Upbeat songs for a kick-ass end of the semester cook-out?!
May 6, 2013 10:26 PM   Subscribe

Looking for the happy-go-lucky-est pop/rock “oldies” you know of. The semester is finally ending and we need some good tunes to chill out to!

I can never remember (or even hear) the names of the awesome songs on the radio. Help me out with your most upbeat songs, please!
posted by switcheroo to Media & Arts (45 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know what you consider an "oldie," but to me the term implies 1960s or before, maybe edging just a bit into early 70s. On that note:

Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da, The Beatles
Cecilia, Simon and Garfunkel
Sloop John B, The Beach Boys (actually a lot of Beach Boys songs, but Sloop John B is my favorite)
I Saw Her Again, The Mamas and the Papas
You Can't Hurry Love, The Supremes
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:38 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

Given that the word "semester" appears in the submitter's question, I'm scared that they're going to come back with a completely depressing definition of what an "oldie" is.

I agree with DevilsAdvocate's definition though, so I'd like to add "Palisades Park" by Freddie Cannon, before the submitter comes back and says "You know. 'Oldies.' Like from the 80s and 90s and stuff."
posted by themanwho at 11:02 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

Syreeta, Harmour Love
posted by faustdick at 11:23 PM on May 6, 2013

Happy Boy, The Beat Farmers.
posted by mazola at 11:37 PM on May 6, 2013

Gin and Juice, The Gourds.
posted by mazola at 11:43 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

Love is All Around, Joan Jett.
posted by mazola at 11:45 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Endicott, Kid Creole & the Coconuts.
posted by mazola at 11:47 PM on May 6, 2013

I Must Be In Love, The Rutles.
posted by mazola at 11:53 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Other Side of Summer, Elvis Costello.
posted by mazola at 12:10 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Shake a Tail Feather, Ray Charles.
posted by mazola at 12:18 AM on May 7, 2013

Best answer: Okay this is simply a general tip to help you in your own searches, but the key term you're missing here is "Summer Jams".
posted by Mizu at 12:19 AM on May 7, 2013 [4 favorites]

Rare Earth, I Just Want to Celebrate.

Also, thank you for causing me to find that video.
posted by pont at 12:29 AM on May 7, 2013

Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves.
posted by Harald74 at 12:39 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh man, after reading themanwho's answer, I need to give you a happy pop 90's "oldies" playlist. Welcome to my adolescence:

Kiss Me - Sixpence None the Richer

Semi-Charmed Life - Third Eye Blind

My Own Worst Enemy - Lit

Jane Says - Jane's Addiction (okay, I guess just the music is upbeat with this one)

Steal My Sunshine - Len
posted by cairdeas at 12:47 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble - Life By The Drop
Allman Brothers Band - Jessica
Steely Dan - Bad Sneakers (Though I find the Push Stars' cover to be peppier than the Steely Dan original)
Sly & The Family Stone - Dance To The Music, I Want To Take You Higher
Canned Heat - On The Road Again
posted by knile at 12:49 AM on May 7, 2013

Best answer: Okay this is simply a general tip to help you in your own searches, but the key term you're missing here is "Summer Jams".

Well in that case, what you want are the Summertime Mixtapes from DJ Jazzy Jeff and Nick Boogie. There are three of them, and they can be downloaded here fer free. The first 1 is especially good. I haven't actually listened to 2 or 3.
posted by themanwho at 1:36 AM on May 7, 2013 [6 favorites]

Leslie Gore-greatest hits
posted by sexyrobot at 1:44 AM on May 7, 2013

My family nearly wore out this Fun Rock compilation of 50s/60s bubblegum and novelty pop back in the day.
posted by HeroZero at 3:32 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Warm California Sun.
posted by kimberussell at 4:05 AM on May 7, 2013

I Want You Back - The Jackson 5
Do You Wanna Dance - The Beach Boys
Iko Iko - Dixie Cups
It Ain't the Meat - The Swallows
Last Call (for Alcohol) - Julia Lee and her Boyfriends
Let's Have a Party - Wanda Jackson
Daydream Believer - The Monkees
Miserlou - Dick Dale
Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
Sugar, Sugar - The Archies
Build me up Buttercup - The Foundations
Red Rubber Ball - The Cyrkle
Summer in the City - Lovin Spoonful
Clappin Song - Shirley Ellis
Barbara Ann - Beach Boys
You Were on My Mind - We Five
Different Drum - Stone Poneys
Botch a Me - Rosemary Clooney
You Can't Hurry Love - The Supremes
posted by k8lin at 4:16 AM on May 7, 2013 [3 favorites]

