Analyzing 50 Years Of Summer Jams

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What makes a good summer jam? Is it the infectious hook? The beat? The carefree mood it evokes? 

To get to the bottom of it, Spotify data storyteller Eliot Van Buskirk and the Spotify team have crunched 50 years of hits and assembled a list of some of the best summer jams -- including everything from the shortest (the Beach Boys' "I Get Around"), to longest (Prince's "When Doves Cry"), and even the most danceable (Nelly's 2002 "Hot In Here").

Spotify's 50 Years of Summer Jams playlist:

From that, he's come up with some of the key defining qualities of a classic summer jam: most have a positive vibe, a 4/4 time signature, and are in a major key. Still, nailing down the similarities doesn't make it easier to reverse-engineer a hit: Van Buskirk says he's heard many attempts, but that the qualities of a successful summer jam are best "studied after the fact.

But what about this summer's contenders for summer hit? Van Buskirk has put together the ultimate playlist for the summer of 2014



Spotify's Summer Jam Superlatives:

Most Danceable: Nelly, "Hot In Herre" 



Happiest: Vengaboys, "We Like to Party!"



Saddest and Slowest: Heart, "Alone"


Longest: Prince, "When Doves Cry"



What’s the greatest summer song ever? We're making the ultimate summer song mix. Leave a comment below, tweet us at @Soundcheck, or leave us a voicemail at 866.939.1612.