Beach Boys, ‘California Girls’ vs. Kinks, ‘Sunny Afternoon’: Greatest Summer Song Battle
Ultimate Classic Rock’s Greatest Summer Song battle is down to just eight remaining songs, with the Beach Boys facing off in a sun-splashed bracket against the Kinks. Here's your chance to vote for either "California Girls" or "Sunny Afternoon' as we repeatedly cut the remaining choices in half by your votes.
We started with 32 of classic rock’s best summertime songs, and four weeks of reader votes will decide which will be named the greatest summer song ever made.
The Beach Boys arrive having bested Sly and the Family Stone's "Hot Fun in the Summertime" with more than 78 percent in the first round, and then Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime" with 67 percent in the next round. A highlight of the sessions for Beach Boys' masterpiece Pet Sounds, "California Girls" went to No. 3 on the Billboard charts.
The Kinks, meanwhile, bested the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City” with 56 percent of the vote and then Led Zeppelin's "Dancing Days" with 58 percent. For all of the title's warm-weather imagery, "Sunny Afternoon" – from their 1966 album Face to Face – traces an anti-tax narrative similar to the Beatles' "Taxman."
So which song will make it through to the semifinals? That’s where you come in. We’ve embedded both songs below so that you can make an informed decision. You can vote once per hour in each of the eight second-round Greatest Summer Song battles until voting closes on Aug. 10 at 11:59PM ET. Your choice for the Greatest Summer Song of all time will be revealed on Aug. 25, 2015.
Watch the Beach Boys Perform ‘California Girls’
Listen to the Kinks' 'Sunny Afternoon’
See the Beach Boys and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the '60s