Released on the 4th of July in 1966, “Summer In the City” is a summer anthem by The Lovin’ Spoonful. This soul-inspired, electric piano driven groove was a slight departure for the predominantly folk/rock group. Still, the song was an immediate and lasting hit, reaching the top of the charts in the United States and several other countries throughout the world.
The song’s lyrics contrast the oppressive heat during the dog days of summer with the celebratory nature of the cooler summer nights. Beyond the upbeat music and chanting melody, the song is given great motion by its instrumental forays which include “city” sound effects such as a jackhammer and the horn of a Volkswagen Beetle horn.
50 summers after it was first released, “Summer In the City” remains a vibrant and interesting song which works best when listened to during the hot season.