George Gershwin knew what he was doing when he wrote “Summertime” and any song that even remotely claims lineage to the original has to have chops, and Lana Del Rey delivers in her cover of a hit from 1997, “Doin’ Time” by Sublime, a now defunct ska band from Long Beach, CA; both versions open with riffs from the original 1935 Gershwin classic.
And, Like Gershwin’s “Summertime,” Del Rey’s mid-tempo “Doin’ Time” simmers and slithers; it’s sensuous– a quiet explosion. Boomers: Overlook that the lyrics are a tad hard to understand, and ignore the cultural cues that just go over our head.
Lana’s version is getting heavy radio airplay, and leap frogged up the music charts. Currently it ranks # 7 on the Adult Alternative format, and #15 on Alternative.
Something about summer and Lana Del Rey: Her biggest hit to date is “Summertime Sadness”–it was a a platinum level smash hit in 2013.