1001 Songs Challenge #748: Summertime (1991)
On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Summertime (1991)
Summertime (DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince song)
“Summertime” Single by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince from the album Homebase Released May 20, 1991 Recorded 1990 Genre Hip hop, R&B Length 4:30 Label Songwriter(s) Robert Bell, Ronald Bell, George “Funky” Brown, Robert “Spike” Mickens, Lamar Hula Mahone, Craig Simpkins, Jeffrey A. Townes, Will Smith, Charles Smith, Alton Taylor, Dennis “D.T.”
We’re leaving Washington state and making our way east to West Philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days. Sorry, dear reader, not sure what happened there. Started typing random things without really thinking. Anyway, today’s guests are DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, alias Jeff Townes and Will Smith. This hip hop duo scored a series of hits in the 1980s and 1990s and were both in a popular sitcom whose name I can’t quite remember! It’s 1991 and the duo have released their fourth album – Homebase – and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Summertime.
In Summertime DJ Jazzy Jeff focuses on the music while The Fresh Prince takes on the vocals. He sings of summertime down in Philly where he can be found cruising around in his car, checking out the beautiful girls in the neighbourhood and relaxing in the sunshine. Later in the song The Fresh Prince wants to play basketball (don’t do it Prince, it’s a bad idea, bro) but he needs to go to the mall first for new sneakers. Why? Because girls are at the basketball court and one needs to look their best if they are going to impress the ladies, right?
Summertime was a big success for DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, hitting the Top 10 in the US and UK. Superstardom happened for Will Smith with The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (1990 – 1996) leading him to a successful Hollywood career. Although his collaboration with Jeff Townes seemingly ended in 1994 they have reunited multiple times, remained good friends and the mere mention of them is enough to get many fans singing, “And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air.” Damn, that was a good show.
Favourite songs so far:
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)
The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (1978)
The Smiths – How Soon Is Now? (1984)