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Summertime Sadness

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"Summertime Sadness" is a song by American singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey from her second studio album, Born to Die. It was released on June 22, 2012 by Interscope Records as the fourth single of the album. Charting across Europe, the single reached the top ten in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. In the spring of 2013, "Summertime Sadness" became a number-one hit in Poland and Ukraine. Trap and house remixes of "Summertime Sadness" helped Del Rey break into the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart. There, it became a modest hit and marked Del Rey's first foray into the chart. On the accompanied Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart, the single gave Del Rey her first US number-one single in August 2013. Earlier in 2012, the song also managed to become a rock hit in the US.

In the summer of 2013, a remixed version of the track by Cedric Gervais was released to American contemporary hit radio and helped the single become a sleeper hit, debuting it at 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the highest charting single of her career in that country with a peak of 6. Switzerland and Austria gave "Summertime Sadness" a gold certification; it reached platinum status in Germany and became a top forty year-end hit. The record also reached number 4 in the UK Singles Chart. It joined BBC Radio 1's and BBC Radio 2's playlists. Gervais' remixed version won a 2014 Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical.

A music video for the trip hop song features two lovers, one played by Jaime King and the other played by Del Rey. As the storyline progresses, both characters commit suicide by jumping from perilous heights. Cinematography was handled primarily by King's husband, Kyle Newman. The video gained success on video-hosting website, YouTube, and circulated through social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. In general, critics lauded the artistry of the single's music video, comparing it to Instagram. The musical arrangement was composed by Del Rey's long-time collaborators Emile Haynie and Rick Nowels, with Nowels and Del Rey writing the lyrics.

In April 2013, the Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation released a cover version of the song on their album, The Q-Music Sessions. In December of that year, Miley Cyrus covered the song on her Jingle Ball sets.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Background and composition[edit]

"Summertime Sadness" was released as a digital download on June 22, 2012. Written by Lana Del Rey and her long-time collaborator, Rick Nowels, the record was produced by Nowels and Emile Haynie. "Summertime Sadness" is a trip hop ballad with the lyrics, "Baby you da best…kiss me hard before you go." Music journalist Amy Sciarretto pinned "Summertime Sadness" as a song among an album of shoegazing moments. Various club remixes of the song were created, including one by Mikky Ekko. Spin said Ekko's trap remix, "teases us with a little stoney dubwise bubble, and then dunks the entire thing into a glistening pool of purple promethazine goo. The only sharp sounds come from the barrage of skittering beats, plus some space lasers and the like." "Summertime Sadness"'s Adam Freeland remix employed house beats and strong synthesizers that creates a "dazzling dance floor production."Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Critical reception[edit]

In his track-by-track review for Billboard magazine Andrew Hampp wrote about "Summertime Sadness" that "the pouty title alone drew giggles at Del Rey's Bowery gig, but the song itself proves to be one of the more durable tracks here even if its lyrics start to get redundant ('Kiss me hard before you go... That baby you're the best')". Amy Sciarretto of PopCrush noted that "on an album marked by shoe gazing moments, [the song] is Lana Del Rey at her most head down. But even though there is a palpable damaged girl in her voice, she commands attention with her lazy delivery." Los Angeles Times named it among the best tracks on the album along with "Video Games" and "Dark Paradise".Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Summertime Sadness" was filmed in April and May 2012. It was directed by Kyle Newman and Spencer Susser. Newman's wife, actress Jaime King, stars along with Del Rey in the video, which tells the sad love story of two women, one of whom ends her life. King said about the video that, "It's about not being able to live without the one you love, friend or lover it doesn't matter, that's whatever you want it to be." Actor Alex Pettyfer reportedly also helped out on set as a production assistant.

The music video opens with the clouds parting during which a female voice is heard speaking through a phone call, telling her lover, "remember, i'll always love you, bye", then it shows Lana Del Rey singing the opening verse before jumping from a cliff overlooking a waterfall. The video traces the women's relationship with spliced together through film bits -- much like the effects used in her earlier efforts -- and foggy scenes of the stars pouting and glancing seductively over their shoulders.

The final sixty seconds of the video features both the grief stricken lovers falling in slow motion off of a bridge, suicidal after realizing the irreparability of their relationship. "I just wanted you to know," Del Rey intones as she tumbles slowly into the abyss, "that baby you were the best."

The radio edit of the video was released on July 20, 2012, in Germany on ClipFish. The same day, the video with the album version of the song was released worldwide on Del Rey's official YouTube channel. As of January, 2014 the music video has gained more than 123 million views on video-hosting website, YouTube. It garnered 4 times more of the views "National Anthem" managed to gain in its first full month of release. For that week, Lana Del Rey gained 69,000 new followers on both Facebook and Twitter after "Summertime Sadness" caused a 32% increase in weekly video views for her official YouTube channel. Combined with the views "Born to Die" netted, Del Rey reemerged on Billboard's Social 50 chart at number 42.

