Cover of the 1958 US single
|Single by Eddie Cochran|
|from the album The Eddie Cochran Memorial Album|
|Released||July 21, 1958
September 1958 (UK)
|Recorded||March 28, 1958, Gold Star Studios, Hollywood, California|
|Genre||Rock and roll, rockabilly, proto-punk|
|Eddie Cochran singles chronology|
"Summertime Blues" is a song co-written and recorded by American rockabilly artist Eddie Cochran. It was written 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. Jimi Hendrix performed it in concert.
- 1 Original Eddie Cochran version
- 2 Cover versions
- 2.1 The Beach Boys version (1962)
- 2.2 Johnny Chester version (1962)
- 2.3 Blue Cheer version (1968)
- 2.4 The Who version (1970)
- 2.5 Alan Jackson version (1994)
- 3 Other notable cover versions
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Original Eddie Cochran version
"Summertime Blues" was recorded on March 28, 1958 at Gold Star Recording Studios in Hollywood, California. Eddie Cochran sang both the vocal and bass vocal, played all the guitar parts and added the hand clapping with possibly Sharon Sheeley. Connie 'Guybo' Smith played the electric bass and Earl Palmer drums.
The 1958 Liberty Records single by Eddie Cochran was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and the song is ranked number 73 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In March 2005, Q magazine placed it at number 77 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. The song is also on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum list of "The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll". The song appears on the soundtrack for the movie Caddyshack, as well as opening season 4 of Beverly Hills, 90210.
|Austrian Singles Chart||18|
|Canadian Singles Chart||10|
|Rhodesian Singles Chart (1968)||12|
|South African Singles Chart (1968)||18|
|UK Singles Chart||18|
|UK Singles Chart (1968)||34|
|US Billboard Hot 100||8|
The Beach Boys version (1962)
|Song by The Beach Boys from the album Surfin' Safari|
|Released||October 1, 1962|
|Surfin' Safari track listing|
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 David 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 (1962)
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 (1968)
Cover of the 1968 Netherlands single
|Single by Blue Cheer|
|from the album Vincebus Eruptum|
|B-side||"Out of Focus"|
|Producer(s)||Abe "Voco" Kesh|
|Blue Cheer singles chronology|
The American 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. It topped the Dutch charts for one week in 1968. 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 main riff from Foxey Lady has been inserted in various parts of this version.
|Dutch Singles Chart||1|
|US Billboard Hot 100||14|
|Canadian Singles Chart||3|
The Who version (1970)
Cover of the 1970 Germany single
|Single by The Who|
|from the album Live at Leeds|
|B-side||"Heaven and Hell"|
|Released||July 11, 1970|
|Recorded||February 14, 1970|
|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 Who recorded a studio version of this track in London on June 28, 1967, just after the Monterey performance. This was left unreleased until 1976 on the album/LP "THE STORY OF THE WHO (Polydor/Columbia) and 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 (1970), as well as Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 and the CD release of Live at the Royal Albert Hall.
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||8|
|Dutch Singles Chart||25|
|UK Singles Chart||38|
|US Billboard Hot 100||27|
Alan Jackson version (1994)
|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."
"Summertime Blues" debuted at number 53 on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the week of June 18, 1994.
|Canada Country Tracks (RPM)||1|
|US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)||4|
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||1|
|Canada Country Tracks (RPM)||3|
|US Country Songs (Billboard)||7|
by Travis Tritt
|Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number-one single (Alan Jackson version)
July 23-August 6, 1994
"Be My Baby Tonight"
by John Michael Montgomery
by David Ball
|RPM Country Tracks
number-one single (Alan Jackson version)
August 1-August 8, 1994
"The Other Side"
by Charlie Major
Other notable cover versions
- The Rolling Stones recorded a version during the 1978 Woodstock rehearsals.
- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed the song in concert.
- Van Halen performed the song live on the 1983 South American leg of the Diver Down Tour.
- The Little River Band performed a live version which appeared on the 1992 album Live Classics.
- Cheech Marin in the movie Born In East L.A. as well as in Up in Smoke.
- Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for "Island Fever," a 1987 episode of their TV series.
- It appears in electronic form in the Creature from the Black Lagoon pinball machine, but does not appear in the Pinball Arcade version due to rights issues.
- Bon Jovi recorded a demo tape of the song in 1983.
The Flying Lizards (Virgin VS230, 1978), Bobby Vee, The Crickets, Olivia Newton-John, Buck Owens, James Taylor, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, The Ventures, Dick Dale, Robert Gordon with Link Wray, Skid Row, Johnny Hallyday, T. Rex, Brian Setzer, Alex Chilton, Marty Wilde, and Rush have also recorded the song.
- Strong, M. C. (1995). The Great Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd. p. 152. ISBN 0-86241-385-0.
- Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 11 - Tennessee Firebird. [Part 3], Big Rock Candy Mountain. [Part 1]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu.
- Jimi Hendrix on Early Influences. 1968 Rolling Stone Interview. Jimi Hendrix: "Like I used to like Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran and Muddy Waters and Elvin James."
- Hopkins, Jerry. The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
- Jimi Hendrix Encyclopedia.
- Jimi Hendrix performed "Summertime Blues" live on August 27, 1967 at the Saville Theatre in London.
- "100 Greatest Guitar Tracks Ever!". Rock List Music. Retrieved 2011-01-25
- Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Summertime Blues". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
- "Lescharts.com - Eddie Cochran: Summertime Blues". RPM. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- "Eddie Cochran". 45cat. Retrieved 16 September 2015. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "UK" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
- "Eddie Cochran – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Eddie Cochran.
- 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.
- Chuck Miller (28 February 2011). Warman's American Records. Krause Publications. p. 103. ISBN 1-4402-2821-3.
- Bob Leszczak (10 July 2014). Who Did It First?: Great Rock and Roll Cover Songs and Their Original Artists. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-4422-3322-5.
- Strong, M. C. (1995). The Great Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd. p. 71. ISBN 0-86241-385-0.
- "Top 40-lijst van week 25, 1968" Top 40 van week 25, 1968 Retrieved 2013-11-17.
- "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."
- "Top 40 van week 25, 1968". Retrieved November 17, 2013.
- "Blue Cheer – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Blue Cheer.
- "collectionscanada.gc.ca - Blue Cheer: Summertime Blues". RPM. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
- Steve Propes (1974). Golden oldies: a guide to 60's record collecting. Chilton Book Co. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-8019-6062-8.
- 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 Greatest Hits Collection (CD). Alan Jackson. Arista Records. 1995. 07822 18801.
- Billboard, June 25, 1994
- CountryUniverse.net Song review
- "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2548." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. August 1, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
- "Alan Jackson – Chart history" Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 for Alan Jackson.
- "Alan Jackson – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Alan Jackson.
- "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1994". RPM. December 12, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
- "Best of 1994: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
- Rolling Stones Net.
- Summertime Bruce. Discogs.
- Summertime Blues. Second Hand Songs.