#15 Seals & Crofts – Summer Breeze
As the Summer of 1972 drew to a close, President Richard Nixon was lining up his talking points to convince the American People to give him a second term in the White House. His mantra: “Bring an honorable end to the war in Vietnam.” Democratic presumptive, George McGovern, was an easy target. He came off as too much of a pacifist. Still, Nixon’s team wanted to slam dunk a victory. In June, burglars are caught inside of the DC Democratic headquarters in the Watergate complex.
The tune was steeped with lyrical imagery about a working man coming home to his traditional wife, “food cooking and a place for two” set at the kitchen table, just inside of a screen door that let the Summer Breeze waft throughout the house. The introductory hook, featuring Seals’ acoustic guitar and a kid’s toy piano, ala Peanuts comic strip’s Schroeder caught our attention. The 1, 3m, 7, 5m chord progression of the versus fit the melancholy subtext of the words.
Seals and Crofts had a hit. The very title branded it, over time, as a Summer Song, even though it’s prime happened in September as we were headed back to school, perhaps wishing that we could extend vacation just a few weeks longer.
Two years later, with another hit, “Diamond Girl” under their belt, I saw Seals & Crofts perform at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor on a wintry night in January. It was the first time I was there for a music centered event since covering the John Sinclair Freedom Rally as a high school journalist and the vibe was totally different.
With spotlights pointed at a spinning, cut glass ball in the rafters, it was hard not to get caught up in the spiritual “Bahá?í” that drove much of the duo’s creative energy during their four year prime.
Summer Breeze wasn’t dance-able like Johnny Rivers 1967 classic “Summer Rain“. It felt more like a tune you might find on the soundtrack of “Butterflies are Free“, Goldie Hawn’s star-maker vehicle, which was a summer cinema phenomenon that same year.