The Boys of Summer (song)

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"The Boys of Summer"
Don Henley - Boys of Summer cover.png
Single by Don Henley
from the album Building the Perfect Beast
B-side"A Month of Sundays"
ReleasedOctober 26, 1984 (1984-10-26)
Format7-inch single
Recorded1984
GenreRock
Length4:47
LabelGeffen
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Don Henley singles chronology
"I Can't Stand Still"
(1983)
"The Boys of Summer"
(1984)
"All She Wants to Do Is Dance"
(1985)
Audio sample

"The Boys of Summer" is a song released in 1984 by Eagles vocalist and drummer Don Henley, with lyrics written by Henley and music composed by Mike Campbell, guitarist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

The lead single from Henley's album Building the Perfect Beast, "The Boys of Summer" was released on October 26, 1984[1], and reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US as well as No. 1 on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart and number 12 in the UK Singles Chart.

The song's music video won several awards. "The Boys of Summer" was also performed live by Henley with the reunited Eagles; such a version is included on the group's 2005 Farewell 1 Tour: Live from Melbourne DVD.

Writing[edit]

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell wrote a demo for "The Boys of Summer" while experimenting with a LinnDrum drum machine. He showed it to Tom Petty, but they felt it did not fit with the record they were working on, Southern Accents. At the suggestion of producer Jimmy Iovine, Campbell played it for Don Henley, who wrote the lyrics and recorded the vocal. They rerecorded the song after Henley decided to change the key.[2]

Composition[edit]

The song is cemented by a repetitive guitar riff. The song was recorded in the key of F major with a tempo of 88 beats per minute. Henley's vocals span F3 to A4.[3][4]

The lyrics appear to be about the passing of youth and entering middle age, with the nostalgic theme of "summer love"[5] and reminiscence of a past relationship.[6] In a 1987 interview with Rolling Stone, Henley explained that the song is about aging and questioning the past[7]—a recurring theme in Henley's lyrics (cf. "The End of the Innocence",[8] and "Taking You Home".[9]) In an interview with NME in 1985, Henley explained the '"Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac" lyric as an example of his generation selling out.[10][11]

I was driving down the San Diego Freeway and got passed by a $21,000 Cadillac Seville, the status symbol of the right-wing upper-middle-class American bourgeoisie – all the guys with the blue blazers with the crests and the grey pants – and there was this Grateful Dead "Deadhead" bumper sticker on it!

Accolades[edit]

"The Boys of Summer" reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart for five weeks. It was also a hit in the United Kingdom, reaching No. 12 on the UK Singles Chart. A re-release of the single in 1998 also reached No. 12.

In 1986, Henley won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for the song.[12] "The Boys of Summer" was ranked No. 416 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. "The Boys of Summer" is included in The Pitchfork 500, Pitchfork Media's "Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to Present."[13]

Music video[edit]

The music video to "The Boys of Summer" is a French New Wave-influenced piece directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino. Shot in black-and-white, it shows the main character of the song at three different stages of life (as a young boy, a young adult and middle-aged), in each case reminiscing about the past relationship. This is shown during the line "A little voice inside my head said don't look back, you can never look back" at which point, each of the three people look back in turn. The young boy in the video, played by seven-year-old Josh Paul,[14] resembles a young Don Henley[citation needed]. The girl in the music video is played by Audie England.

Interspersed with these scenes are segments of Henley mouthing the words of the song while driving in a convertible. At its conclusion, the video uses the post-modern concept of exposing its own workings, as with a wry expression Henley drives the car away from a rear projection screen.

The video won the Video of the Year at the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards (leading Henley to comment at the Awards the following year that he had won for "riding around in the back of a pickup").[15] It also won that year's awards for Best Direction, Best Art Direction, and Best Cinematography. The Best Direction award was presented to Mondino by Henley's then-former Eagles bandmate Glenn Frey.

