Summer is finally here in the UK after a few grey days and false starts! That means it’s time to roll your car windows down, open those sunroofs and cruise to some killer tunes on the road. We’re also entering the peak of festival season, and it’s no secret thousands of Liftshare members love road-tripping to the likes of Download and Glastonbury together.
We thought we’d take a long hard think about the best music to drive to this summer, so we’ve compiled a list of what we believe to be the ultimate hot weather jams – along with a Spotify playlist you can take with you wherever you go. Music tastes are subjective of course, so we want to hear your own favourite suggestions in the comments below and on Twitter. Chuck us your requests and we might even add them to our list!
Let’s press play and get going!
It’s the song that refuses to die, and you’re probably utterly sick of it by now, but it really does have that summer vibe and we’d defy anyone not to start moving their body a little once the chorus kicks in. It’s a modern funk classic with a summer vibe.
The clue’s in the title really, but Will Smith’s lazy summer jam really does recall memories of hazy nights gone by, and the lyrics totally spell out an ideal summer day filled with fun, BBQs, parties and good times with friends. We demand Will gets back into the rap game once he’s done filming DC’s Suicide Squad. Make it happen Will!
This Blink 182 track came way before they hit the big time with ‘All The Small Things,’ but it just exudes summer ‘feels’ through every energetic riff and drum solo. It’s a song about growing up, facing responsibility and it’s really reflective of years gone by. Perfect.
You may have first heard this song from – perhaps ironically – the end of road trip comedy film Rat Race, but Smash Mouth’s biggest song is ideal for summer cruising. It’s just so upbeat and bouncy, with a sing-a-long chorus that demands participation. Are you ‘all star’ enough to get with this track?
It’s the beat. Just listen to it and imagine yourself driving up some sun-bleached motorway with your mates, nodding your head as you travel together. Even if you’re not a Beyonce fan, it’s hard not to sing along or at least do the ‘Wuh oh oh’ bits. Single Ladies is one of those proper ingrained songs that most of us know at least some of the words to. It’s just that popular.
Oh wow, now this is nostalgic. This one needs little introduction to be honest, but we think you’ll agree that love or hate it, MMMBop has summer written all over it in permanent marker pen. No matter how much you scrub, that infectious chorus just doesn’t come out. We know, because we’ve tried. It cannot be ignored.
AKA the bit where Rocky works out in the snow in Rocky IV. This is one of the most blood-pumping tracks in human history and you can’t help but get fired up as John belts out the iconic chorus. Sing it with us, “HEEAAAARTS ON FIIIIRE!” Epic stuff.
Ah Dizzee, what a lad. His team up with Scottish megastar Calvin Harris led to the birth of a true summer anthem than has both the beat and chorus to get people in the mood for long nights, fun times and banter by the bucket-load. Love or hate the Rascal, there’s no denying this is a solid summer track.
Oh yeah now we’re talking. Not that we’d ever compare AC/DC to Beyonce, but both of their entries in this list have proper head-banging beats that are ripe for summer driving. It’s one of the most iconic tracks in rock history, and it’s perfect for singing along to as well. What more can be said about this one? Not much, because it’s just that good.
The Black Eyed Peas are the Marmite of the music industry in that you either love them or hate them with a passion. Regardless, I Gotta Feeling is the kind of upbeat, positive and impossible to ignore track that gets you pumping for a night of fun at the end of your car journey. It gets you looking forward to weekends, nights out, parties and whatever good things you’ve got going on in your life. Is that really so bad?
Ignoring the shockingly bad grammar of Carly’s song title, Call Me Maybe is a song we’re sure many people have denied liking, but secretly they’ve caught themselves nodding along or even singing the chorus at some point. Either way, this is an ideal summer driving track that should get even the most stony-faced people in the mood for fun.
Again, the clue’s in the title, and it’s clear this track was written by ol’ Bryan to capture the free-spirited nature of summer and the fond memories that go along with it. It’s amazingly suited for nostalgic fun times with your best friends on the road.
The Offspring aren’t as big as they once were, but Want You Bad is further testament to just how great they were at their peak. It’s got that classic punk simplicity and an infectious chorus that just burns into the brain without room for negotiation. In fact, most tracks by The Offspring could be considered ‘summery,’ but this one nails it perfectly.
Producer Rick Rubin is the master of creating a retro rock anthem. He’s written tonnes of songs that you probably already love, like Eminem’s Berzerk and tracks by Run DMC, Beastie Boys, Slayer and more. The man’s a weapon. 99 Problems is ideal for summer driving and again, it has a stonking anthem chorus that should be regarded as popular knowledge by now. What are problems when you’re driving in the summer sun?
Fred Durst might be a ‘character’ but his band’s ode to driving slowly was a juggernaut hit here in the UK at release. This song was made for driving, is about driving, and should be played while driving. The chorus is easy to remember and you get bonus points for doing the silly dance too. Admit it, you’ve danced to this one before.
Like Black Eyed Peas, this is another track you will either love or hate, but it doesn’t just tick all the summer anthem boxes, it brands them with a red-hot iron. You may think that LMFAO have all the artistic talent of a baked potato, but the song was a super-hit that fits well on road trip playlists.
There was simply no escaping this beast at launch, and that’s because it’s simply a funky, catchy song that we’re sure must have been written according to some ancient, magical music formulae to ensure a high-charting position. You surely know the score by now. It’s catchy, it’s got a great chorus and it’s perfect for summer.
Known around the world as ‘the song that gets played last, just before the club closes,’ Reef’s Place Your hands is a universally-known anthem that defies generational gaps. It came out in the ’90s and is still getting people thrusting their digits towards the ceiling at every opportunity. Come one, put your hands up. We’re waiting…
Just try and not sing a long, we double-triple-dare you! Yes, Jack Black and Kyle’s colossus of a track took over the world when it launched and it’s still lighting up karaoke bars and clubs the world over to this day. It’s a bit like a modern day Bohemian Rhapsody in terms of anthem value. Speaking of which…
It just had to be, didn’t it? We’re not sure if there’s another song out there that so many people know all the words to besides ‘Happy Birthday,’ but it truly is a masterpiece of our time. From the gentle piano, to the slow build up and then that crashing finale, it’s summertime road trip gold. In fact, we reckon a copy of the single should come free with every car.
You’ve seen our top 20, now tune into it via Spotify here, and if you plan on driving near or far this summer, make sure you save money by car sharing with Liftshare. We’re free to join and easy to use. Give us a shot today!