People love summer. I, personally, don’t find anything interesting on it. Heat, tourists, snakes, sweat, mosquitos, smell of garbage, jellyfishes, forest fires, accidents, humidity ………
-ENOUGH. You are the only person I know who does not like summer. Normal people wait for it the whole year. They plan their vacations with their friends or family members. You are a misanthrope!!! And I have to remind you that summer is not only the awful things you described. Summer is also ice cream, seashore, swimsuits, Piña Colada, peaches and apricots, Bob Marley and reggae music, fish and seafood, beach volley and many other beautiful things.
-OK. I recognize that I have a particular opinion on summer. I also admit that summer inspires the artists and makes them more creative. So, we are going to present you a series of articles with songs and paintings about summer. Starting today, we present you 10 songs which have the word summer in their title.
Eddie Cochran lived only 21 years. He lost his life in a car accident. When he was 19 he co-wrote one of the most famous summer songs of all time. Summertime blues, a later no 1 Billboard song, is an eternal summer hit. Although there are hundreds of covers by very famous artists (The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, The Beach Boys, Bon Jovi etc), I think that the original version by Cochran is the best one.
Summertime was initially an aria of the opera Porgy and Bess, composed by the famous American musician George Gershwin and written by DuBose Heyward. The song became soon very popular for its music but also for its lyrics, which are described as the best lyrics in the musical theatre. The Jazz Discography review characterizes Summer Time the fourth best jazz song of all times.
Many famous artists (Ella Fitzgerald, Willie Nelson, Sam Cooke, Chaka Khan, Billi Holiday, Norah Jones) have covered the song, but no one better that the Goddess Janis Joplin.
Another very classic summer song from the 60’s is the “Summer in the city” by the “Loving Spoonfulls”. It was firstly released as a single in July 1966 receiving praise from several music critics and musicologists for its changing major-minor keys and its inventive use of sound effects.
The song (a Billboard hot 100 no 1 hit) was an inspiration for the famous German film maker Wim Wenders to create his homonymous first film, where the song was the main music theme.
“Summer in the City” has been covered by many artists (Isaac Hayes, Joe Cocker, BB King, Quincy Jones etc.) but I think that the original version still sounds modern and exciting.
Many years later, one of my favourite bands, The Simple Minds, released their masterpiece “New Gold Dream”. I have already written about Jim Kerr, the band´s singer, and I have already expressed my admiration to him. Let´s see what others say about them.
New Musical Express wrote about the “New Gold Dream”: “My loyalty towards Simple Minds is known to be considerable, yet even I am jarred by the constant beauty of this music. New Gold Dream robs me of my breath.”
The opening track of the album was “Someone, Somewhere in Summertime”. Rolling Stone review in 2003 described the “lush” and “erotic” song as one of the album’s strongest and more “tuneful” tracks, meanwhile the Guardian characterized it as “a waltz through a mythical August haze”.
The world famous dj and producer David Guetta used later the song as a sample for its hit “The world is mine”
Have you lived the A-ha frenzy? When I was a teenager the main rivals of the pop scene were Duran Duran and A-ha. The Norwegian band had many no 1 hits during the 80’s. Later, in 2000, they launched their 6th studio album “Minor Earth, Major Sky”, where one of their best songs was included.
“Summer moved on” became a number-one radio hit in Europe selling 2,5 million records worldwide.
Morten Harket, their extraordinary singer, achieved at this song the European record for the longest note held in a top 40 pop song for 20.2 seconds !!!!! (starting at 2.52).
GREAT, GREAT singer.
During the 80’s Chris Rea, a British singer and guitarist of Italian and Irish (what a mix!) origin was very popular. He played guitar with a very characteristic way, actually its bluesy sound was full of “slides” (just look at this song’s guitar solo). He was nominated three times (1988,1989, 1990) for the British Awards for Best British Male Artist
“Looking for the Summer” was released in 1991 as the third single from his eleventh studio album “Auberge” (another great song). The song became very popular when it took part of the soundtrack of the notorious erotic film Basic Instinct. Actually I don’t remember if Sharon showed her ……. during this or another song.
Do you like Bryan Adams? The Canadian artist with the hoarse voice who sang at the last of the Mohicans? What do I say? Adams is not only the singer of “Everything I do”, but one of the most famous artists of all times!!!
The Billboard has ranked Bryan Adams 38th on the list of all-time top artists!!! Adams has won a Grammy award, he was also nominated 5 times for a Golden Globe and 3 times for an Academy award and he already is a member of Hollywood Hall of Fame.
His fourth album “Reckless” is an eternal blockbuster with more than 12 million sales worldwide!!!! “Summer of 69” was one of the …….. six singles of the album. The song is about a dilemma between settling down or trying to become a rock star.
According to the same Adams the song is about the 69 ……… sex position and not the year, so “Looking for the summer” is not the only “kinky” song of the list.
Patricia Lee Smith is along with Amy Winehouse and Dolores o’ Riordan my favourite female singer. She has an incredible career for many decades, being always on top.
Patti Smith’s career is immense. She is a member of Rock’ n Roll Hall of fame, a Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters and the 47th greatest artist of all time according to the Rolling Stone Magazine. Frederick, Dancing Barefoot, People have the Power, Because the night are rock anthems, which will remain in history for ever.
In 1996 Smith released her sixth album “Gone Again”. The production of the record was preceded by the deaths of many of Smith’s close friends and peers, including her husband Fred, her brother Todd and the great Kurt Cobain, with whom Smith had sympathized.
The first single of the album was “Summer Cannibals”, a song which is already classic.
No reggae, no summer party.
Actually, the Jamaican music is the summer itself. There is no bar, no disco, no club IN THE WHOLE WORLD, which does not dedicate at least an hour to reggae music, during the summer months.
Inner Circle or the Bad Boys of Reggae are a Jamaican band, formed in Kingston in 1968. During the next decades they released many albums and songs, among them the mega-hits “A LA LA LA LONG”, “GAMES PEOPLE PLAY” and “BAD BOYS”.
“Summer Jammin'” was the B’ Side of “Games People Play”, which also became a summer hit the next years.
Yes, I know.
I have already written a special article on Summer Wine. So what?
Summer wine is not only the best song ever, containing the word summer in its title, but one of the best songs ever written. If you wanna find out more about the song just click here
Ladies and Gentlemen Mrs Nancy Sinatra and Mr Lee Hazelwood
(to be continued)