Old School Summer Jams and Their New Counterparts
Tired of hearing Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” which is (and will likely continue to be) on repeat over the radio this summer? Rather switch it up with the old school version of Azalea’s infamous track? Well you’re in luck because we’re breaking down our favorite old-school summer jams against their current counterparts. From Ariana Grande and her summer radio hit, “Problem” to 1999’s version of Ariana Grande–Christina Aguilera, and her summer hit “Genie in a Bottle.” We’ve got all kinds of old school takes on this year’s biggest summer tracks. Remember cutesy ‘90s boy band, Hanson? Their 1997 summer track, “MMMBop” is a great throwback if you’re getting tired of all the 5 Seconds of Summer hype. Plus we’ve got some R&B, country, Latin, and hip-hop summer jams to please music lovers of all genres. So take a look at our picks of the best old-school summer jams versus their new-school counterparts, and see if your heart lies in the summer of ‘89 or right here in 2014.
1. Robyn, “Do You Know What It Takes” (1997)
The 2014 Update: Röyksopp & Robyn, “Do It Again”
“Do It Again” is the title track of Röyksopp & Robyn’s collaborative-mini album, which topped the dance/electronic charts in the U.S. this summer. Röyksopp's polished beats make for a killer-dance track mixed with Robyn’s stellar vocals. And if you’re like most, and find yourself obsessing over Robyn’s amazing voice–check out the track that established her U.S. music career, “Do You Know What It Takes.”
The song was Robyn’s first top ten single in the U.S., selling more than 500,000 copies to become a gold-certified anthem during the summer of '98. Check out Robyn rocking some very ‘90s-appropriate fashion in the music video above. Download Röyksopp & Robyn’s Do It Again mini album on iTunes here.
2. Hanson, “MMMBop” (1997)
The 2014 Update: 5 Seconds Of Summer, “She Looks So Perfect”
Aptly named, 5 Seconds of Summer, have become the boy band of the season with their single, “She Looks So Perfect.” The track, which was a massive hit in their native Australia, became the band’s first Top 40 hit in the U.S. this May. The Australian quartet received some serious attention; so many fans hit their website for info on the release of their debut album it actually crashed!
If you need a break from 5SOS mania, take a trip back to 1997 and listen to Hanson's "MMMBop." The double Grammy-nominated song from the brotherly trio became a worldwide hit, and the perfect-summer jam during 1997. Watch the young Hanson brothers perform “MMMBop” in the official music video above, and download 5 Seconds of Summer’s She Looks So Perfect EP off iTunes here.
3. Aaliyah, “Try Again” (2000)
The 2014 Update: Rita Ora,“I Will Never Let You Down”
British songstress Rita Ora turned out a pop smash with the release of “I Will Never Let You Down.” The song debuted at No. 1 on the U.K. charts and is already a U.S. Billboard Top 40 summer hit. Although Ora’s track was produced with a dance-pop sound, her vocals are definitely reminiscent of ‘90s R&B. And for an update on the update, check out iconic producer Switch's remix of the track created exclusively for Beats of the Beautiful Game.
Before Rita, the world fell in love with Aaliyah. To get a real taste of the late babygirl of '90s R&B listen to Aaliyah’s “Try Again,” her hit track off the Romeo Must Die soundtrack. It wasn't just a song of the summer back in 2000, though it did hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart in June 2000. It was an inspiring and uplifting message of endurance, "If at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again." Watch the legendary R&B singer show off her moves in the music video above.
4. UB40, “Can’t Help Falling In Love” (1993)
The 2014 Update: Nico and Vinz "Am I Wrong"
Nico and Vinz have taken over the airwaves with their hit track, “Am I Wrong.” You can hardly walk into a grocery store, or stroll past a radio without hearing the Norwegian duo’s top 5 debut single. There's no denying the blend of pop, African and reggae music has become an instant favorite this summer. Nico and Vinz’s distinct sound has drawn comparisons to Sting and Akon–but their summer hit, “Am I Wrong” could definitely call to mind ‘90s hit track, “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by British reggae group UB40.
The UB40 track was released in the summer of 1993 and topped both the U.S. and U.K. charts by evoking a similar pop-reggae sound. Check out the video for “Can’t Help Falling In Love” above and download Nico and Vinz’s current hit on iTunes here.
5. Ricky Martin, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” (1999)
The 2014 Update: Enrique Iglesias, “Bailando”
Count on Latin-music sensation Enrique Iglesias to create one of the biggest Latin hits this summer. “Bailando” is infectious. It dominating the U.S. Latin charts and performed well on U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in tow. Ever panning to his multiple fan-bases around the world, Iglesias even created separate English, Spanish, and Portuguese versions of the track.
