Bryan Adams - Summer Of '69

Bryan Adams - Summer Of '69

‘Summer of '69’ is a song recorded by the Canadian singer Bryan Adams from his fourth album, Reckless. It is an up-tempo rock song about a dilemma between settling down or trying to become a rock star. The track was written by Adams and his longtime songwriting collaborator Jim Vallance. The song was released in June 1985 as the fourth single from Reckless.

‘Summer of '69’ received favourable reviews from music critics. The music video for the song, which was filmed by Steve Barron, features Adams and his backing band in a variety of settings, including running from the police. The single had a strong effect on music charts internationally; in the UK it was acclaimed as one of Adams’s best, with its highest peaks being number four in the Netherlands and number five in the United States. Amongst songs recorded by Canadian artists, it is the most streamed and most digitally purchased song within Canada amongst songs originally released before the start of the digital download era (approximately 2005). It is also the most played song on Canadian radio amongst songs by Canadian artists originally released before 1990.

Bryan Adams

After a tour supporting his album Cuts Like a Knife, Adams immediately started the recording sessions for the new album, Reckless. ‘Summer of '69’ was finished on January 25, 1984, co-written with Jim Vallance in his basement studio. The song went through a number of changes because neither Adams nor Vallance was convinced it was a strong enough song to be featured on the album. In their first draft, the lyric "summer of '69" appeared only once. At that time the two were planning to title it "Best Days of My Life" instead. While the phrase "Best Days of My Life" appeared seven times in the first draft, on the final draft it had been replaced by ‘Summer of '69’ and appeared only two times throughout the song. When writing the lyrics "Jimmy quit, Jody got married", Vallance suggested using "Woody quit and Gordy got married", referring to members of his high school band, but Adams liked his version better. Adams mentioned once in an interview that "Jimmy" was one of his early drummers. "Jody" is a reference to Adams' sound manager, Jody Perpick, who got married during the album's recording session.

When Adams appeared on The Early Show in 2008, he was asked about ‘Summer of '69’ and its lyrical meaning. Adams said the song was not about the summer of 1969 but about having sex in the summertime; "69" being a reference to the sexual position 69. Vallance, however, has gone for the more conventional interpretation of the title being a reference to a year. He notes Jackson Browne's ‘Running on Empty’, which contains references to 1965 and 1969, as his own influence, and recalls Adams citing the film Summer of '42 as his. However, Vallance stated on the Song Facts message board that "When we recorded the demo in my basement, towards the end of the song Bryan sang a little naughty bit: 'me and my baby in a ’69'. We had a laugh about it at the time, and Bryan decided to keep it when he did the final recording a month or two later."

After it was released as a single in June 1985, ‘Summer of '69’ climbed to number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and helped push Reckless to the number one position on the Billboard 200 album chart in August 1985. Like the previous single released from Reckless, ‘Heaven’, ‘Summer of '69’ was a commercial success worldwide. On the UK Singles Chart, ‘Summer of '69’ debuted at number fifty-nine, and managed to climb up the chart, and two weeks later reached its peak position of 42, on August 24, 1985.

T-Shirt Sale

Label – A&M
Songwriters – Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance
Producers – Bob Clearmountain, Bryan Adams


I got my first real six-string
Bought it at the five and dime
Played it 'til my fingers bled
Was the summer of '69
[Verse 1]
Me and some guys from school
Had a band and we tried real hard
Jimmy quit and Jody got married
I should've known we'd never get far
[Chorus 1]
Oh, when I look back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Yeah, I'd always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life
[Verse 2]
Ain't no use in complainin'
When you got a job to do
I spent my evenings down at the drive-in
And that's when I met you, yeah
[Chorus 2]
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
Oh, yeah
Back in the summer of '69, oh
Man, we were killin' time
We were young and restless
We needed to unwind
I guess nothing can last forever
Forever, no
[Verse 3]
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 you, wonder what went wrong
[Chorus 3]
Standin' on your mama's porch
You told me that it'd last forever
Oh, and when you held my hand
I knew that it was now or never
Those were the best days of my life
Oh, yeah
Back in the summer of '69, uh-huh
It was the summer of '69, oh, yeah
Me and my baby in a '69, oh, oh
It was the summer, summer, summer of '69
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