Summer – War | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#7) and R&B (#4 ); 1976

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

One of the greatest summer hits of all time was released on the first day of summer in 1976, and reached its pop peak in the first week of Fall. The origins of War, the group responsible for Summer, dated back to 1963 with the formation of the Creators.

As the Creators’ lineup evolved into what would become War, the group grabbed some notoriety when its recording of Burn Baby Burn was picked up by the Watts rioters.

By 1969, the band was backing up Deacon Jones, of the LA Rams, as Nightshift. They were soon added to Eric Burdon’s payroll; backing him up as “War” and hitting #3 with Spill The Wine in 1970.

A year later War was on its own and on the charts with All Day Music (#18 R&B, #35 Pop). In early ’73, The World Is A Ghetto broke into the Top 10; kicking off a streak of crossover hits that ended in 1976 when Summer became the band’s final Top 10 pop single.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Jerry Goldstein

Lyrics Written by:

  • Papa Dee Allen
  • B. B. Dickerson, Charles Miller
  • Harold Brown
  • Howard Scott
  • Jerry Goldstein
  • Lee Oskar 
  • Lonnie Jordan.