The song lyrics were written primarily in English, but Richie has admitted in at least one press interview that "African" lyrics in the song, such as "Tom bo li de say de moi ya," and "Jambo jumbo," were in fact made-up gibberish of his own invention. Richie has described these portions of the song as a "wonderful joke," written when he discovered that he lacked the time to hire a translator to contribute the foreign language lyrics he wished to include in the song. He was partially inspired by an early childhood experience which he described as a "wonderful joke."
The song has achieved massive popularity in the Arab World, in which Richie is well known as much as if not more than in his native U.S. The Independent has referred to Richie as "a phenomenon" over the past decade or so in nations such as Iraq, with "Hello" also achieving much success.
U.S. military personnel told Richie that "All Night Long (All Night)" was playing in the nighttime streets of Baghdad during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Bud Light is currently running a commercial campaign, showing a man going through numerous party-like situations. All throughout the commercial, up until the first chorus, he does the song in spoken verse.
The version that was released as a single in 1983 was an edit version. For this commercial release it was decided that the album version was too long and therefore the song (just like the guitar solo in "Running with the night" single version) was cut shorter. For instance the xylophone part was cut out. The single version clocks at 4:19.
In 1983, at the same time as the 7"edit, the album version was released as a 12" version.
On the 2003 release "Can't slow down - Deluxe version" a "real" 12" version was released which clocks at 6:42. This version actually has additional lyrics (a.o. "What more can I say, let the music play") at the end of the song. This version had not been released before.
Richie recorded a remix of the song with Australian singer-songwriter Guy Sebastian in 2011. All proceeds will go towards the Queensland Floods and New Zealand Earthquake Appeal. The re-recorded version was produced by RedOne and was released to iTunes Stores in Australia and New Zealand on 18 and 16 March respectively.
It debuted on the New Zealand Singles Chart at number twelve on 21 March 2011 and on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart at number twenty-six on 28 March 2011.