Writers: Eddie Cochran and Jerry Capehart
Producers: The Who
Recorded: February 14, 1970, at Leeds University in England
Released: May 1970
Pete Townshend–guitar, vocals
John Entwistle–bass, vocals
|Album:||Live At Leeds (Decca, 1970)|
Who singer-guitarist Pete Townshend has cited Eddie Cochran, who originally wrote and recorded “Summertime Blues,” as an enormous influence on his own playing and early songwriting style.
Who singer Roger Daltrey was also a Cochran fan, and singer-bassist John Entwistle happily provided the bass counterpoint vocals in the song's bridges.
Cochran–who died in a 1960 automobile accident in Wiltshire, England, at age 21–originally released “Summertime Blues” in the summer of 1958. It was his highest charting single and only top 10 hit, reaching Number Eight on the Billboard Hot 100.
An edited version of the Who's take on the song was released as a single, hitting Number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Number 38 in the U.K.
Other Cochran songs covered by the Who included “C'mon Everybody” and “My Way.”
The Who's Live At Leeds album is considered one of the best live albums of all time. The group's original intention for the set was to reclaim some attention for the band that it felt had been lost in the phenomenon surrounding its rock opera Tommy the previous year. As Entwistle noted at the time, “Some people think the band's called Tommy and the album's called The Who.”
Live At Leeds reached Number Four on the Billboard 200 and Number Three in the U.K.