“Summertime Blues” – Blue Cheer

Here’s one of those cool oddities that occasionally can only find success in the Top 40 because it doesn’t fit into any format of its day. This example is a beyond metallic cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” from 1968 by the band Blue Cheer. Even nowadays, this is way heavier than anything that calls itself heavy metal and probably was shunned from rock radio because it was too harsh. So … it became a Top 20 hit on the Billboard charts. From the album “Vincebus Eruptum” … I have no idea what that title means, but it’s freakin’ cool.

Another similar example: Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock n’ Roll” which was too punk for rock stations and too rock for punk/new wave stations. It went to the Top 40 instead and was a #1 hit on the Billboard charts for 7 weeks in 1982.

The accompanying video for “Summertime Blues” (filmed for the German pop music show “Beat Club”) was an early staple of the “Closet Classic” segment of MTV back in the day. I love the fact you can barely see any of the band member’s faces because their hair is so long and thick.  Just like the beyond muddy guitar sound.

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