Summer in the City (The Lovin' Spoonful)

13 AUGUST 1966


The Lovin’ Spoonful’s magnificent ‘Summer in the City’ hit #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart on this day in 1966, and stayed there for three weeks. It reached #8 on the other side of the Atlantic. The Spoonful were on a roll, as this was their sixth single, the fifth to reach the Billboard Top 10, and their first to top it. They would have a couple more Top 10s before the end of the year, too, making August 1966 the commercial high point of their whole career (things tapered off for them from 1967 onwards).

The use of effects such as honking car (Volkswagen) horns and jackhammers brilliantly infuse the sound and aggressive atmosphere of a hot city into the song. It was a bit heavier than their other singles to date, but the optimistic chorus about the joys of city nightlife kept things upbeat.

B-side: 'Butchie's Tune'
Released: 4 July 1966
Highest chart position: #8 (UK), #1 (US)
Length: 2:41
Label: Kama Sutra
Writers: John Sebastian, Mark Sebastian, Steve Boone
Producer: Erik Jacobsen