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In 1970, "In the Summertime" reached number one in charts around the world, including seven weeks on the UK Singles Chart, two weeks on one of the Canadian charts, and number three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the US. It became one of the best-selling singles of all-time, eventually selling more than 10 million copies.
In 2012, Dorset sued his former management company Associated Music International, run by his former friend and business manager Eliot Cohen, claiming over £2 million in royalties from the song that he believed had been withheld from him. In an interview with Gary James, Dorset explained the origin of the "motorcycle" sound towards the end of the song: "I said, 'We'll just get a recording of a motorcycle, stick it on the end of the song and then re-edit the front and then put the front off to the motorcycle so it starts up again.' But I couldn't find a motorcycle. Howard Barry, the engineer had an old, well, it wasn't old then, a Triumph sports car, which he drove past the studio while Barry Marrit was holding the microphone. So, he got the stereo effects from left to right or right to left, whatever. And that was it."