“Summer of ’69” is the hit single from Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams and his fourth album “Reckless”, which was released in 1984.
The pop rock song was originally titled “Best Days of My Life” and was written by Adams alongside Canadian producer, songwriter and arrange Jim Vallance. Written in Vallance’s basement, “Summer Of ’69” went through a number of changes and re-writes as both Adams and Vallance agreed that the song was not strong enough to be featured on the album. In the first draft on the song, the lyric “summer of 69” appeared once, and “Best Days of Our Life” seven.
Lyrically, the track tells the story of a young man in 1969, discovering sex and enjoying summer, with the use of the number 69 as a sexual innuendo and referencing the sex position.
In 2008, Adams appeared on The Early Show, where he was asked about the song’s meaning. He stated that the song was not actually about the summer of 1969, but about having sex in the summertime.
“Summer of ’69” has received many accolades and been a part of many “bets of” lists:
- #70 in Blender‘s 2005 “The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born”
- #24 in Chartattack‘s 1996 list of “The 100 Best Canadian Singles of All Time”, as well as #4 on Chartattack‘s same list which was re-written in 2000.
- American music journalist Chuck Eddy’s 1990 list of “The 100 Best Singles of the 80s”, placed at #50.
- American music critic Dave Marsh’s 1989 list of “The 1001 Greatest Singles ever Made”, placed at 635.
“Summer of ’69” has received multiple certifications:
- 8x Platinum in Australia
- 3x Platinum in the UK
- 2x Platinum in Denmark
- 3x Gold in Germany
- Gold in the Italy
The official music video for “Summer Of ’69” was released in 1985 and was directed by Irish director Steve Barron. The video was uploaded to YouTube on the 17th June 2009, and had a total of 216.4 million views on the 18th July 2023.
Read the lyrics to “Summer of ’69” here.
*All information accurate at the time of publishing (18th July 2023).