220px-The_Tree_Degrees_-_The_Three_Degrees#19 – The Three Degrees – “When Will I See You Again” – (1973)

This song was released as a single in the later second half of 1974 but the album it appeared on came out 1973. The Three Degrees were formed in 1963 in Philadelphia and this was their biggest hit (it hit #1 in ’74). Strangely, they had more success in the U.K. than in the U.S. It’s great, early-70s soul.

Bachman-Turner_Overdrive_-_Not_Fragile#20 – Bachman-Turner Overdrive – “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” – (1974)

Here’s a #1 hit from Canada’s Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Randy Bachman, who wrote the song, said he wrote it for his brother as a joke because his brother had a stutter – and stuttering is a big part of the lyrics here. They recorded the song with only one take of the lyrics and used it to warm up in the studio, never intending to release it. The song got tacked on to Not Fragile and became a huge hit.

download#21 – Carl Douglas – “Kung Fu Fighting” – (1974)

This is classic. One hit wonder Carl Douglas is actually from Jamaica and his song about Kung Fu has appeared in about every movie, commercial, and TV show ever made. It was a #1 hit in the U.S. and all over the world and is a great blend of funk and disco… and Chinese traditional music? Just kidding, but it does have that one little bit of music associated with Chinese music. You know what I’m talking about. My favorite thing about this song is that is from an album ridiculously titled Kung Fu Fighting and Other Love Songs.

Habibi-I_-Need-Your-Love-Shaggy-Mohombi-Faydee-CostiShaggy, Mohombi, Faydee & Costi – “Habibi (I Need Your Love)” – (2014)

What’s this? A U.S. radio hit on our summer countdown? Yes. And by the recently re-appeared Shaggy at that. Of course, to cater to the U.S. market the song is retitled “I Need Your Love” in English-speaking markets as apparently we can’t handle a song titled in Arabic. The song is sung in English, Spanish and Arabic. It has a great international feel and while we’re used to Latin-tinged songs being great for summer, the Middle Eastern flair is a nice touch. The other annoying part about the U.S. version is that it is Shaggy featuring the other artists whereas on the original single (which came out the last week of 2014) they are all credited equally. Anyway, this wraps it up. Hope you’re having a great summer.

51xiYmPqi4L._SS280Serge Devant & Danny Inzerillo feat. Polina – “When You Came Along” – (2012)

Really reaching back for this one – to 2012. It’s weird how quickly electronic music can feel dated. It’s a constantly evolving genre and while this might not sound like something that came out this year, it’s close. And it’s not too terrible either. But it does sound like something that would’ve been playing in every club in Europe in the summer of 2012.

shiftShift K3Y – “Touch” – (2014)

The plan was to move back to the ’70s this week, but the weather is so nice as I write this that I decided to do one more week of summer songs. This electronic tune hit #3 in the U.K. and went unheard in the U.S. Shift K3Y sounds like the name of a musical group, but it’s actually one person (Lewis Jankel) of London.

CommunionYears&YearsYears & Years – “Desire” – (2015)

Okay, so this came out as a single in 2014. But the album was only released a week ago. Years & Years is an electronica trio based in London and their followup hit to this was actually much bigger (check this Songs of Summer list next summer). But this only peaked at #22 in the U.K. (it was unfortunately ignored in the U.S. except for the dance chart). It’s good stuff. 

Shy_FX_Cloud_9Ms. Dynamite & Shy Fx – “Cloud 9” – (2013)

Drums and bass. Meet reggae. What a genre mix. Ms. Dynamite is an English hip-hop artist and Shy Fx is an English DJ specializing in drums and bass. When they come together, you get this uniquely modern take on classic reggae. It’s at the same time extremely relaxing and upbeat. It’s wonderful.

Wicked-Wonderland-by-Martin-TungevaagMartin Tungevaag – “Wicked Wonderland” – (2014)

It might have a slightly-Christmas-y title, but “Wicked Wonderland” is an awesome song with a pulsating beat and rocking sax. The infectious chorus (which sounds like “wicke-wicke-wonderland” without the “D” in wicked pronounced) has caused anti-EDM friends to really latch on to this song. It’s catchy and it was a #1 hit in Austria and a top five hit in a few other European countries.

artworks-000042452901-rgf05w-originalRuss Chimes – “Turn Me Out” – (2013)

Russ Chimes is a London-based DJ and this song was a top 40 hit in the U.K. It’s actually a remix/cover of the 1994 song “Turn Me Out” by Praxis featuring Kathy Brown. It has been remixed and covered successfully into hits by at least two other artists prior to Chimes’ version here. This song has been out for two years and it still pleases today.

cover326x326Sir Sly – “Gold (Betablock3r Remix)” – (2013)

Sir Sly is actually an indie band from L.A. and the original version of this song is much more of a rock song. But the remix replaces the darkish music with a nice, beachy beat. I can’t really compare the original versus this because they’re really two different songs. Apples and oranges. But this one makes me happier.

9163239EDX – “Cool You Off” – (2014)

It’s July and it’s hot (check local listings). What better way to cool down than with “Cool You Off,” a nice deep house track. EDX is the stage name of Maurizio Colella of Zurich. Enjoy.

41MSeWLlCsL._SS280Klingande – “Punga” – (2013)

In keeping with the theme of the week of “Instagram-y cover art,” we have “Punga”  by Klingande (one of the few artists that was on our list last year that returned this year). It’s a longer, deep house track and the saxophone is definitely present. Klingande is the stage name of Cédric Steinmyller, of France. He has made some awesome stuff over the past few years. This was actually a top 25 hit in Belgium.

