On November 13, 1976, Rod Stewart started an 8 week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with “Tonight’s The Night.” It was the longest stay at the top of the US singles chart since The Beatles “Hey Jude” 8 years earlier, in 1968. The song was banned from play on many radio stations due to its suggestive theme and seductive french whispers provided by Stewart’s then girlfriend Britt Ekland, though relatively tame by today’s standards. It remains among the most popular Billboard hits of all time.
Its title provides the theme for this week’s blog entry and playlists, featuring both “Tonight” and “Night” word playlists. Both words have inspired some absolutely amazing songs.
“Tonight” songs include such hits as “Get Down Tonight,” “Let Me Take You Home Tonight,” “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight,” Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight,” and “We’ve Got Tonight,” which I believe was the theme song for my high school senior “Class Night.” There are even some nods to Broadway musicals, including “Lion King,” “RENT,” “Hamilton,” and “West Side Story.”
When touring RCA Studio B in Nashville, where Elvis recorded “Are You Lonesome To-night,” we learned some interesting trivia regarding the song. To get in the right mood for the song, Elvis ultimately dimmed all the lights in the studio to increase his feeling of loneliness. When the song ends, he moved forward in the dark and bumped his head on the microphone. You can actually hear the “thump” at the end of the song if you turn up the volume and listen closely. Also, Elvis didn’t like the very end of his best take, so he re-recorded the end of the song, which was then in those pre-digital recording days spliced together from the two separate tapes using scissors and tape, MID-WORD, with “To” being the end of the best take, and “-night” the last recording of the end of the song. if you notice the original, true title of the song, it is “Are You Lonesome To-night.” The hyphen in the word is in recognition of those “splicers” who spliced together the two takes with such exceptional precision that it is impossible to tell that the song was pieced together.
While only half-serious in this video, Elvis gives us a glimpse of what a master of his craft he truly was. He demonstrates such control of his beautiful instrument, his God given voice. Breathtaking.
“Night” songs have another Bob Seger great “Night Moves,” the disco hits “Night Fever,” and “I Love The Nightlife,” rock classics “Let’s Spend The Night Together,” “All Day And All Of The Night,” “Dance The Night Away,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “Fly By Night,” 80’s ladies songs “Shadows Of The Night,” and “All Through The Night,” and some oldies with “Still Of The Night,” “Night And Day,” and “Strangers In The Night.” There are also a handful of Broadway hits, including songs from “Chess,” “Evita,” “Phantom Of The Opera,” and “Miss Saigon.”
From the Broadway Musical “Chess”, “One Night In Bangkok” rose to #3 on the Billboard Charts in 1984. It’s singer, Murray Head, played the lead, Judas, in another Tim Rice Broadway Musical, “Jesus Christ Superstar” over a decade earlier, in 1970.
For those of you thinking chess an unusual theme for a musical or movie, consider watching “Searching for Bobby Fisher” or if you haven’t watched the much hyped Netfilx Original series “The Queen’s Gambit,” do yourself a BIG favor and watch it. It’s that good:
And for those who have seen it and loved it, guess what? “The Queen’s Gambit, Season 2” is coming to a Netflix screen near you!
Now, back to the playlists for some music I know you’re going to love.
I’ve also included some Country counterparts, as an added bonus for you Country fans:
Give these playlists a listen – you won’t be disappointed!
I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew. Rediscover the passion of music in your life.
Live in the moment
Enjoy the moment
Love the moment
Listen to the MUSIC!