Today’s number one song according to Billboard is “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem, featuring Rihanna, which I admittedly had not heard until just now.
It’s fine, but it is not my summer jam.
What is, I kid you not, is “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock, for the second summer in a row.
I know. But have you heard it? Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help it. I made several mix cds for a road trip last week and when I got around to this one’s incredibly stupid lyrics (“We didn’t have no internet, but man I never will forget, the way the moonlight shined upon her hair.”) and mashup of “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Werewolves of London” (ugh) I was car-dancing like there was no tomorrow.
And in fact there might not have been a tomorrow for me, given how vigorously I was car dancing. This despite the fact that I have never been to Northern Michigan, experienced summer there, or have any connection to the nostalgia for sex by the lake and “smoking funny things” there that Kid Rock clearly does.
Summer is the best time for music, or at least for songs that take over the radio and eat our brains. And I’m not just talking about the easy outs, the songs with “summer” in the title, like my aforementioned jam, or every other Beach Boys tune or “Cruel Summer” or “Hot Fun In the Summertime” or merely “In the Summertime” (da da da da/ dee dee dee dee dee dee dee dee dee de dee) or even more merely “Summertime,” as interpreted by D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.
Yeah, there are a lot of those suckers.
Billboard’s number ones for every year they have existed are on this handy dandy list. I took a small car-dancing break to check out what was number one on July 27 through the years. Would they be my summer jams? Could they be yours?Here are a few.
2006, “Promiscuous”, Nelly Furtado, featuring Timbaland.
Oh no. Earworm city, already. The chorus was in my head for weeks. GAH, so catchy.
“I want you on my team.”
“So does everybody else.”
Served, Timba. Served.
2002, Hot In Herre, Nelly
Yes, the “take off all your clothes” song. There’s something to be said for the direct approach, I suppose. It still doesn’t explain the extra “r” but that’s just splitting hairs.
I will neither confirm nor deny a propensity to sing along to “give a little bit of uh-uh with a little bit of uh-uh” at the time.
1999, “Genie In a Bottle,” Christina Aguilera
Say what you will about Christina but girl can sing. I don’t even apologize for this one, while acknowledging that it’s overproduced to hell. Summer song, for sure.
1995, “Waterfalls,” TLC
Left Eye is on the top of my list of artists whose potential I will mourn forever. Sigh. Sad. This is one of the last videos with a story I actually remember that served the song. And the chorus, oof. The phrasing and the feeling behind “Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to” kills me every time.
1989, “Toy Soldiers,” Martika
This song came on whatever music station I was listening to the other day on cable and I got all nostalgic and crazy and let’s just say it was a good thing I was alone because it got a little loud in here. This was number one in the July after my first year in college (shut up) which was just crazy for lots of reasons. I’d like to say that I journaled about war allegories and its relevance to my life in response to it, because at least that would make a good story if I had. I really probably just spent more time listening to Cinderella. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Fun fact: Stacy Ferguson, aka, Fergie and Jennifer Love Hewitt were among Martika’s Kids Incorporated co-stars (SHUT UP!) sang back up on this song. And Fergie sang lead, obviously, with the Black Eyed Peas on July 27, 2009′s number one, “I Gotta Feeling,” which I will barely mention for fear of it crawling into my head and never leaving, again.
FILL UP MY GLASS. MAZEL TOV.
Anyway, life is a circle, kids.
1985, “Everytime You Go Away,” Paul Young.
I loved this man and his mullet. I loved this song.
Every time I hear it, I must still make the sweeping hand gestures of someone going away and taking pieces of me with them. I saw him live that year, in what was my first concert that I consciously recall choosing and attending on my own. I mean, my mom waited in the parking lot, but still. We were inside. UNSUPERVISED.
This is what he sort of looks like now, I guess.
1984, “When Doves Cry,” Prince
Prince does not believe in the Internet and will not allow his videos to be shown, therefore, but yeah, no commentary necessary on this song, right? Hot. Summer. Still.
1983, “Every Breath You Take,” The Police
So July 27 won there for a few years, eh? Seriously. Despite the creepy stalker vibe of the lyrics, I still really love the music, and you can tell that Sting really cares — a little too much, maybe, but still. His poor heart aches, and he cares.
1982, “Eye of the Tiger,” Survivor
Summer song, yes indeed. This video is everything awesome. Watch as Survivor walks purposefully through rooms full of things like metal pipes and bathtubs in tight-fitting leather jackets to a…rehearsal space.
If you want to picture this song as at all marginally badass, do not watch this video. Except you should watch this video.
1981, “Jessie’s Girl,” Rick Springfield
I will ignore how creepy it was that I was singing this song enthusiastically at ten years of age to indicate that this, my friends, was my original summer jam. Two years later, I would blare the cassette of “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” out the window of our Myrtle Beach condo on my pink Sony boombox, but that was but a gleam in someone’s eye the summer of “Jessie’s Girl.”
So, those are the #1s of (my incredibly biased) note on July 27 through the years. Are there any songs that really signify “summer” to you? Because now I’m really curious.
Meanwhile, I’ll be over here,”DRINKIN’ WHISKEY OUT THE BOTTLE/ NOT THINKIN’ ‘BOUT TOMORROW/ Singin’ “Sweet Home Alabama” all summer long.”
. . . . .
Laurie neglected to mention that “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” was number one on July 27, 1973. R.I.P. Jim Croce.