
144. Billy Idol – “Hot in the City”
I’m sure when people are sweating their asses off in various cities, they think of this Billy Idol song.
145. Jan Hammer – “Miami Vice Theme”
Put on your loafers, white blazer and pink shirt and hit the town and party like its 1985!
146. The Fresh Prince – “Summertime”
Get out your 40s, grab your bitch and slow dance in the backyard as someone is cooking on the grill. Ahh gotta love rap videos.
147. Duran Duran – “(Reach up for) the Sunrise”
A newer Duran Duran song but still a fun one! This chorus is catchy as hell.
148. Smash Mouth – “Walking on a Sun”
I love listening to this once-overplayed song at the beach.
149. Buster Pointdexter – “Hot, Hot, Hot”
A fun 80s cover from the NY Dolls frontman.
150. Bob Marley and the Wailers – “Jamming”
A fitting song to end a summer playlist. Gotta love Bob Marley and the song “Jamming.”