Top 100 Songs of Summer #16 “Summertime Blues” by Eddie Cochran

The sun going down a little bit earlier, the light fading a bit sooner, the nighttime air slightly cooler…If you’re feeling a little blue about summer’s impending swan song, our Top 100 Songs of Summer Countdown selection will let you know that you’re not alone.

Hamptons 100 Songs of Summer #16

“Summertime Blues” by Eddie Cochran

When a song has had as many interpretations as the one Eddie Cochran wrote back in 1958, it’s hard to say to whom it belongs, exactly. Yes, Cochran hit number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 that September, and his teen angst (he was only 19 at the time) struck a rebel chord that has rung true with youth for more than half a century—certainly that was fueled by Cochran’s James Dean–esque car crash death at age 21. But many versions actually capture the song’s underlying laments.

The most enduring legacy of “Summertime Blues” is the number of artists who’ve covered it. The Beach Boys, no strangers to summertime classics, put the song on Surfin’ Safari in 1962. Blue Cheer reached #14 on Billboard with their cover in 1968. The Who took it to another level with live performances in the late ’60s, then released a version on Live at Leeds in 1970. Country megastar Alan Jackson took his version to the top of the Country singles charts in 1994. Bruce Springsteen and Olivia Newton-John, Brian Setzer and Rush, Joan Jett and The Chimpmunks—they’ve all put their spin on this anthem to the not-everything-is-sunny-in-summertime, a testament to the fact that this classic belongs to everybody.

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