Now that Memorial Day is officially in the rearview, and even thoughspeculation began months ago, the conversation (and let’s be honest, competition) over what will be the official song of the summer of 2015 can truly begin. In ascending to the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, Taylor Swift has already made a strong case for “Bad Blood” as a contender, though it’s honestly probably too negative a tune to score a season’s worth of driving to the beach and drinking at barbecues.
Whatever ends up becoming the definitive anthem of the next few months will join a sacred fraternity of artists and songs that live on even after the sunburn fades. So here is a definitive ranking of the last 20 years of songs of summer, ranked from best to least-best.
Hanson, “MMMBop” (1997)
Too polarizing to be transcendent, which is why it can’t sit any higher than this. It’s still mildly amazing that “MMMBop” was produced by the Dust Brothers, the same dudes who helmed Beck’s Odelay and the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique. Then again, the engineer on “Call Me Maybe” also worked on this. [Marilyn Manson The Beautiful People]