Summer is finally here, so what better time to ask a load of musicians to name the sunniest tunes known to man?

Here, then, are 40 essential summer songs, as chosen by a panel of artists, including Franz Ferdinand, Coldplay, Madonna and Oasis.


"I hate summer time. I am 300 pounds, not the ideal weight for fun in the sun. This song makes me think of cold desolation, ie paradise."

29Shawty Is Da Shit

"The first time I heard it I couldn't believe I hadn't heard it at every party I'd ever been to. It's just an incredibly sincere but sexy R'nB song that's out of this world good and reeks of summer."

28Happy Hour

“One big summer tune was ‘Happy Hour’ by The Housemartins. Me and my best friend went on a tour in my old car, my Maxi, and that single was on the radio all the time. Must have been about 1986. We made a great film, a road-movie type thing, as we went along, and in one of the scenes that’s on the radio. It’s a good, fun driving song.”

27Let The Music Play

"It's nostalgic for me, I used to rollerskate to it at the local rink. Now as a 23-year old grown woman I still can’t unlock the mysterious maze-like groove that get’s me goin’, if you know what I mean.”

26Bonita Applebum

"I really love ‘Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince, but I chose this because it evokes some great memories for me. I first heard it when I was on holiday about ten years ago. It has a light, breezy, sexy feel to it, like all good summer tunes should.”


'Wasting away again in Margaritaville…’ This reminds me of going to Florida with my parents in the ‘70s. Those were great times. They would leave me at the pool while they’d go to the bar and drink mai tais. They had kids already so they couldn’t really live up to the wild, swinging ways of Jimmy Buffett. He’s got a thing going, Buffett. He’s pretty cheesy.”

24Cruel Summer

"This is kind of embarrassing to admit to, but we all love Bananarama. It's the vocals, there's something so attractive about the way those women sing. This song makes me think of summer every time."

23Never Let Me Down Again

“I used to go for long drives in the suburbs and on a beautiful summer day I would roll down the windows, speed up and put this song on. For its duration there’s no wrong in the world.”


“I remember being on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland, drunk as all hell, sitting on a lifeguard chair at 3am and singing that song at the top of my lungs.
And realising that it actually felt good to sing and release like that."


“There is one that I think about – and it is maybe not too cool now – and it’s The Velvet Underground’s ‘Heroin.’ That was when I was 16 and I was in south of France hitchhiking, and all my stuff got stolen and I just had my guitar and this tape.”

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