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.)
Format 7" Vinyl
12" Vinyl
Recorded London
Genre New Wave, synthrock, synthpop
Length 5:17 (LP version)
3:53 (7" version)
Label EMI America (U.S.)
Writer(s) Corey Hart
Producer(s) Jon Astley and Phil Chapman
Corey Hart singles chronology
"She Got the Radio" (promo, Canada only) "Sunglasses at Night"
"It Ain't Enough"

"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."[1]

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.

Music video[edit]

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.[2]

Cover versions and interpretations[edit]

  • 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.[3]
  • The song was covered in an electro house style by Tiga and Zyntherius in 2001.
  • 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.
  • In 2007, the song was covered by DJ Size featuring J. Lourenzo and Big Steve.
  • Also in 2007, a nu metal version was recorded by German band Francis Soto.
  • A mashup was released by UK mashup artist Cheekyboy in 2007 of Justin Timberlake's "Sexyback" using elements of "Sunglasses at Night".
  • 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".
  • Also in 2008, Suburban Noize rapper The Dirtball used the phrase "I wear my sunglasses at night" during an interlude in his song "Nightshade".
  • In March of 2009, a clubbing event called "Sunglasses at Night" was founded in the sunny island of Malta. It has since become the biggest clubbing event in Malta and has even starting going overseas from 2013 onwards.[4]
  • Later in 2009, 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.
  • Also in 2009, 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 noted small similarities in the musical composition of Miley Cyrus's "See You Again" and that of "Sunglasses at Night".[5]
  • 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 sampled the song in his "Laffy Taffy Outro" from his shelved album Tafietu.
  • In 2013, US-based technical death metal band Arsis covered the song on the album Unwelcome.

Popular culture[edit]

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",[6] 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".

It was the plate-appearance music during the 2008 MLB All-Star Game for a Milwaukee Brewers outfielder also named Corey Hart.


External links[edit]