The video received generally favourable reviews from critics. Crystal Bell, a blogger for Huffington Post, called the video an "ode to Instagram," and compared it to Del Rey's previous videos. Carrie Battan of Pitchfork Media wrote, that "it's certainly no seven-minute re-enactment of the life of the Kennedy family, but it still offers the trademark LDR touch. Instagram-like footage, very forlorn faces, possible suicide attempts, and a very special guest." Jenna Hally Rubenstein, of MTV's Buzzworthy blog, considers that the coral-smoked scenes are Del Rey in the afterlife, post-suicide, saying it may be unlikely as, "the clip closes with an image of Lana and her ghost walking alone down an empty road." Further, she said, "Sad, sad times, y'all. But then again what else did you expect from a Lana video? Sunshine, glitter and ice cream cones? Probably not." Brennan Carley of Billboard noted that "keeping the buzz alive while sticking with sepia-tones and a healthy dose of melodramatics, Lana Del Rey probes a crumbling relationship in the music video [...] the video traces the women's relationship with spliced together film bits - much like the effects used in her earlier efforts - and foggy scenes of the stars pouting and glancing seductively over their shoulders." Spin magazine writer Marc Hogan found that the video recalled Del Rey's breakout video for "Video Games". He added, that "more provocative, though, is the hint of romance-gone-sour between Del Rey and the character played by actress Jaime King. Because this is a Lana Del Rey video, it's not spoiling anything to say there's a Thelma and Louise-like twist." Entertainment website Spinner called the visual "weird. It's beautifully shot, sepia-soaked and melodramatic. The singer's bestie, played by the very lovely actress Jamie King, is also pretty sad about summer ending." Tyler Monroe, writing for AUX, called the video "indistinguishable nothingness", adding "I don’t think Lana Del Rey is even trying anymore."Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Live performances[edit]

In 2013, Del Rey performed the trip hop version of "Summertime Sadness" at the Irving Plaza, along with "Million Dollar Man", while drenched in purple lights. New York Times writer Bradley Sterns described Lana Del Rey's vocal style during the Irving Plaza performance as "lounge singer crooning". Along with "Million Dollar Man" and "Summertime Sadness", Del Rey also sang "Video Games", "Born to Die", "Lolita", and "Without You".Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Cedric Gervais remix[edit]

In January 2013, a remix by Cedric Gervais was commissioned for the record label Universal Germany. However, the remix was initially turned down by Interscope and Polydor Records, Lana Del Rey's record labels in America and the UK. In the spring of 2013, the remix quickly surged to number one on Beatport, resulting in several radio programmers and DJs, such as Pete Tong, working the song into their radio station's rotation. BBC Radio 1 added the remix to its playlist, helping it to gain popularity around the world. Several Sirius XM radio stations began playing it, and Interscope decided to push at Top 40 radio in the United States. After positive feedback, Interscope agreed to release the remix. Hesitant to accept requests for remixes from other artists, Gervais immediately consented to assisting Del Rey with remixing "Summertime Sadness". "To me," he said, "it is not about the money, so I turned down a lot of people. But Lana Del Rey came in. I didn't even ask how much money I just said please send me the vocals right away and I did the track in one day. I wasn't thinking if it was going to be a hit or not, I just love and respect the artist that she is." Satisfied with the finished product, Del Rey's team commission Gervais to produce a mix version of "Young and Beautiful". The decision to release the new version of "Summertime Sadness" on the DJ's primary label Spinnin' Records was made to expand the song's audience to Gervais' EDM fanbase, when the man responsible for the track, John Ehmann, heard 60,000 people singing along to the song at the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. Months later, the house track was a sleeper hit, peaking at number 6 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. "In every country I’m going to, I hear my remix on the radio," the DJ commented on the song's success. "I heard it on the MTV Awards while they're introducing Selena Gomez. It motivates me. I started a long time ago in the business with the passion of being a DJ and all of the sudden I make a track like this I get even more excited and motivated. It opens the door to so many things." Becoming the most successful work of his career at the time, "Summertime Sadness" unlocked a plethora of opportunities for Gervais, including a contract for the release of a full-length album that features many high-profile dance singers, Rick Nowels (co-writer of "Summertime Sadness"'s lyrics) assisting him. Gervais' interpretation of "Summertime Sadness" received a video treatment. The majority of the video includes the same footage of the original version produced by Kyle Newman. Sam Lansky of Idolator described the remake as being "...stitched together with familiar glitchy footage of Lana in her conventional Tumblrwave style." Expanding, he said: "the euphoric house production contrasts with the melancholy aesthetic in that way that feels quintessentially Lana and, well, if nothing else, the track is straight fire." Further, Lansky remarked on the audio, stating: "The gloomy cut has received a proper single treatment" from Cedric Gervais who metamorphosed "Lana"s lachrymose original into a dancefloor stomper".Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Track listing[edit]

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Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits for "Summertime Sadness" taken directly from Born to Die album liner.

Lead vocals – Lana Del ReyProducers – Emile HaynieCo-producers  – Rick NowelsLyrics – Lana Del Rey, Rick NowelsLabel – Interscope RecordsStrings arranged and conduction – Larry GoldFlute – Dan HeathAdditional strings, guitar, and keyboards – Patrick WarrenAdditional strings – Rick NowelsAdditional pads – Devrim KaraogluMixer – Dan Grech MargueratAssistant mixer – Duncan Fuller

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Contents

Charts1.1 Weekly charts1.1.1 Original version1.1.2 Cedric Gervais Remix1.2 Year-end charts

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]
Cedric Gervais Remix[edit]
Year-end charts[edit]

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Certifications[edit]

Cedric Gervais Remix[edit]

(*) Note: The 2× Platinum-award in the U.S. are for all versions of "Summertime Sadness" combined.

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Release history[edit]

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