Morrison started rehearsing “Summertime in England” in November and December 1979 along with “Haunts of Ancient Peace” at club gigs in the San Francisco area.
The album (Common One) version was recorded at Super Bear Studios in the French Alps in February 1980 and according to Mick Cox the second take was the one used on the album. The spoken section is in 3/4 time that begins with John Allair’s church organ fugue.
“Common One” was released in August 1980.
A live performance of “Summertime in England” as performed by Morrison with most of the Common One band members is featured on the 2006 released DVD, Live At Montreux 1980/1974.
A live version was recorded during concerts at the Grand Opera House in Belfast and released as the B-side of a 12 inch single released in February 1983 on the Mercury label.
Great concert featuring a brilliant “Summertime in England” (starting at 33:20).
Appropriately, “Summertime in England” is a highlight of a Dutch TV concert recorded in Rotterdam in 1981… and Pee Wee Ellis joins in on backing vocal as Van in dark shades ad libs about when “Auden and Isherwood split” (in Berlin) and summons up Ginsberg in Saint Louis, and Ferlinghetti´s City Lights books publishing Colin Wilson. A Beat manifesto?
-Brian Hinton (Celtic Crossroads)
Ahoy, Rotterdam – May 23, 1981
Van Morrison: Lead Vocals
Mark Isham: Trumpet
Pee Wee Ellis: Sax – Backing vocals on “Summertime In England”