For an old-school alternative to “Bailando” try Ricky Martin’s fiery “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” The song topped the U.S. Hot 100 chart back in the summer of 1999, and was one of the most-played songs on radio that year. It earned multiple Grammy nominations and sold more than a million copies in the U.S. alone! Check out the video for “Livin’ La Vida Loca” above, and purchase Iglesias’ current summer hit off iTunes here. Ricky Martin-grade wax sold separately.
6. Christina Aguilera, “Genie in a Bottle” (1999)
The 2014 Update: Ariana Grande, “Problem”
Ariana Grande’s “Problem,” featuring Iggy Azalea, has been a heavy contender for the song of the summer for weeks now. Debuting at number three on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart back in April, the track is already certified platinum, and is hard to miss on any radio station. So if you’re getting tired of the ubiquitous track, and want to mix it up with it’s ‘90s counterpart, take a listen to Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle.”
The track was Aguilera’s first big hit, certifying platinum in the U.S., and selling more than 7 million copies worldwide. Check out a young Aguilera in her music video for “Genie in a Bottle” above, and download Grande’s “Problem” off of iTunes here.
7. Lil Mama, “Lip Gloss” (2007)
The 2014 Update: Iggy Azalea, “Fancy”
Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” featuring Charli XCX, has become one of the most recognizable tracks of the summer, thanks to its massive radio play and insanely popular music video. The track, which reached number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, is Azalea’s first No. 1 hit. But if you’re like us, and have heard way too much of “Fancy” lately, you can change it up with 2007 hip-hop, summer hit, “Lip Gloss.”
The track, from fellow-female rapper, Lil Mama, was certified gold and peaked at number 10 on the Hot 100 chart. And just like “Fancy,” Lil Mama’s “Lip Gloss” features an equally impressive music video, with Mama showing off her killer-dance moves. Check out the “Lip Gloss” video above, and download “Fancy” on iTunes here.
8. Kenny Chesney, “When the Sun Goes Down” (2004)
The 2014 Update: Jake Owen, “Beachin'”
Jake Owen’s “Beachin” is this summer’s ultimate country hit. Topping not only the U.S. Billboard’s country charts, “Beachin” is also Owen’s second Top 40 hit. The track oozes summer, it's all sunshine, sand, and cold cans (Of Pepsi Real Big Sugar, holler!). But if you’re feeling something a little more old school, try out Kenny Chesney’s “When the Sun Goes Down.”
The country superstar’s sunny track topped the country charts back in 2004, and was also a crossover hit, performing well on the charts. Check out the video for Chesney’s equally-beachy “When the Sun Goes Down” above, and purchase Jake Owen’s “Beachin” off of iTunes here.
9. Richard Marx, “Right Here Waiting” (1989)
The 2014 Update: Sam Smith, “Stay With Me”
British crooner, Sam Smith earned his first top five hit in the U.S. with his single “Stay With Me,” and it has touched hearts all over the world in the process. With a remix featuring R&B superstar, Mary J. Blige, the song is an amazing introduction to the talent once-bartender Smith has. The love-sick ballad shows off Smith’s powerful vocals and heavy gospel influence. But to get a taste of an old-school version of Smith’s “Stay With Me,” try out Richard Marx’s famous 1989 track, “Right Here Waiting.”
Another heartfelt ballad, this song has more of a pop-rock sound and is very ‘80s (minus the cheesy synthesizers and keyboards.) Check out Marx’s video above and download Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” on iTunes here.
10. Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris, “Yeah!” (2004)
The 2014 Update: DJ Snake & Lil Jon, “Turn Down For What”
Our list couldn’t be complete without DJ Snake & Lil Jon’s notorious track, “Turn Down For What.” The soundtrack to an insane amount of Vine and YouTube videos, this track is DJ Snake’s first, top-ten hit and Lil Jon’s ninth. So for our old-school version of “Turn Down For What,” what better than Lil Jon’s first hit: Usher’s “Yeah!,” featuring both Lil Jon and Ludacris.
Released in January 2004, the track topped U.S. Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in March and stayed there for a whopping twelve-consecutive weeks (becoming 2004’s song of the summer.) Check out the epic music video for “Yeah!” above (there’s lots of Usher dancing,) and download “Turn Down For What” off iTunes here.
August 15, 2014 via Pepsi