Bryan Adam’s ‘Summer of ‘69’


By Aameet Ekram


It was the 1980s, Canadian singer and songwriter Bryan Adams had become very popular. It was a decade full of singers and musicians who have managed to pave their legacy on the popularity of their singles. Their styles of music have shaped the future of songs and music that came out afterwards within the same genre. One such song made by Bryan Adams is his ‘Summer of ‘69’, which is played even today by many people from the previous generation, and even some members of the current one. ‘Summer of ’69’ was created in 1984, for Bryan Adams’s fourth album, ‘Reckless’. ‘Summer of ’69’ ended up becoming immensely popular internationally, and received high places in global charts, such as in the Netherlands, where it ended up in fourth place. It also received solid reviews from music critics.

Bryan Adams has composed many other songs that have gained popularity with listeners and his fans over the years, such as ‘Please Forgive Me’, but none of Adams’s songs had the lasting effect on its listeners and the populace like ‘Summer of ’69’, nor did the other songs achieve the popularity of the said song.

The song starts with a set of guitar chords and sequences, akin to many of the singer’s other songs, almost all of which use some form of guitar, mainly electrical. These sequences are played in the style of the ‘Rock’ genre, under which the song falls. The entire song is made of different sequences of lyrics, electric guitar, a background drum beat, and later into the song, a keyboard synth. The song varies between four sequences as it goes along, changing the chord sequence and the range of notes, not the instruments.

The lyric is quite unique considering the genre, talking of childhood memories of a summer years back, thinking everything that happened during that summer would ‘last forever’, but finding out later that, in fact, it did not. The lyric also says how those memories are the ‘best days of his life’. The lyric muses on a fact which is more true to our life experiences than not, and the way the song is sung is simply wonderful, fitting perfectly with the background music.

The song, due to the subject of its lyrics, the tune, and the choice of instruments, has become timeless, still enjoyed by people of different generations around the world. The achievement of ‘Summer of ‘69’  is that it has become a timeless song in a world where songs usually lose their effect, and slowly age as time goes along and newer songs are released.

Aameet Ekram is a university student in New Zealand.

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