The other day, I realized I had not listened to Jennifer Paige's "Crush" yet this summer. I fixed that immediately. What Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" is to December (fine: September through December), Mariah soundalike Paige's "Crush" is to the summer months of my life: a quintessential sound of the season. As such, it is only rivaled by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince's "Summertime."
Released June 16, 1998, the popularity of "Crush" in the U.S. built steadily over the course of that summer. It's not just the breeziness that makes this my favorite summer song of all time — that it is about "some little thing" and also the product of some little thing we had with Paige (who'd never have anything close to a hit again) makes this the concept of summer lovin' rendered in pop music. It outdoes Grease, even.