Released on their 1972 Summer Breeze album, Seals and Crofts' original version reached No. 6 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in the US that same year. Bruce Eder of Allmusic referred to it as "one of those relentlessly appealing 1970s harmony-rock anthems ... appropriately ubiquitous on the radio and in the memory". One of the distinctive backing instruments on "Summer Breeze" is a child's toy piano.
The song was covered in a harder rock-soulful style by The Isley Brothers as a single in 1974. Issued also on their 1973 album 3 + 3, it reached number sixty on the pop singles chart, number ten on the R&B singles chart, and number sixteen on the UK singles chart. The Isleys' version is notable not only for the harmonies of the three vocal Isleys O'Kelly, Rudolph and lead singer Ronald but also for the guitar solo by younger brother Ernie.
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Ray Conniff, on I Can See Clearly Now with The Singers (1972)
It appeared on the second soundtrack to the 1994 film Even More Dazed and Confused.
The track is heard in the "Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers" episode of Freaks and Geeks in 2000.
The track was remixed by Philip Steir and Ramin Sakurai in 2004 as part of What Is Hip? Remix Project Volume One, an album featuring remixes of Warner Bros. Records 1970s hits. This updated version, titled "Summer Breeze (Tsuper Tsunami Mix)", was also featured in two 2004 commercials by clothing retailer Gap, starring models Bridget Hall and Jessica Miller respectively.