Charts and certifications[edit]

DJ Sammy version[edit]

"The Boys of Summer"
The Boys of Summer by DJ Sammy featuring Loona.jpg
Standard artwork for most CD releases
Single by DJ Sammy featuring Loona
from the album Heaven
ReleasedNovember 18, 2002
Recorded2001
Length4:55
LabelRobbins/Ministry of Sound/Data
Songwriter(s)Don Henley, Mike Campbell
DJ Sammy featuring Loona singles chronology
"Sunlight"
(2002)
"The Boys of Summer"
(2002)
"Rise Again"
(2004)
Alternative cover art
Artwork for UK 12-inch vinyl release
Artwork for UK 12-inch vinyl release
Audio sample

In 2002, Spanish trance artist DJ Sammy (with vocals performed by Loona) covered the song. It was released in November 2002 as the third and last single released from the album Heaven. This cover peaked at number two in the United Kingdom in March 2003 and was one of the biggest hits of New Zealand in 2002, reaching number three and earning a Gold certification from Recorded Music NZ (RMNZ). The cover also reached number nine in Australia and the top 20 in Flemish Belgium, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

Music video[edit]

The music video was filmed in València, Spain and was released in November 2002.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Boys Of Summer" (Original Radio Edit) - 3:58
  2. "Boys Of Summer" (Original Extended) - 6:33
  3. "Boys Of Summer" (Green Court Remix) - 8:08
  4. "Appalachian Fall" - 4:54

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2002–2003) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[30] 9
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[31] 49
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[32] 20
Germany (Official German Charts)[33] 25
Ireland (IRMA)[18] 15
Ireland Dance (IRMA)[34] 2
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[35] 19
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[36] 31
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[37] 3
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[38] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[39] 36
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[40] 2
UK Dance (Official Charts Company)[41] 7
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[42] 5

Year end charts[edit]

Chart (2002) Position
Australia (ARIA)[43] 82
Australia Dance (ARIA)[44] 12
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[45] 9
Chart (2003) Position
Australia (ARIA)[46] 69
Australia Dance (ARIA)[47] 5
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[48] 47

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[49] Gold 35,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[50] Gold 5,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[51] Silver 200,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

The Ataris version[edit]

"The Boys of Summer"
The Ataris - The Boys of Summer cover.jpg
Artwork for overseas commercial release
Single by The Ataris
from the album So Long, Astoria
ReleasedSeptember 8, 2003
Recorded2002
GenrePop punk
Length4:20
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)Don Henley, Mike Campbell
The Ataris singles chronology
"In This Diary"
(2003)
"The Boys of Summer"
(2003)
"The Saddest Song"
(2003)
Audio sample

In 2003, the rock band The Ataris covered "The Boys of Summer" for their album So Long, Astoria. The song became their second single when a radio station began to play it. The Ataris' version of the song replaced the "Deadhead sticker" reference with one more appropriate to the age group of their fans, namely a "Black Flag sticker", in honor of the punk rock band from the 1980s. The single peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart (held off the No. 1 top spot by Linkin Park's "Faint") and No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. It remains their most successful single to date.[52]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Steven Murashige and was released in July 2003.[53]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2003-2004) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[54] 24
Brazilian Singles Chart (ABPD)[55] 53
Germany (Official German Charts)[56] 45
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[57] 17
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[58] 87
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[59] 49
US Billboard Hot 100[52] 20
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[52] 36
US Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks[52] 2
US Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks[52] 18
US Billboard Top 40 Mainstream[52] 10

