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|Single by Eddie Cochran|
|from the album The Eddie Cochran Memorial Album|
|Released||July 21, 1958 (US),|
September 1958 (UK)
|Recorded||March 28, 1958|
|Writer(s)||Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart|
|Eddie Cochran singles chronology|
"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.
- Eddie Cochran: vocal, guitars, guitar overdub
- Connie 'Guybo' Smith: electric bass
- Earl Palmer: drums
- Possibly Sharon Sheeley and Eddie Cochran: hand clapping
In March 2005, Q magazine placed it at number 77 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.
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.. Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for "Island Fever," a 1987 episode of their TV series.
Alan Jackson version
|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."
The video was directed by Michael Salomon and was released in June 1994. It features Jackson mud bogging in a pickup truck and playing guitar in a field.
"Summertime Blues" debuted at number 53 on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the week of June 18, 1994.
The Beach Boys version
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.
Johnny Chester version
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.
Blue Cheer version
|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||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. 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.
The Who version
|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||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 since bassist 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 first version to be released by The Who appeared on the 1970 album Live at Leeds. The single from this album peaked at number 38 in the UK and number 27 in the US.
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 film Woodstock (1969), as well as Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 and the CD release of Live at the Royal Albert Hall.
Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, saying that The Who gave it a "wild updating" and was "certain to put them right up there at the top."
- 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.
- 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.
- Canadian rock band Rush recorded their version of "Summertime Blues" for their 2004 cover album Feedback.
- American alternative rock band The Dandy Warhols performed a version of the song in August of 2012 for The A.V. Club's A.V. Undercover: Summer Break series.
- Dick Dale And His Del-Tones on Rock Out / Live At Ciro's
- ^ a b Strong, M. C. (1995). The Great Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd. p. 152. ISBN 0-86241-385-0.
- ^ "Lescharts.com - Eddie Cochran: Summertime Blues". RPM. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- ^ "Eddie Cochran Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Eddie Cochran. Prometheus Global Media.
- ^ "100 Greatest Guitar Tracks Ever!". Rock List Music. Retrieved 2011-01-25
- ^ a b The Greatest Hits Collection (CD). Arista Records. 1995. 07822 18801.
- ^ Billboard, June 25, 1994
- ^ CountryUniverse.net Song review
- ^ "Alan Jackson Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Country Songs for Alan Jackson. Prometheus Global Media.
- ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada - Alan Jackson: Summertime Blues". RPM. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- ^ Johnston, Chris (26 October 2012). "Our First Rock Star". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- ^ McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Johnny Chester'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 6 August 2004. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- ^ Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book 1940–1969. Turramurra, NSW: Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd. ISBN 0-646-44439-5.
- ^ Ryan (bulion), Gary (26 January 2012). "Chart Positions Pre 1989 Part 4 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- ^ "The Top Heavy Metal Songs". Allmusic.
- ^ Strong, M. C. (1995). The Great Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd. p. 71. ISBN 0-86241-385-0.
- ^ "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2008. Retrieved 2011-01-25. "This power trio's cover of Eddie Cochran's classic was their only hit, sometimes called the first heavy-metal record. It's a showcase for the massive roar of Leigh Stephens' guitar, so fuzzed-up it scrapes like steel wool, dragging the rockabilly riff through the dust."
- ^ "Lescharts.com - Blue Cheer: Summertime Blues". RPM. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- ^ "Blue Cheer Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Blue Cheer. Prometheus Global Media.
- ^ "collectionscanada.gc.ca - Blue Cheer: Summertime Blues". RPM. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
- ^ a b Strong, M. C. (1995). The Great Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd. p. 897. ISBN 0-86241-385-0.
- ^ Billboard, July 4, 1970
- ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada - The Who: Summertime Blues". RPM. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- ^ "Lescharts.com - The Who: Summertime Blues". RPM. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- ^ "The Dandy Warhols cover Eddie Cochran". Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics