Friday, August 4, 2017

"The Boys of Summer" by Don Henley

Top 10 Alert!
Grammy Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  2121
Date:  11/10/1984
Debut:  63
Peak:  5
Weeks:  22
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Henley's post-Eagles career started off strong when his gold-level debut LP I Can't Stand Still produced the #3 hit "Dirty Laundry." Two years later, he would return with the follow-up Building the Perfect Beast. To introduce the album, this first single was issued. It would immediately go to #1 at Rock and easily hit the Pop Top 10. It would also be his first solo AC entry getting to #33. The single was boosted by a popular video that was done in a French new wave-style. It would go on to win four MTV Music Video Awards including one for Video of the Year. The song would also net Henley a Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance and also be nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

ReduxReview:  This song was stunning when it came out. Right off the top it set a dark, groovy mood that continued throughout the song. Combine this with the noir-ish video and it was destined to be a hit. Henley would end up with two other songs that did better on the chart ("Dirty Laundry" and a #2 duet with Patty Smyth in 1992 called "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough"), but I think this was his definitive hit as a solo artist. I hear this song more than any of his other hits, especially (and obviously) in the summer months. The song is cinematic in both its tone and its lyrics. When I hear it, I feel like I am instantly transported to a dark, dusty highway where I'm driving an old convertible, contemplating life, and going nowhere in particular.


Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This song was written by Mike Campbell and Don Henley. Campbell was a member of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and had written the music for this song for the band. When Petty heard the tune, he thought it was really good, but the style of the song was not going to fit in with the others pegged for the band's upcoming album Southern Accents. Through Petty's producer Jimmy Iovine, the song ended up over with Henley. He liked the music and wrote a set of lyrics. With Petty's blessing, Henley recorded the song and got the hit.  2) Two other artists reached the US charts with a remake of this song. Techno artist DJ Sammy went to #5 on the US Dance chart in 2002. Dutch singer Loona provided the vocals. The following year, pop-punk band The Ataris took their rockin' version to #20 on the Pop chart. It was also a #2 hit on the Modern Rock chart.



  1. As good as this song is, the video might be even better. JM Mondino made some good ones, but this is his best and one of the best of the decade. 10 for both.

  2. Ironic that this song was a hit in the deepest part of...winter.