Looking for some bright, light music to listen to this Memorial Day Weekend? Here are some favorites through the decades
Donna Summer, Jason Mraz and One Direction (Harry Styles, pictured) all have fun, lighthearted songs perfect for Memorial Day Weekend listening. Photos: Contributed/Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Contributed
We’re not thinking too deeply or looking for high art – just a few tunes to promote a lighter heart at the unofficial start of summer. Here are a few favorites through the decades to consider tuning into this Memorial Day Weekend.
Chicago, "Saturday in the Park" (1972): A brass-soaked smile of a song literally inspired by a park visit. Founding member Robert Lamm strolled through New York's Central Park and told his bandmates they had to put the scenes to music.
Donna Summer, "On the Radio" (1979): The Queen of Disco and producing partner Giorgio Moroder combined strengths for another slick mirror ball singalong.
The Cars, "Magic" (1984): Though the shimmery song will always be appreciated for its gleaming synthesizers and chorus, fans often remember it for the groovy video that featured singer Ric Ocasek walking on water.
Len, "Steal My Sunshine" (1999): The epitome of a one-hit wonder that nonetheless endures thanks to its bouncy backbeat and a brilliant sample of Andrea True Connection's 1976 disco classic, "More, More, More."
Amy Grant, "Every Heartbeat" (1991): Following her pop crossover smash "Baby, Baby," Grant further demonstrated her deftness with a breezy chorus and sweet message.
Fountains of Wayne, "Stacy's Mom" (2003): It's hardly the best representation of the pop music genius that was Adam Schlesinger (who died in April of coronavirus complications), but the power pop song became the band's biggest hit based on a fun, simple chorus.
Outkast, "Hey Ya" (2003): The pride of Atlanta rap used the influences of bands such as The Ramones and The Smiths to craft this Polaroid-shaker.
Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe" (2011): Nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2012, the No. 1 hit received an early endorsement from fellow Canadian Justin Bieber, who tweeted, "it's possibly the catchiest song I have ever heard." On this, the Beebs does not lie.
Jason Mraz, "Have it All" (2018): The Prince of Positivity can always be relied upon for clever wordplay and mellifluous choruses.
One Direction, "Best Song Ever" (2013): Say what you will about Harry Styles' launching pad, but any boy band that nicks, er, is "inspired by" The Who's "Baba O'Riley" deserves some credit. Besides, who can listen to this without fist-pumping along?
Melissa Ruggieri has covered music and entertainment for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution since 2010 and created the Atlanta Music Scene blog. She's kept vampire hours for more than two decades and remembers when MTV was awesome.