One of the best things about summer is the music. There’s something so liberating about taking a drive, rolling down the windows and singing along to your favorite tunes as the wind whips through your hair. It just doesn’t feel like summer has truly begun until you’ve experienced one of those carefree moments.

Fortunately, over the years, artists have recognized the importance this warm-weather soundtrack to our lives and have produced some truly great songs. It was a lot of fun researching the biggest singles of the past four decades and some, such as the 1990s, show how diverse music, over a ten-year span, can truly be.

If you are looking to create your own master list of fun-loving summer music, here is a little inspiration:

2000s

  1. The Black Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feeling”
  2. Beyonce feat. Jay-Z, “Crazy In Love”
  3. Nelly, “Hot In Here”
  4. Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland, “Promiscuous”
  5. Katy Perry, “I Kissed A Girl”
  6. Rihanna feat. Jay-Z, “Umbrella”
  7. Eve feat. Gwen Stefani, “Let Me Blow Ya Mind”
  8. Usher, “U Remind Me”
  9. The Black Eyed Peas, “Boom Boom Pow”
  10. Lil Wayne feat. Static Major, “Lollipop”

1990s

  1. Brandy and Monica, “The Boy Is Mine”
  2. TLC, “Waterfalls”
  3. Los Del Rio, “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)”
  4. Sir Mix-A-Lot, “Baby Got Back”
  5. Christina Aguilera, “Genie in a Bottle”
  6. Tag Team, “Whoomp! (There It Is)”
  7. Jennifer Lopez, “If You Had My Love”
  8. Toni Braxton, “You’re Makin’ Me High”
  9. Monica, “Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)”
  10. Hanson, “MMMBop”

1980s

  1. Prince, “When Doves Cry”
  2. The Police, “Every Breath You Take”
  3. Steve Winwood, “Roll With It”
  4. Tears For Fears, “Shout”
  5. Survivor, “Eye of the Tiger”
  6. Madonna, “Papa Don’t Preach”
  7. Olivia Newton-John, “Magic”
  8. Whitney Houston, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”
  9. Rick Springfield, “Jessie’s Girl”
  10. Paul McCartney, “Coming Up”

1970s

  1. The Knack, “My Sharona”
  2. The Emotions, “Best of My Love”
  3. Donna Summer, “Bad Girls”
  4. Carole King, “I Feel the Earth Move”
  5. The Carpenters, “(They Long To Be) Close To You”
  6. Elton John & Kiki Dee, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”
  7. Jim Croce, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”
  8. Wild Cherry, “Play That Funky Music”
  9. Edwin Starr, “War”
  10. Hot, “Angel in Your Arms”

Which decade resonated with you most? Were you surprised by some of the songs on the lists? Was it fun remembering some of the music that you had forgotten? Leave a comment about your own summer playlist and how you choose the songs you include!