Sunglasses at Night
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|"Sunglasses at Night"|
|Single by Corey Hart|
|from the album First Offense|
|A-side||"Sunglasses at Night"|
|B-side||"At the Dance"|
|Released||May 14, 1983 (Canada, UK)
January 21, 1984 (U.S.)
|Genre||New Wave, pop rock, synthpop|
|Length||5:17 (LP version)
3:53 (7" version)
|Label||EMI America (U.S.)|
|Producer||Jon Astley and Phil Chapman|
|Corey Hart singles chronology|
"Sunglasses at Night" is a song recorded by Canadian singer Corey Hart. It was the first single to be released off his debut album, 1983's First Offense, and became a hit single in the United States, rising to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1984. The song is a staple of 1980s pop rock and New Wave music, combining an unflagging synthesizer hook, characteristic arpeggio, rock guitar and obscure lyrics. AllMusic described it as "an instant classic with its distinctive melody and catchy chorus."
The song is included in numerous hits collections of the period, especially in the U.S., but it was not as popular throughout the rest of the world at the time. Peaking at #24 in Hart's native Canada, it was not a hit in Europe and failed to chart at all in the UK.
In 2002, 19 years after the original version release, the song was re-recorded, with Original 3 as the producer.
The music video reflects the original vision of a "fashion" police state, with scenes of Hart in a prison cell, without sunglasses, being strong-armed by police officers and paraded past various citizens wearing their regulation shades. Near the end of the video, Hart is taken to the office of a female police officer, who releases Corey in the song's end, played by Laurie Brown, who later became the host of The NewMusic as well as a VJ on MuchMusic.
Cover versions and interpretations
- In 1984, German label ZYX Music released a mash-up of an un-named cover version with the original 1984 Bobby O-produced version of "West End Girls" by Pet Shop Boys titled "West End Sunglasses".
- In "Nappy Heads - (Remix)" from the Fugees' album Blunted on Reality, Wyclef Jean sings, "I wear my sunglasses at night, to spy on my girlfriend" at 4:12 and 4:22. He references the song again on the Fugees album The Score on the track "How Many Mics?", between 3:26 and 3:29.
- Former *N Sync singer JC Chasez featured the song's signature synthesized hook throughout "Come to Me", a track from his 2004 album Schizophrenic, for which he credited Hart as a co-writer.
- In 2006, the song was covered by rap group The Federation with rappers E-40 and Keak Da Sneak, retitled as "I Wear My Stunna Glasses at Night", a reference to the popularity of "Stunna Shades" within the hyphy movement. 2007 saw covers by Dj Size feat. J. Lourenzo and Francis Soto (nu metal version), plus a mashup by UK mashup artist Cheekyboy of Justin Timberlake's Sexyback using elements of this song.
- Divine Brown samples the main riff in her 2008 song Sunglasses, and near the end of the track she says the tag line, "I wear my sunglasses at night". That year, Suburban Noize rapper The Dirtball used the phrase "I wear my sunglasses at night" during an interlude in his song "Nightshade".
- Skepta sampled the chorus and the song's signature synthesized hook and credits Hart on his song, also titled "Sunglasses at Night", which hit the UK Pop and R&B charts in 2009. That year Voodoo & Serano covered Hart's "Sunglasses at Night" and Denver based artist SAIGE gained some local success with his version of the song.
- Bill Lamb of About.com noted small similarities in the musical composition of Miley Cyrus's See You Again and that of "Sunglasses at Night".
- Ludacris sampled the song in his mixtape The Preview, hosted by DJ Drama and produced by Hammadi, on a song titled "Secret Song" featuring Tity Boi. "Sunglasses at Night" is sampled in the song "Blinded by the Sun" by Gym Class Heroes. New York DJ Rob Gee covered the song on his album The Great American Melting.
- In 2010 video game rock band The Megas covered the song for their single Sparked a War. Brooklyn rapper Charles Hamilton (rapper) sampled the song in his "Laffy Taffy Outro" from his shelved album Tafietu.
The song is used in the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as part of the New Wave radio station Wave 103. The popular Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation, which names each episode after an '80s hit song, named an episode after this song. The episode portrayed addiction to gambling. In the web series Dorm Life, the RA of the floor sings it whenever he is drunk. The song became the background theme for the viral video "My New Haircut", as well as for the multiple amateur versions which followed. In the 1985 film My Science Project, a police officer asks character Vince Latello (played by Fisher Stevens) why he wears his sunglasses at night. He answers, "Because when you're cool, the sun shine [sic] on you 24 hours a day." The song is used in a Korean KIA Sephia 1993 commercial and in a 2010 commercial for Miller Lite. The song also appeared in the fourth season Daria episode "Legends of the Mall".