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Who - Summertime Blues (Houston Summit 1975)

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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Summertime Blues on Wikipedia
"Summertime Blues"
Single by Eddie Cochran
from the album The Eddie Cochran Memorial Album
B-side"Love Again"
ReleasedJuly 21, 1958 (US),
September 1958 (UK)[1]
RecordedMarch 28, 1958
LabelLiberty Records 55144
Writer(s)Eddie Cochran
Jerry Capehart
ProducerEddie Cochran
Eddie Cochran singles chronology

"Summertime Blues" is the title of 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[1] 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 a notable hit for the English rock band, The Who.


  • Eddie Cochran: vocal, guitars, guitar overdub
  • Connie 'Guybo' Smith: electric bass
  • Earl Palmer: drums
  • Possibly Sharon Sheeley and Jerry Capehart: hand clapping


In March 2005, Q magazine placed it at number 77 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.[4]

The song is ranked number 73 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

In popular culture

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

"Summertime Blues"
Single by Alan Jackson
from the album Who I Am
B-side"Hole in the Wall"
ReleasedJune 13, 1994
FormatCD Single
RecordedJanuary 11, 1994[5]
Length3:13 (album version)
LabelArista Nashville
ProducerKeith Stegall
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.[5]

Music Video

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.

Chart positions

"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 on 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.

The Who version

"Summertime Blues"
Single by The Who
from the album Live at Leeds
B-side"Heaven and Hell"
ReleasedJuly 6, 1970 [8]
Format7" 45 RPM


ProducerKit 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 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.[8]

Studio version

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.

Critical reception

Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, saying that The Who gives it a "wild updating" and "certain to put them right up there at the top."[9]

Chart performance

Blue Cheer version

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.[13] While not as widely played or recognized as The Who version, it certainly is more distorted with a far more intense guitar sound. This version was ranked #73 on the list of "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" of Rolling Stone.[14] 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. Rush did a cover of this version for their Feedback EP.

Olivia Newton-John version

Olivia Newton-John recorded her version of "Summertime Blues" on her Clearly Love album in 1975.


  1. ^ a b Strong, M. C. (1995). The Great Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd. p. 152. ISBN 0-86241-385-0. 
  2. ^ " - Eddie Cochran: Summertime Blues". RPM. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Eddie Cochran Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Eddie Cochran. Prometheus Global Media.
  4. ^ "100 Greatest Guitar Tracks Ever!". Rock List Music. Retrieved 2011-01-25
  5. ^ a b (1995) Album notes for The Greatest Hits Collection by Alan Jackson [CD]. Arista Records (07822 18801).
  6. ^ "Alan Jackson Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Country Songs for Alan Jackson. Prometheus Global Media.
  7. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada - Alan Jackson: Summertime Blues". RPM. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Strong, M. C. (1995). The Great Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd. p. 897. ISBN 0-86241-385-0. 
  9. ^ Billboard, July 4, 1970
  10. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada - The Who: Summertime Blues". RPM. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  11. ^ " - The Who: Summertime Blues". RPM. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  12. ^ "The Who Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for The Who. Prometheus Global Media.
  13. ^ Strong, M. C. (1995). The Great Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd. p. 71. ISBN 0-86241-385-0. 
  14. ^ "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."
  15. ^ " - Blue Cheer: Summertime Blues". RPM. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Blue Cheer Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Blue Cheer. Prometheus Global Media.

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