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"Summertime Blues" is a song co-written and recorded by American rockabilly artist Eddie Cochran. It was written in the late 1950s by Cochran and his manager Jerry Capehart. Originally a single B-side, it was released in August 1958 and peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 29, 1958 and number 18 on the UK Singles Chart. It has been covered by many artists, including being a number-one hit for country music artist Alan Jackson, and scoring notable hits in versions by The Who and Blue Cheer.
- 2 Chart performance
- 3 Legacy
- 4 Popular culture
- 5 Cover versions
- 5.1 The Beach Boys version (1962)
- 5.2 Johnny Chester version (1962)
- 5.3 Blue Cheer version (1968)
- 5.4 The Who version (1970)
- 5.5 Alan Jackson version (1994)
- 5.6 Other covers
- 6 References
- 7 External links
- Eddie Cochran: vocal, guitars, guitar overdub
- Connie 'Guybo' Smith: electric bass
- Earl Palmer: drums
- Possibly Sharon Sheeley and Eddie Cochran: hand clapping
|Austrian Singles Chart||18|
|Canadian Singles Chart||10|
|UK Singles Chart||18|
|UK Singles Chart (1968)||34|
|US BillboardHot 100||8|
The song is ranked number 73 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The song appears on the soundtrack for the movie Caddyshack. It was also covered by Cheech Marin in the movie Born In East L.A. as well as in Up in Smoke. Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for "Island Fever," a 1987 episode of their TV series. It also appears in electronic form in the Creature from the Black Lagoon pinball machine, but does not appear in the Pinball Arcade version due to rights issues.
Recorded four years after the Eddie Cochran original (and some two years after his death), the Beach Boys paid tribute to him on their first album, Surfin' Safari, released October 1962. Lead vocal on the track was jointly sung by lead guitarist Carl Wilson, not yet 16, and rhythm guitarist Dave Marks, just turned 14. Never released as a single in the US, it gained enough popularity in The Philippines early in 1966 to post no. 7 on that country's hit parade as listed by Billboard in its weekly 'Hits of the World' charts.
Australian rock'n'roll singer Johnny Chester cited Cochran as one of his idols and had used the track when rehearsing his first band in 1959. Chester released his cover version on W&G Records in 1962 and was backed on the recording by local instrumental group, The Chessmen, with Bert Stacpool on piano, his brother Les Stacpool on guitar, Frank McMahon on bass guitar and Graeme Trottman on drums. In December it peaked at No. 30 on the Kent Music Report.
|Single by Blue Cheer|
|from the album Vincebus Eruptum|
|B-side||"Out Of Focus"|
|Format||7" 45 RPM|
|Genre||Psychedelic rock, acid rock, heavy metal|
|Producer(s)||Abe "Voco" Kesh|
|Blue Cheer singles chronology|
The American psychedelic blues-rock band Blue Cheer recorded their version of "Summertime Blues" in 1967 and included it on their 1968 release entitled Vincebus Eruptum. The single peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, pushing the sales of the album even higher to #11. It topped the Dutch charts for one week in 1968.While not as widely played or recognized as The Who's version, it certainly is more distorted. This version was ranked #73 on the list of "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" of Rolling Stone. This version omits the responses and instead has each band member do a quick "solo". A portion of Blue Cheer's version appears in the movie Troll. This was the first heavy metal song to ever make the pop charts, beating both "Born To Be Wild" and "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" by months. Rush did a cover of this version for their Feedback EP. Rush frontman Geddy Lee cites Blue Cheer as the first heavy metal band.
|Dutch Singles Chart||1|
|US BillboardHot 100||14|
|Canadian Singles Chart||3|
|Single by The Who|
|from the album Live at Leeds|
|B-side||"Heaven and Hell"|
|Released||July 6, 1970|
|Format||7" 45 RPM|
|Genre||Rock, hard rock|
|Producer(s)||Kit Lambert, Chris Stamp|
|The Who singles chronology|
The Who played "Summertime Blues" as a staple of their concerts from their early days up to 1976, with intermittent appearances thereafter. It has not been played sincebassist John Entwistle's death in 2002. It was performed during the 1967 US tour, from which the first known Who recordings of the song were made, including a June 1967 date at the Monterey Pop Festival.
