Ramones, ‘Rockaway Beach’ vs. Mungo Jerry, ‘In the Summertime': Greatest Summer Song Battle
Two '70s favorites square off against each other in the first round of Ultimate Classic Rock's quest to find the Greatest Summer Song. You can vote for either Ramones' "Rockaway Beach" or Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime" below.
We’ve selected 32 of classic rock’s best summertime songs, and paired them off in 16 first-round duels. Over the next five weeks the field will be repeatedly cut in half by your votes, until we arrive at the greatest summer song ever made.
Like many Ramones songs, "Rockaway Beach" is built on a pretty simple foundation: a few guitar chords hammered out over the same verse and chorus for a little more than two minutes. Despite the punk label they were saddled with, the Ramones were really just a garage-rock throwback to '60s pop, girl groups and beach music. "Rockaway Beach," from the band's third album Rocket to Russia, was the Ramones' highest-charting single – reaching No. 66 in 1977. And it's the closest they got to an eternal summer song.
The British group Mungo Jerry scored only one Top 10 single in the U.S., but it was killer. "In the Summertime" reached No. 3 in 1970, and it still conjures good-time feelings of all the different kinds of fun summer has to offer: cute girls, cold drinks, long days and doing a whole lotta nothing. It's not very deep, not even when it thinks it is ("Life's for livin' / That's our philosophy"), but it's hard to pull away from it. And just try resisting that singalong part.
So which one will earn a trip to the second round? Listen to both below and make your call. You can vote once per hour in each of the 16 first-round Greatest Summer Song battles until voting closes on July 27 at 11:59PM ET. Your choice for the Greatest Summer Song of all time will be revealed on Aug. 25, 2015.
Listen to the Ramones Perform 'Rockaway Beach'
Listen to Mungo Jerry Perform 'In the Summertime'
See Ramones and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the '70s