Summer of Drugs was the hit single from the benefit album Sweet Relief released in 1993. The album featured a variety of alternative rock bands covering songs written by Victoria Williams. The project was inspired by Williams being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and led to the creation of the Sweet Relief Fund, a charity that aids professional musicians (of any stature) in need of health care.
This compilation/tribute album is filled with some of the most talented musicians of the nineties, such as Soul Asylum, Pearl Jam, Evan Dando, Matthew Sweet, Maria McKee, The Jayhawks, and Buffalo Tom. It also included musical hero and icon, Lou Reed.
A sequel album, Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation, was released in 1996.
Editor’s Notes: Tribute albums are always full of a mix of hits and misses, though they still have always been a favorite of mine to add to my musical collection. This one, though, was honestly a collection of hits, and looking back and re-listening the album, I am amazed at how comprehensively “nineties” this is. This song was always one of my favorites (my number one always Crazy Mary), and it was what made me pause and think “hey, there is more to Soul Asylum than Runaway Train, I need to hear more” (and I did).