Summer in the City

#ThrowbackThursday - We go back to 1966 when Lovin’ Spoonful started a three week run on the Billboard Hot 100 with Summer in the City. This track has made people feel the heat of the summer streets for almost 50 years! It's ranked number 401 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The song features a series of car horns during the instrumental bridge, starting with a Volkswagen Beetle horn, and ends up with a jackhammer sound, in order to give the impression of the sounds of the summer in the city.

The song was a collaboration between John Sebastian, The Lovin Spoonful's bassist Steve Boone, and the frontman's brother (and non-group member) Mark Sebastian. John Sebastian recalled to Uncut magazine June 2014: "That song that came from an idea my brother Mike had. He had this great chorus, and the release was so big. I had to create some kind of tension at the front end to make it even bigger. That's where that jagged piano part comes from."

"Steve contributed the middle eight, which I thought sounded like Gershwin, so we hired a radio sound effects engineer to come in with records of horns and traffic, a real New York City thing."


Though Lovin’ Spoonful’s success was relatively short lived they still remain one of the early influences on the sounds of the 60s. Their bohemian-folk appeal from Lower Manhattan reached out and affected the music of many of their contemporaries.

Watch the video above. C5 users can find the video already in their playlists (Throwback Sessions).


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