Monday, March 16, 2009

"Summer of '69"

"Summer of '69" is a rock song written by Bryan Adams ( and Jim Vallance ( for Adams' fourth studio album "Reckless" (1984). It was the fourth single released from the album "Reckless." It is one of Adams' most recognizable and popular songs. Adams had a few hits before this was released, his biggest being "Straight From The Heart," but this song and the rest of the Reckless album made him a star. Vallance reflects: "Looking back, I think 'Summer Of '69' was Bryan and I at our best. We hadn't had any real 'success' yet.......that would come when 'Reckless' went to #1 on the charts and sold 12 million copies."

Following is the link to this song, which contains the video as well, all thanks to YouTube:

"Summer of '69"........the lyrics:

I got my first real six-string
Bought it at the "Five and Dime"
Played it 'til my fingers bled
It was the summer of '69

Me and some guys from school
Had a band and we tried real hard
Jimmy quit and "Judy" got married
I shoulda known we'd never get far

Oh when I look back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Ya - I'd always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life

Ain't no use in complainin'
When you got a job to do
Spent my evenin's down at the drive-in
And that's when I met you

Standin' on your mama's porch
You told me that you'd wait forever
Oh and when you held my hand
I knew that it was now or never
Those were the best days of my life

Back in the summer of '69

Man we were killin' time
We were young and restless
We needed to unwind
I guess nothin' can last forever - forever, no

And now the times are changin'
Look at everything that's come and gone
Sometimes when I play that old six-string
I think about ya wonder what went wrong

Standin' on your mama's porch
You told me it would last forever
Oh the way you held my hand
I knew that it was now or never
Those were the best days of my life

Back in the summer of '69

"Summer of '69" was written on January 25, 1984 by Bryan Adams with the songwriter Jim Vallance, who wrote several 'Aerosmith' songs and often collaborated with Adams. The recording took place at Little Mountain Sound, Vancouver, Canada and was mixed in New York by Jim Vallance.

his website, Vallance explains that the song went through a number of changes, and it was originally called "Best Days Of My Life," with the line "Summer Of '69" appearing just once in the lyrics. According to Vallance, many of the lyrics were inspired by other songs: "I got my first real six string" - from Foreigner's "Juke Box Hero" and the line, "I bought a beat up six-string in a second-hand store." "Standin' on your mama's porch, you told me that you'd wait forever" - Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road" and the line, "The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves. Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays." "When you held my hand, I knew that it was now or never" - The Beatles "I Want To Hold Your Hand."

Both Adams and Vallance had bands in high school, which provided fodder for the lyrics about the band that broke up. In the line, "Jimmy quit, Jody got married," Jody was Jody Perpik, who was Adams' sound man. He got married around the time this song was coming together, and he appeared in the video with his wife - in a car with a "Just Married" sign. Bryan always performs this at his concerts - he tends to start singing the first line, and then the audience takes over for the first chorus. One of the reasons 1969 worked for nostalgia purposes was the quality of the music that year. Bands like "The Beatles," "The Rolling Stones" and "Led Zeppelin," were all going strong.

The music video was directed by Irish director Steve Barron in 1985. In 1985 it was nominated for the MTV Video Music Awards in one category for 'Best Male Video.' While the song didn't win the award, it was one of four nominated songs from Adams' fourth studio album "Reckless." The video includes appearances by Lysette Anthony (the young girl in the music video of this song, is a english actress who has also starred in various television productions) and Michael Brandon.

The song makes no attempt to be deep or meaningful - just fun - and, on that note, it succeeds splendidly. As Adams has stated, "That song is 25 years old now so it's had that many years to incubate. A lot of songs, like that one, hit big in America but really not anywhere else. It didn't chart anywhere in Europe until at least 10 years after it was released. I remember in 1993 that someone told me, 'Hey, did you know that 'Summer of '69' is number one in Holland?' I think songs can have a life of their own regardless of the promotion." "Summer of '69" brings back many memories for the listeners - this song is truely evergreen.

Doesn't everyone have a Summer of '69? I love this song, just a great feel good song and it always, always takes me back to my favorite summer - it's all about reminiscing........

Photograph: This is the cover art for "Summer of '69" by the artist Bryan Adams. The cover art copyright is believed to belong to the label, A&M Records, or the graphic artist.


  1. The lyrics are great! The song I like most by Bryan Adams is Everything I Do I Do It For You. I also like the piano version of the song played by Richard Clayderman. Great song!

  2. my fav Bryan Adams songs: Everything I do and Please forgive me

  3. @ Rajdeep... yes, the lyrics are great... I agree.

    I haven't heard the piano version of the song played by Richard Clayderman, though... :(

  4. @ Sonali... I like the songs you mentioned here... but "Summer of '69" is also an all-time favourite.

    This song has tremendous 'energy'...

  5. Bryan Adams is the best soft-rock artiste the planet has ever produced ... in fact the compilation album "So Far So Good" is one of my favourite albums in my collection ...

  6. @ Subhayan: I second your comments! :)

  7. hey Roshmi, have u seen the Bryan Adams video of Summer of '69 live ... not the one on ur blog now, but another one, where he begins with an acoustic guitar, and then ... in the last stanza ... "those where the best times of my life" the drums and electric comes in ... that is so damn amazing ... i consider that to be the best live performance i've ever seen ... if u haven't, heres the youtube link

  8. @ Subhayan: Great link! Thanks a bunch. Hadn't watched it before.

    I have Bryan Adams songs playing on my blog, though...!