The original version by Jacques Brel is rather macabre, but Jacks had an earnest inspiration for his reworking of the song: his good friend developed leukemia, and was given just six months to lớn live. "He was gone in four months," Jacks told us. "He was a very good friend of mine, one of my best friends, and he said I was the first one that he told. I remembered this tuy nhiên of an old man dying of a broken heart, and I liked some of the melody and there was something there. I rewrote the tuy vậy about him."
Before releasing this song, Terry Jacks had considerable success in his native Canada as half of the duo The Poppy Family with his wife, Susan. He was friends with The Beach Boys, who asked him to produce a tuy nhiên for them - something Jacks was honored lớn do. Terry played them his arrangement of "Seasons in the Sun" and suggested they record it, since he thought it would sound great with their harmonies và with Carl Wilson singing lead.Terry flew lớn Brian Wilson"s house and they began working on the song. Wilson had always been their producer, & could spend months working on a tuy vậy if he wanted to perfect it. These were Terry"s sessions, but Brian tried to lớn take over. "The thing never got finished," Jacks said in our interview. "Brian wanted lớn get hold of the tape and địa chỉ some things, & the engineer would have to take the tape trang chủ at night so that Brian wouldn"t get hold of it. This went on and on, and I was almost having a nervous breakdown because I would put so much energy into this thing and the ức chế was really getting me. So I said, "I"m not going to lớn be able to finish this. I can"t get you guys all in here together." So it never got completed."The sessions weren"t a complete wash for Jacks, however. He worked with Al Jardine on the backing vocals and came up with an arrangement he would use when he recorded the song himself.

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In 1973, the tuy nhiên was released as Jacks" second single ("Concrete Sea" was his first), & it was a huge hit, going khổng lồ #1 in America for three weeks và also topping the UK chart.Terry released this on his own label, Goldfish Records, & was amazed when it became the largest-selling single in Canadian history: more than 285,000 copies sold in a matter of weeks. Bell Records vice president Dave Carrico heard the record, flew lớn Vancouver, and snapped up the American rights. Bell released the tuy nhiên in the US, và on February 14, 1974, it earned its first RIAA Gold Award for sales of over a million copies. Eventually, it sold more than three million copies in the United States alone. Worldwide, the figure is over six million.
"Seasons in the Sun" is the story of a dying man, bidding farewell to loved ones who have shared his life. Shortly before Terry"s recording came out, Jacques Brel retired, at the peak of his popularity. Fans around the world were stunned, but the composer would give no reason. Finally, the truth was revealed: after a quiet, six-year battle against cancer, Brel succumbed lớn the disease and died on October 9, 1978.
With the money he made from this song, Jacks purchased a boat, which he christened "Seasons in the Sun." He began sailing up and down the west coast of Alaska & Canada, and had some revelations along the way. "I started to lớn realize that this wasn"t made by a blob," he told us. "This was made by God."Terry became a Christian & began a quest to lớn protect nature. He gave up music và became an environmental activist, fighting the Canadian paper mills, which he accused of dumping toxins & destroying forests. He made some films on the subject, including The Faceless Ones and The Warmth of Love: The 4 Seasons of Sophie Thomas, maintaining a modest lifestyle in Canada financed by his musical achievements.For Terry, becoming an environmentalist was not just a moral imperative, but a way of dealing with the fallout from this song, which came to define his career. "I got lớn be known as an environmentalist, which was the only thing that ever got rid of my label," he said. "I was "Seasons in the Sun" before that."
Rod McKuen, who translated the lyrics, is the credited writer on the tuy vậy along with Jacques Brel. Terry Jacks made some significant musical changes & wrote an entirely different last verse, but didn"t get a songwriter credit, since he never claimed one. Jacks says he didn"t think of it at the time, và never anticipated the song becoming a royalty-generating hit.

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Jacks" previous group, The Poppy Family, had a #2 Hot 100 hit with "Which Way You Goin" Billy?" in 1970, & also made #29 with "That"s Where I Went Wrong" (both songs were written by Jacks). After "Seasons in the Sun" hit, he recorded anther Jacques Brel tuy vậy with an English translation by Rod McKuen: "If You Go Away." This one has the French title "Ne me quite pas," which literally translates as "Don"t Leave Me." It hit #68 in the US.
In the UK, Westlife had the 1999 Christmas #1 with their Double-A-side of "I Have A Dream" and their cover of this song. "I Have A Dream" was originally a #2 hit for Abba in 1979. When this topped the UK chart, Westlife became the first act since Elvis Presley in 1962 to lớn have 4 #1s in the same year.
Terry"s talents are in songwriting, production và arrangements - he doesn"t consider himself a very good singer, & was never known for his vocal talents. He started singing his own material as a means of expression: when he wrote songs for The Poppy Family, he had to lớn change the gender because they were sung by his wife, Susan.Despite his perceived deficiencies when it comes lớn singing, Terry won the Juno award (the Canadian Grammys) for Male Vocalist of the Year in 1974. This song also won for Contemporary Single of the Year và Pop Music Single of the Year, và Best Selling Single.