The basis of the song's chorus uses the second movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's Pathétique Sonata. Beethoven is credited as one of the song's writers on the sleeve of the album as "L.V. Beethoven".
The song, released as a single only in the UK and Japan, reached #78 on the UK Singles Chart chart and #88 on the Japanese Oricon Singles Chart. Joel has said in interviews that "This Night" was written about his brief relationship with supermodel Elle Macpherson, whom he dated just prior to second wife Christie Brinkley.