Summer in the City

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For the film, see Summer in the City (film). For the Regina Spektor song, see Begin to Hope. For the YouTube event, see Summer in the City (event).

"Summer in the City" is a song recorded by The Lovin' Spoonful, written by John Sebastian, Mark Sebastian and Steve Boone.

"Summer in the City"
Single by The Lovin' Spoonful
from the album Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful
B-side "Butchie's Tune"
Released July 4, 1966
Format 7" 45rpm
Genre Rock, pop, psychedelic pop
Length 2:41
Label Kama Sutra
Writer(s) John Sebastian, Mark Sebastian, Steve Boone[1][2]
Producer(s) Erik Jacobsen
Certification Gold (US)
The Lovin' Spoonful singles chronology
"Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?"
"Summer in the City"
"Rain on the Roof"

It appeared on their album Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful, and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1966, for three consecutive weeks.[3] The song features a series of car horns during the instrumental bridge, starting with a Volkswagen Beetle horn, and ends up with a jackhammer sound, in order to give the impression of the sounds of the summer in the city. The song became a gold record. It is ranked number 401 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[4]

The signature keyboard part is played on a Hohner Pianet, and the organ is a Vox Continental.[citation needed]

Chart performance[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

Joe Cocker covered "Summer in the City" on his 1994 album Have a Little Faith. It was released as the lead single and reached the charts in several European countries.

Joe Jackson recorded a stripped down version of the song for his 2000 live album Summer in the City: Live in New York with only piano, bass and drums.[8]


  1. ^ "Summer In The City". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-08-30. 
  2. ^ "Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-08-30. 
  3. ^ "Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen. 78 (33): 22. 1966-08-13. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  4. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone (Wenner Media). 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  5. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  6. ^ "Top 100 1966 - UK Music Charts". Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  7. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1966/Top 100 Songs of 1966". Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  8. ^ "Joe Jackson: Biography by William Ruhlmann". Retrieved 4 May 2009. 


External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Wild Thing" by The Troggs
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
August 13, 1966 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Sunshine Superman" by Donovan