The Perfect 80’s Summer Soundtrack

The Perfects 80s Summer Soundtrack | 80s Retro Place (

(Image: Beach background: Patrize Ozturk/, cassette: Bartik Ambrozik/

We all know the 80s featured some amazing music, from power rock ballads to breakout dance mixes. And what better time to enjoy that music than during summer?

Summer songs of the 80s had all sorts of sounds and all sorts of moods. Whether you were on your summer vacation from school at the time or driving the kids on a road trip, here are just some of the songs that might fit your different summer moods in the 80s, from the mainstream all the way out to a song about a “Road to Nowhere.”

For summer fun in general…anytime, anywhere: “Magic” by The Cars

Just about everyone loves The Cars! And with the first lyrics being “Summer—it turns me upside-down. Summer, summer, summer….It’s like a merry-go-round,” this is one of the most quintessential 80s summer songs! If you’re already having an upbeat summer day, “Magic” will fit your mood perfectly; and if not, it will quickly bring your spirits up.


For going out on the town on a warm summer eve: “Hot in the City” by Billy Idol

The intro to this song definitely pulls you in, and this is the perfect song for driving around town on a balmy night in a convertible.


For an 80s beach party (or any 80s summer party): “Wipeout” by the Fat Boys & Beach Boys

At first, the Fat Boys and Beach Boys would seem like an unlikely combination—but remember what a good job the Fat Boys did with Chubby Checker and “The Twist” (which was probably the Fat Boys’ first really popular song)?


For reminiscing about the 80s through a song nostalgic about the…”Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams

A lot of this song can apply to just about any decade, as it ponders an easier—and funner life—of playing in a band, working at a drive-in, etc. Okay…the drive-in part unfortunately doesn’t apply anymore, but a lot of this song still does!


For when your area’s blessed with a little summer rain: “Rain in the Summertime” by Alarm.

This is one that may not have gotten a lot of widespread play in some places—but it should have. This is a great 80s sound with just the right amount of synth and a some sounds that really do mimic a soft rain.


For remembering what it was like to get out of school for the summer (as an adult): “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & The Waves

This song is for when you’re super, super happy. If you can catch the true jubilation in this song, you remember what it was like to get out of school for summer because that really did feel like walking on sunshine!


For going on a road trip: “Holiday Road” by Lindsay Buckingham

This song has just a fun feel to it, then you add some hand clapping, a great guitar riff and some dogs barking to the music at the end. This is an 80s summer classic, probably best known for being featured in National Lampoon’s Vacation.


For cruising with a no particular destination: “Road to Nowhere” by the Talking Heads

This song truly is welcoming as it invites you on a “Road to Nowhere,” having some profound lyrics in its prelude—then switching to a more carefree theme. The ride is going to paradise, a place where “time is on our side.” Who wouldn’t want to go there?


For the saddest part of summer…the end: “Goodbye” by Night Ranger

This is another song that may not have gotten as much airtime as it should have in all areas. A somewhat-softer rock ballad, it perfectly captures the end of summer, reminiscing about the Fourth of July, with the lyric of “I was never much good at ‘goodbye.'”


Feel like listening to more 80s summer music? Get all these songs and many more! Just pop in your 80s mix tape check out our 80s Summer Soundtrack on YouTube.

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