Skip To Content

    9 Versions Of Music's Most Summery Standard

    Billie Holiday's take on "Summertime" made it a hit, but have you heard the R.E.M., Morcheeba, and Janis Joplin covers?

    1. This is "Summertime."

    View this video on YouTube

    Reasons you definitely love it:

    - It was written by George Gershwin.

    - This version, the most famous one as sung by Billie Holiday, is beyond golden.

    - Have you ever made out to it?

    - It's the best season of the year personified.

    Anyway, it's a standard among musicians who want to try their vocal cords at its sweaty sultriness, and while some of their covers are whatever forever, a fair amount are phenomenal.

    2. Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald

    Sorry, this content is no longer supported.
    View on enhanced page

    Perhaps the other most famous version of "Summertime" belongs to these two, and for good reason — it's a goddamn gorgeous song, obviously.

    3. R.E.M.

    View this video on YouTube

    This was released as an exclusive single for the band's fan club, but really should have made it to a proper LP. This era was also very good for them hair-wise, as you can see.

    4. Norah Jones

    View this video on YouTube

    Because you know that if a jazz standard exists, this woman is going to cover it at some point or another. Doye.

    5. Sublime

    This version is updated in the band's signature faux-dub style. A warm-weather classic for stoned ninth graders everywhere.

    6. Morcheeba

    View this video on YouTube

    If you're into Morcheeba's brand of sexed-up trip-hop, you'll find this cover works insanely well for those purposes.

    7. Booker T and the MGs

    View this video on YouTube

    As always, let's bow to Booker T.

    8. The Doors

    View this video on YouTube

    These guys often riffed on the classic in their live shows, usually performing a short version between two other songs.

    9. Janis Joplin

    Janis's cover is as scratchy and soulful as you might expect. She and this song are a perfect fit for one another.