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Public Catalog". www.copyright.gov. U.S. Copyright Office. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  2. ^ "Mike Campbell". Songfacts. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  3. ^ "Key & BPM for The Boys Of Summer by Don Henley | Tunebat". tunebat.com. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  4. ^ Henley, Don. "Don Henley "The Boys of Summer" Sheet Music in E Minor (transposable) - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  5. ^ "Top 21 Songs About Nostalgia". Consequence of Sound. September 3, 2018. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  6. ^ Puterbaugh, Parke (January 31, 1985). "Don Henley: Building The Perfect Beast". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on July 24, 2009. Retrieved September 13, 2008. ...a wistful look over the shoulder at a faded summer romance. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ Gilmore, Mikal (November 5 – December 10, 1987). "Henley Interview 1987". Rolling Stone. 512 (20th Anniversary Issue). Archived from the original on October 10, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2008. Beyond that, I'm also not convinced we really accomplished all that much. Kennedy was president and everybody thought it was Camelot, but look at what we did. We raised all that hell in the Sixties, and then what did we come up with in the Seventies? Nixon and Reagan. The country reverted right back into the hands it was in before. I don't think we changed a damn thing, frankly. That's what the last verse of 'The Boys of Summer' was about. I think our intentions were good, but the way we went about it was ridiculous. We thought we could change things by protesting and making firebombs and growing our hair long and wearing funny clothes. But we didn't follow through. After all our marching and shouting and screaming didn't work, we withdrew and became yuppies and got into the 'Me' Decade.
  8. ^ "A father now, Don Henley has matured—as has his music". CNN.com. July 3, 2000. Archived from the original on February 19, 2009. Retrieved September 13, 2008. As a solo artist, Henley offered bittersweet commentary on aging - on what happens when those carefree rebels grow up - in such songs as 'Boys of Summer' and 'The End of the Innocence.' Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ Varkentine, Ben (May 23, 2000). "Don Henley: Inside Job". PopMatters. Retrieved September 13, 2008. Don Henley is the cynical man's cynical man.
  10. ^ R. Cooke (February 23, 1985). "Bumper Sticker!". NME.
  11. ^ Toby Cresswell (2005). Rockwiz 1001 Songs. SBS.
  12. ^ "Grammy Awards 1986". awardsandshows.com. February 25, 1986. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  13. ^ Plagenhoef, Scott; Schreiber, Ryan, eds. (November 2008). The Pitchfork 500. Simon & Schuster. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-4165-6202-3.
  14. ^ "The Band". The Chris Daughtry Fanlisting. September 8, 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2008.
  15. ^ "Don Henley's stand-up performance takes top honor among MTV awards". The Dallas Morning News. Associated Press. September 15, 1985. Retrieved October 30, 2008. Don Henley, whose video Boys of Summer won the top honor at the MTV Video Music Awards, says he did little more during the making of the piece than stand in the rear of a pickup truck that was driven around Los Angeles.
  16. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  17. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Henley, Don / Single". musicline.de (in German). Phononet Gmbh. Archived from the original on October 9, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  18. ^ a b c "Chart Track: Week 10, 2003". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  19. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 - 2 Maart 1985/Week 9 (Dutch)". Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  20. ^ "Charts.nz – Don Henley – The Boys of Summer". Top 40 Singles.
  21. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Don Henley - The Boys Of Summer". Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  22. ^ a b "Awards". Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  23. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Don Henley - The Boys Of Summer 1998". Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  24. ^ "Suomen virallinen lista". Retrieved July 1, 2009.[dead link]
  25. ^ "Sverigetopplistan". Sverigetopplistan.se. Archived from the original on May 27, 2016. Retrieved October 19, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  26. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100 - Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com.
  27. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – 1985". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  28. ^ "Top 100 Songs of 1985 - Billboard Year End Charts". Bob Borst's Home of Pop Culture.
  29. ^ "British single certifications – Don Henley – The Boys of Summer". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 18, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type The Boys of Summer in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  30. ^ "Australian-charts.com – DJ Sammy – Boys of Summer". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  31. ^ "Austriancharts.at – DJ Sammy – Boys of Summer" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  32. ^ "Ultratop.be – DJ Sammy – Boys of Summer" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  33. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – DJ Sammy – Boys of Summer". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  34. ^ "Top 10 Dance Singles, Week Ending 24 October 2002". GfK Chart-Track. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  35. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 1, 2003" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  36. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – DJ Sammy – Boys of Summer" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  37. ^ "Charts.nz – DJ Sammy – Boys of Summer". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  38. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  39. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – DJ Sammy – Boys of Summer". Singles Top 100. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  40. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  41. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  42. ^ "allmusic". Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  43. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2002". ARIA. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  44. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Dance Singles 2002". ARIA. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  45. ^ "End of Year Charts 2002". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  46. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2003". ARIA. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  47. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Dance Singles 2003". ARIA. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  48. ^ "ChartsPlus YE2003 - UKChartsPlus" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  49. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2002 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  50. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – DJ Sammy – Boys of Summer". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  51. ^ "British single certifications – DJ Sammy – The Boys of Summer". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 18, 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type The Boys of Summer in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  52. ^ a b c d e f "Billboard.com - Artist Chart History - The Ataris". Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  53. ^ The Ataris videography mvdbase.com
  54. ^ "Australian-charts.com – The Ataris – The Boys of Summer". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  55. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  56. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Ataris – The Boys of Summer". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  57. ^ "Charts.nz – The Ataris – The Boys of Summer". Top 40 Singles.
  58. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The Ataris – The Boys of Summer". Swiss Singles Chart.
  59. ^ "The Official Charts Company - The Ataris - The Boys Of Summer". Retrieved April 19, 2009.

External links[edit]