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Best Pop Rock Songs for Summer Vacation

From Bikes to Beaches, the Best of Summer Vacation Tunes

Vacations are always fun, and summer vacations are the best. Some songs actually go better with summer, even sound like summer. Here's our list of the 12 best pop songs about summer vacation, kicking back, and relaxing under the hot sun.

#12 La Isla Bonita by Madonna (1987) She did have some great hits back in the 80s, and this song was a nice tribute to an island getaway. She also had Holiday (1983) to celebrate time off, but La Isla Bonita is sunny, tropical, and just sweeter.

#11 Sailing by Christopher Cross (1980) A smooth tune about getting away from it all, Chris had a few hits about the subject (Ride Like the Wind).

#10 Hard Times are Over by Yoko Ono (1980) from the John Lennon/Yoko Ono Double Fantasy LP, this song is about leaving behind work and school, and all the related problems, and enjoying some better times (at least, for awhile). What else could better describe a summer vacation.
The leaves are shining in the sun, and I'm smiling inside...
hard times are over, over for awhile...

#9 School's Out by Alice Cooper (1972) Schools out for summer... Alice Cooper said it all with his scary make-up and costumes, and his song was the anthem for summer vacations throughout the 70s. Rock on.

#8 Bicycle Race by Queen (1978) Summer vacation is all about riding your bike, especially now that the world is going green. Save on gas, ride the bike to the park, corner store, or your friend's pad, or even to meet fat bottom girls. (If you're not a Queen fan, that joke just went overhead and crashed)

#7 Summer in the City by the Lovin' Spoonful (1966) The 60s had its summer vacations too, and this song was a popular hit for those who couldn't get to the beach. Hot times, summer in the city...

#6 Summer Days by the Partridge Family (1971) C'mon, you know you love it! Don't be embarrassed to admit it. We all loved this song by the P Fam and David Cassidy. The tune just gets stuck in your head. It's almost as contagious as I Think I Love You. In my head, I can still see the Summer Days montage on the TV show.

#5 Popcorn by Hot Butter (1972) It might not have any lyrics, but it just sounds like summer, doesn't it? Very happy and sunny. Makes me want to dance on the beach at night, or at a barbecue party in the back yard. We can eat popcorn and watch movies at the drive-in. (What's a drive-in?)

#4 Ho! Summer byTackey & Tsubasa (2006) A duo of very popular stars in Japan, Takkey & Tsubasa (Hideaki Takizwa and Tsubasa Imai), a few years ago released a great summer song (and summer video). Even if you don't understand the lyrics, the music really propels you into the spirit of things. Check out the elusive video if you can find it on the net.

#3 Summertime by Janis Joplin (1968) It's been sung a few times by different artists, but the version by Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Company in 1968 was the best for me. It has a very "summer night" feel.

#2 Cruel Summer by Bananarama (1983) Jump ahead 2 decades to a very hip, very bouncy song that always gets me moving. It had a perfectly quirky video (showing gas at @1.48, wow!) and the trio of ladies having summer fun. The song was featured in the Karate Kid, too. What more could you want?

#1 Vacation by the Go Gos (1982) Yes, it might be obvious, but it's also the best choice. This song by the Go Gos just makes you feel like picking up and going out for a trip, holiday, vacation... The upbeat tempo gets your legs moving, and your head bopping.
Va-ca-tion, all I ever wanted,
vacation had to get away...
No work, just play. Isn't that what summer vacation is about?
How did the girls manage to get the top 3 spots? Maybe girls like summer vacation most of all? As Cindi Lauper said , "Girls just want to have fun." Or maybe they're just more vocal about it.

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