There's nothing more fun than doing the wolf-whistle noise when singing along to The Joker by Steve Miller Band.
posted by mippy at 4:34 AM on May 7, 2013

Pat Benatar All Fired Up
Martha and the Muffins Echo Beach
Dave Edmunds Girls Talk
posted by Prof Iterole at 5:42 AM on May 7, 2013

Best answer: I just dug out my "summer playlist" mix cd from a couple Music Swaps ago; some of the songs fit:

Dancing In The Street - the Martha and the Vandellas original, please.
You Get What You Give, The New Radicals.
Steal My Kisses, Ben Harper. (I first heard that song on the radio when I was on a highway in the middle of Ohio somewhere during a cross-country solo road trip and took the next exit I came to to go find a store and buy it.)
Stay (Wasting Time), Dave Matthews Band. (It's a good song, deal with it.)

And then pretty much anything by B-52's, really. Their biggest hits are "Love Shack" or "Rock Lobster," but "Junebug" and "Planet Claire" are also good. But really, anything would work because it's the B-52's and they just ooze fun. Even their most chill hit, something instrumental called "Follow Your Bliss", has some sweet happymaking bass.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:57 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Eddie and the Hot Rods - Do anthing you wanna do

If you like this, add these:

Alright - Supergrass
Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) - Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 5:59 AM on May 7, 2013

I would add almost anything by Credence Clearwater Revival. They always sound like summer and good times to me.
posted by Gneisskate at 6:17 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Anything off Parliament's Greatest Hits, because you cannot have an end-of-semester-start-of-summer party without some funk. Like, maybe P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up). Or Flashlight.
posted by rtha at 6:26 AM on May 7, 2013

Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend (by The Hit Crew) -- using the 1980s definition of "oldies"...
posted by acm at 6:30 AM on May 7, 2013

My nine-year old granddaughter can't/won't stop singing "Hey Soul Sister". She thinks it's an oldie.
posted by uncaken at 6:41 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

This Deadhead is going to out himself as a closet Motown fan when I say that the Four Tops are a magical band that can lift anyone's spirits.

Baby I need Your Lovin"
I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)
Keeper of the Castle

Ok one from Jerry and Bob,

Eyes of the World (Live in Paris 1974) Warning 10+ minutes long
Eyes of the World (Studio Version)
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:12 AM on May 7, 2013

Best answer: How...what? How has no one mentioned In the Summertime by Mungo Jerry? That's, like, the quintessential summer song!
posted by phunniemee at 7:38 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

A-Punk, Vampire Weekend
posted by Nickel Pickle at 7:41 AM on May 7, 2013

Like Wow—Wipeout, The Hoodoo Gurus.
posted by mazola at 7:47 AM on May 7, 2013

There are worse ways to end your night than with Moonlight Serenade.

Edit: Aw heck, why not take a listen to Martin Denny as well: exotica at it's finest! Yeah, these are jazz suggestions and not rock, but they make for great background music for parties.
posted by absquatulate at 7:58 AM on May 7, 2013

Response by poster: themanwho -- I go by the definition of radio stations (in the midwest, don't know if it's different elsewhere), which seems to be mostly 60s and 70s, with a bit of 50s and 80s. Surely that's not so depressing??

Mizu - Thanks!! I tried searching a whole bunch of terms but didn't think of "jams". Summer jams. Ok.

These are great, thanks everyone!
posted by switcheroo at 8:13 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Mostly new, but also some older tracks are on Girl Talk's Backyard-Barbecue Mix playlist.
posted by knile at 8:20 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Beach Baby by The First Class
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 8:24 AM on May 7, 2013

Oh, Boy!, Buddy Holly and the Crickets. It's one of the best-aged 50s songs because it has so much energy.
posted by stopgap at 9:15 AM on May 7, 2013

Okay, if 70's is still part of "oldies," then there's something wonderfully goofy (and not "summer" as such) by Todd Rundgren - Bang The Drum All Day.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:13 PM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Itchycoo Park - Small Faces

I feel inclined to blow my mind
Get hung up, feed the ducks with a bun
They all come out to groove about
Be nice and have fun in the sun
posted by Brody's chum at 10:31 AM on May 8, 2013

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