The Who recorded a studio version of this track in London on June 28, 1967, just after the Monterey performance. This was left unreleased until 1998 when it appeared on the remastered CD of Odds & Sods. Other live versions from The Who are featured in the Monterey Pop Festival CD box set and the concert and documentary filmWoodstock (1970), as well as Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 and the CD release of Live at the Royal Albert Hall.
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||8|
|Dutch Singles Chart||25|
|UK Singles Chart||38|
|US Billboard Hot 100||27|
|Single by Alan Jackson|
|from the album Who I Am|
|B-side||"Hole in the Wall"|
|Released||June 6, 1994|
|Recorded||January 11, 1994|
|Length||3:13 (album version)|
|Alan Jackson singles chronology|
American country music artist Alan Jackson recorded the song for his 1994 album, Who I Am. It was released in June 1994 as the lead single from the album and the song reached Number One on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and number 4 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 (equivalent to number 104 on the Billboard Hot 100). Jackson said that he was inspired by Buck Owens' version.
Deborah Evans Price of Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, saying that Jackson "gives the oft-covered Eddie Cochran oldie the full, twangy 'Chattahoochee' treatment." She goes on to say that "until the vocal starts, you may not know which song you're listening to. But who cares?" She says that with his "signature laid-back vocal style, the long, tall Georgian turns this '50s teen anthem into a '90s country classic." Kevin John Coyne of Country Universe reviewed the song unfavorably, saying that Jackson blatantly attempted to recreate the "Chattahoochee" phenomenon. He goes on to say that the "charm of the Eddie Cochran original is lost by forcing those country line-dance beats into the backing track."
"Summertime Blues" debuted at number 53 on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the week of June 18, 1994.
|Canada Country Tracks (RPM)||1|
|US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)||4|
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||1|
|Canada Country Tracks (RPM)||3|
|US Country Songs (Billboard)||7|
|Preceded by||Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number-one single (Alan Jackson version) July 23-August 6, 1994
|Preceded by||RPM Country Tracks
number-one single (Alan Jackson version) August 1-August 8, 1994
- Dick Dale And His Del-Tones perform a cover on Rock out with Dick Dale and his Del-Tones: Live at Ciro's (Capitol 1965)
- T-Rex covered the song as the B-side of the single "Ride a White Swan" in 1970 and released it on the 1972 album, Bolan Boogie.
- Olivia Newton-John recorded her version of "Summertime Blues" on her Clearly Love album in 1975.
- The Flying Lizards released the song as a single in 1978, and then again in 1979 on their self-titled debut album The Flying Lizards.
- Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band started covering the song in concert during the 1978-1979 Darkness Tour, and continue to occasionally perform the song today, often during summer outdoor concerts.
- The Flaming Lips released the song as a bonus track on their 1986 album Hear It Is.
- Brian Setzer, who portrayed Cochran in the 1987 film La Bamba, covered the song for the film, and his version was featured on the soundtrack album.
- Joan Jett covered the song; it is a bonus track on the Bad Reputation CD (album 1980; CD 1992.)
- With Andrew Strong on lead vocals, Nathan Cavaleri Band covered the song in 1994, appearing on the album Nathan.
- Canadian rock band Rush recorded their version of "Summertime Blues" for their 2004 cover album Feedback.
- The Black Keys include a cover of the song as a bonus track on the Japanese edition of their 2004 Rubber Factory CD.
- American alternative rock band The Dandy Warhols performed a version of the song in August 2012 for The A.V. Club's A.V. Undercover: Summer Break series.
- James Taylor covered the song on his 2008 album Covers.
- Levon Helm covered the song on the European pressing of his self-titled 1981 album.
- Simple Minds performed it live at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute concert, with Johnny Marr on guitar.