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It was written in the late 1950s by Eddie Cochran and his manager Jerry Capehart. Originally a single B-side, it peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 29, 1958 and #18 on the UK Singles Chart. The handclapping is performed by Sharon Sheeley, and the deep vocals at the end of each verse are done by Cochran. The drummer on that recording date was Earl Palmer.
The song is ranked #73 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
- 1 Cover versions
- 1.1 Beach Boys' version
- 1.2 The Who's version
- 1.3 Blue Cheer's version
- 1.4 Olivia Newton John's version
- 1.5 T. Rex's version
- 1.6 Flying Lizards' version
- 1.7 Brian Setzer version
- 1.8 Cheech Marin's version
- 1.9 Nathan Cavaleri's version
- 1.10 Alan Jackson's version
- 1.11 Gary Allan's version
- 1.12 Rush's version
- 1.13 The Black Keys' version
- 1.14 The Chuck Fenech Band's version
- 2 References
Cover versions[edit | edit source]
Beach Boys' version[edit | edit source]
The Who's version[edit | edit source]
The Who played "Summertime Blues" as a staple of their concerts from 1967 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 U.S. tour, including a June 1967 date at the Monterey Pop Festival, where the members of Blue Cheer were in attendance. The Who's version is done in a more aggressive style than the Eddie Cochran original. It is played in the key of A major and on the 3rd verse modulates up to B major.
The first version to be released by The Who appeared on the 1970 album Live at Leeds. The single peaked at number 37 in the UK and number 28 in the US. Most of the Who performances feature John Entwistle singing the vocal parts of the boss, the father, and the congressman in his trademark baritone growl, doubling Roger Daltrey's lead vocals in his normal voice in the verses, and singing the falsetto part in the chorus.
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 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 (1969), as well as Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 and the CD release of Live at the Royal Albert Hall.
Video[edit | edit source]
Blue Cheer's version[edit | edit source]
Blue Cheer recorded it for their 1968 album Vincebus Eruptum. Their version, which omits all of the response lyrics heard in Cochran's version in favor of instrumental responses by each member of the band, was featured as one of the first heavy metal recordings in the 2005 documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey.
During the '80s MTV played a black & white video for the song, taken from a TV program, in their Closet Classicssegment. The song was also featured in the 1986 movie Troll and the 1991 movie Night on Earth and the 1996 movie I Shot Andy Warhol.
Olivia Newton John's version[edit | edit source]
On her Clearly Love album, 1975.
T. Rex's version[edit | edit source]
Flying Lizards' version[edit | edit source]
Brian Setzer version[edit | edit source]
Cheech Marin's version[edit | edit source]
Nathan Cavaleri's version[edit | edit source]
Alan Jackson's version[edit | edit source]
|Single by Alan Jackson|
|from the album Who I Am|
|B-side||"Hole in the Wall"|
|Released||July 4, 1994|
|Recorded||January 11, 1994|
|Length||3:13 (album version)|
|Alan Jackson singles chronology|
- Recorded on his 1994 album Who I Am, Alan Jackson's version reached Number One on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and #4 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 (equivalent to #104 on the Billboard Hot 100).
Music Video[edit | edit source]
The video was directed by Michael Salomon and was released in June 1994.
Chart positions[edit | edit source]
|U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks||1|
|U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100||4|
|Canadian RPM Country Tracks||1|
|Preceded by||Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number-one single (Alan Jackson version) July 23-August 6, 1994
|Preceded by||RPM Country Tracks
number-one single (Alan Jackson version)
August 1-August 8, 1994
"The Other Side"
Gary Allan's version[edit | edit source]
- Played in the 1999 TV miniseries Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story.
Rush's version[edit | edit source]
|Single by Rush|
|from the album Feedback|
|Released||May 21, 2004|
|Producer||Rush & David Leonard|
|Rush singles chronology|
- Like the Blue Cheer version, the line "I'd like to help you son..." is not spoken.
- Played as the theme song for the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)'s SummerSlam pay per view in 2004.
- In A major like the Who's version (3rd verse likewise modulates up to B major), but guitar intro is that of the Blue Cheer version, transposed to fit new key
The Black Keys' version[edit | edit source]
- B-side on the "10 A.M. Automatic" single
- bonus track on the Japanese release of their 2004 album Rubber Factory
The Chuck Fenech Band's version[edit | edit source]
- First song on their 2010 Demo.
References[edit | edit source]
- ^ Alan Jackson Discography at LP Discographies.com link
- ^ a b (1995) Album notes for The Greatest Hits Collection by Alan Jackson [CD]. Arista Records (07822 18801).
- ^ http://www.wellers.demon.co.uk/rushpage.htm
|Released on marketplace 2017|
|"The Stage" • "Trust" • "Dead Memories" • "Wake Me Up" • "Celebration" • "Party Rock Anthem" • "Swing, Swing" • "Some Nights" • "Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)"|