Top Five Songs ... 08.27.2020
DFM Masthead Disenfranchised FM Cuckoo's Eleven Top Five Songs Armchair Producer Music MD Tin Cans Scratch Take Life and Times Input


Summertime in Chicago may only feel like a minute, but we make the most of it. You know, normally. In the meantime, it feels like shelter-in-place is now in its 164th consecutive Tuesday. No driveway parties, no parades, no whispers of football. But in the dogs days of summer, there's nothing better than grabbing a seat outside, opening a cold adult beverage of your choice, and listening to your favorite sounds of summer. Be gone with your Pumpkin Spice Latte ... I'll accept fall when you stop wearing white.

The catch-22 of such a theme is that you cannot have a list without The Beach Boys, nor can you have a list that is not exclusively The Beach Boys. In the words of one Jay Swiatek of Chicago, Illinois, "there are no rules." Why choose one list when you can do both instead?

Top Five Songs

Beach Boys

Everyone Else

NUMBER FIVE: The Beach Boys - "California Girls" [1965]

NUMBER FIVE: Weezer - "Island in the Sun" [2001]

"Yeah, but I couldn't wait to get back to The States."

"When you're on a holiday / you can't find the words to say."

Can a song about philandering geo enthusiast be popular anymore? If Brian Wilson wrote it, then yes.

Summer 2001 was an innocence we'll get back. Weezer scored a comeback that had the fervor like they'd been away for twenty years, and it established an alternating pattern of what to expect from Weezer albums for the next two decades.

NUMBER FOUR: The Beach Boys - "Surfin' U.S.A." [1963]

NUMBER FOUR: Eddie Cochran - "Summertime Blues" [1959]

"We're waxing down our surfboards / We can't wait for June."

"I'm gonna take two weeks / gonna have a fine vacation."

Distinctively Californian, but deep down they capture the sentiment of every Midwesterner: we simply can't wait.

Working all day to create memories with your friends at night. It really doesn't get any more summertime than that.

NUMBER THREE: The Beach Boys - "Sloop John B" [1966]

NUMBER THREE: Otis Redding - "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" [1968]

"This is the worst trip I've ever been on."

"Sittin' here resting my bones / and this loneliness won't leave me alone."

What's not to love about this song? It's a perfect road trip song: harmonies, irony, sousaphone. Before you know it, you're either at your destination or your sixth take singing Mike's part while whoever's riding shotgun signs Brian's part.

Pairs well with sitting on your porch with your dog and a cold glass of lemonade. I mean, I don't have a dog, but this seems legitimate thing that could be done.

NUMBER TWO: The Beach Boys - "I Get Around" [1964]

NUMBER TWO: Martha & The Vandellas - "Dancing in the Streets" [1964]

"I'm gettin' bugged driving up and down the same old strip / I gotta find a new place where the kids are hip."

"Can't forget the Motor City!"

Everyone remembers when the first of their friends gets their license, cutting the tether for bumming rides off of parents. Did we really ever go anywhere important? No (and yes)..

Summer's here, and the time is right, indeed. How can you possibly not want to dance when you hear this? I mean, at least a two-step?.

NUMBER ONE: The Beach Boys - "Good Vibrations" [1967]

NUMBER ONE: The Spencer Davis Group - "Gimme Some Lovin'" [1966]

"She's giving me excitations."

"And I'm so glad we made it."

Quite possibly my favorite Beach Boys song of all time. It's six songs in one, and the second episode (beginning at the 2:13 mark) was Sunday Service long before Kanye was around.

What better way to celebrate summer's fleeting beauty than this song. My favorite thing about this song is they wrote it in half an hour..

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