51NYvaUgUtL._SS280Mystique – “Brand New” – (2014)

I like that you can almost get a feel for how this song is going to sound just by looking at the cover art. This has slightly more lyrics to it than the last song we featured but it’s mostly the same thing over and over. It does get cut up and synthesized quite nicely, if you like that electronic vocal tampering. Actually, from here on I’m referring to the “singing” done by modern radio stars like Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj as “electronic vocal tampering.”

417OHqQgXXL._SS280Tez Cadey – “Seve” – (2014)

Here’s a very nice, very chill song. I really don’t want to use the word “chillest” but this is, perhaps, the chillest song I’m featuring in this list. It’s also one of the newest. Tez Cadey is from Paris and is the stage name of Malo Brisout. He’s based in Lille and is a lot younger than I am. Which is depressing.

Sex_and_Love_(Enrique_Iglesias_album_-_cover_art)Enrique Iglesias feat. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona – “Bailando” – (2014)

Here’s an artist you’ve actually probably heard of. This is the Spanish version (there is also an English version, but translating songs always causes them to loose that thing that makes them exotic and catchy in the first place). Actually you’ve probably heard of Sean Paul, too. Descemer Bueno is a Cuban singer and Gente de Zona is a Cuban reggaeton group. This was a big hit all over the world, even in the U.S. where it reached #12 (with the English version). 

88ae89cbe592cb5691e16c7dac74a8bfSam Feldt & Kav Verhouzer – “Hot Skin” – (2014)

This song is more of a deep house cut than the previous. Isn’t it amazing how many EDM artists are certified scuba divers? Actually, I kind of doubt any EDM artists actually appear in their own videos… which all appear to be shot on the cheap, other than the airfare to whatever sunny locale they’ve picked.

dasco-ft-justina-maria-what-i-need-300x298DASCO feat. Justina Maria – “What I Need (Right Here Right Now)” – (2014)

The “official video” linked to above has a stupid almost 30 second YouTube channel tag at the beginning. So fast forward because this is a super nice, chill song with very nice lyrics. Sigh. I don’t know why I do this to myself… videos for songs of this sort are full of people having fun in beautiful, exotic locations. I want to be there. So bad.

Kendji-by-Kendji-GiracKendji Girac – “Color Gitano” – (2014)

Strangely, you can’t buy this song on Amazon. Kendji Girac is French, but is of Spanish descent, and you can really hear it in the Flemenco guitar-ish-ness of this Spanish/French bilingual song. It’s downright gypsy like in feel with a bit of a pop/house beat. There’s something about songs with a Latin background (even if it’s not Latin music in the traditional sense) that just screams summertime.

61T2xFzDt7L._SS280MYNGA feat. Cosmo Klein – “Back Home” – (2014)

I think you could definitely call this song “chill.” If you find yourself laying on the grass looking up at the sun through shades on a hot day, I’m not sure there’s much of a better song to have playing. There’s even sax, which is the new fad in music like this. I hope it’s a fad that continues.

51nxGURhA0L._SS280Secondcity – “I Wanna Feel” – (2014)

This was actually a #1 in the U.K. in 2014. The lyrics are actually by the same woman who sang on last Monday’s featured track, Kelli-Leigh sampling Toni Braxton’s “You’re Making Me High.” It’s interesting how some songs will top the charts in the U.K. and not even pop up on the Hot 100 in the U.S. Hooray cultural differences!

612VK-jlLRL._SS280Victoria Kern & Menno – “Weekend” – (2014)

This isn’t the best song on this list, far from it, actually, but I thought I’d include it for a few reasons: 1. the music is actually pretty nice, even if it’s more traditional house than the deep house stuff the rest of this list consists of and 2. it’s about a weekend, which, during the summer, are the best days of the week because you can spend the entire day outside.

510RQe7BefL._SS280Bondax – “All I See” – (2014)

Bondax was on our list of Summer Songs last year and they return this year with another great song that is, perhaps, even better. The lyrics here really shine, which is what sort of sells this whole song. The music is great too, but the words actually make it something.

ep1-400x400Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones – “I Got U” – (2014)

We’re taking a break for our year-by-year 1970s countdown to spend the next few weeks running down our summer playlist for 2015. Most of these songs are smooth, summery jams from the past year or so. Starting it off is British producer Duke Dumont’s “I Got You” which, like many of the songs to follow, are perfect tracks to play on a tropical beach somewhere. This song samples Kelli-Leigh’s version of Whitney Houston’s “My Love is Your Love.”

220px-Queen_A_Night_At_The_Opera#1 – Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody” – (1975)

I’m not sure a better song has ever been recorded. That’s a big statement. The song begins as a harmonized ballad and when Freddie Mercury starts singing about how he “once killed a man” the music starts picking up, giving it an operatic feel. The lyrics fade in and out throughout the song and bits of hard rock interrupt the opera performance and they do so with great timing. The song peaked at #9 in the U.S. in 1976 and #1 in the U.K. In 1991, it topped the U.K. charts again after the death of Mercury. In the U.S., it peaked at #2 in 1992 after being featured in Wayne’s World – where Wayne and Garth are headbanging to in in their Pacer right at the 4:12 mark when the hard rock kicks in. It’s pretty amazing in every way… I could write a post three times this long on the lyrics alone. But I won’t. Just give it a listen and you’ll get it.


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