Because the Night

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"Because the Night"
Because the Night - Patti Smith Group.jpg
Artwork for U.S. and some European releases
Single by Patti Smith Group
from the album Easter
B-side"God Speed"
ReleasedMarch 2, 1978 (1978-03-02)
RecordedAugust 1977
StudioRecord Plant, New York City
Songwriter(s)Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith
Producer(s)Jimmy Iovine
Patti Smith singles chronology
"Ask the Angels"
"Because the Night"
"Privilege (Set Me Free)"
"Because the Night" by Patti Smith on YouTube

"Because the Night" is a rock song written by Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith[1] that was first released in 1978 as a single from the Patti Smith Group album, Easter. This version rose to No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart,[2] as well as No. 5 in the United Kingdom, and helped propel sales of Easter to mainstream success.

The song has subsequently been covered by numerous artists, and at least two of these cover versions have been chart hits. A 1992 version of the song by CO.RO. [it] was a hit in several countries in Europe and South America. It reached No. 1 in Spain and the Top 10 in Belgium, France, Greece and Italy. The following year, a live acoustic version was recorded by 10,000 Maniacs for MTV Unplugged. This recording reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100,[3] making it the highest charting version of the song in the U.S.

In 1987, the song was ranked No. 116 on NME magazine's list of "The Top 150 Singles of All Time".[4] It remains the best-known song of Smith's catalog. In 2021, Rolling Stone ranked it No. 358 on "Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".[5] The Independent listed the song as one of the ten best new wave singles of 1978.[6]


Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band recorded "Because the Night" at Atlantic Studios, New York on June 1, 1977, the first day of sessions for Darkness on the Edge of Town, though the lyrics only consisted of the song title and some mumbling. Springsteen struggled with the song for almost four months until his engineer, Jimmy Iovine, got involved. At the time, Iovine was also producing the album Easter for Patti Smith at the Record Plant in New York, where Darkness was also being recorded.

Iovine says, "Now, Bruce was very understanding and very flexible, because he realized that this was my first real break as a producer. Anyway, one night whilst we were lounging around the Hotel Navarro in New York I told Bruce I desperately wanted a hit with Patti, that she deserved one. He agreed. As he had no immediate plans to put 'Because the Night' on an album, I said why not give it to Patti. Bruce replied, 'If she can do it, she can have it.'" Smith later recorded the song two months after Springsteen's original version was recorded.

Springsteen later admitted he was not satisfied with the song, and he already knew he was not going to finish it since it was "a[nother] love song".[7] Iovine brought Smith the last recording by Springsteen, from September 27, 1977. Smith added her own lyrics, recorded it, and scored her biggest hit single.

The song was first performed live at a Patti Smith concert at CBGB in New York City on December 30, 1977 (Smith's 31st birthday), with Springsteen joining on vocals and guitar.[8] Though it was never released on any of Springsteen's studio albums, in concert beginning with his Darkness Tour Springsteen would often perform the song with his own lyrics.

The only two commercially released recordings of a Springsteen version of the song were in the 1986 box set Live/1975–85, in which Smith is listed as co-writer; and the 2010 compilation album The Promise (using the original recording from the Darkness on the Edge of Town sessions with Smith's lyrics).



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Italy (FIMI)[24] Gold 25,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] Silver 250,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

CO.RO version[edit]

"Because the Night"
Because the night (Co.Ro version).jpg
Artwork for German releases; the Canadian CD single uses the similar artwork but uses different colors and font
Single by Co.Ro featuring Taleesa
from the album The Album
B-side"It's a Love"
Co.Ro singles chronology
"Because the Night"
"There's Something Going On"

In 1992, Italian dance act CO.RO released a version that sold over 660,000 copies. It also samples the Depeche Mode song "Master and Servant" and was a hit in Europe, becoming gold record in France and reaching number-one in Spain. Additionally the single peaked within the top 10 in Belgium, France, Greece and Italy. On the Eurochart Hot 100, "Because the Night" reached number 15 in February 1993. It was also successful in Brazil, and became a big opening of a Eurodance explosion in the 1990s.[clarification needed][26]

Critical reception[edit]

The song received favorable reviews from music critics. Larry Flick from Billboard wrote that it "gets a rave/pop treatment" and "urgent vocals by Tarlisa swerve around a looped sample from Depeche Mode's "Master & Servant"." He stated that it "ultimately works well and is better than many of the other covers".[27] Alan Jones from Music Week gave it three out of five. He complimented the song as "actually quite endearing", adding that it combines DM samples with "a maverick bassline and a Smith soundalike. It could click."[28]

Track listing[edit]

CD single – Europe (1992)

  1. "Because the Night" (T.L.S. Radio Mix) – 4:32
  2. "Because the Night" (T.L.S. Mix) – 5:20
  3. "It's a Love" (T.S.F. Mix) – 3:40
  4. "Because the Night" (Dub Mix) – 5:20


Chart (1992) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[29] 14
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[30] 7
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[31] 8
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[32] 15
Europe (European Dance Radio)[33] 15
France (SNEP)[34] 6
Germany (Official German Charts)[35] 16
Greece (Pop + Rock)[36] 8
Ireland (IRMA)[37] 21
Italy (Musica e dischi)[38] 7
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[39] 19
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[40] 17
Spain (AFYVE)[41] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[42] 26
UK Singles (OCC)[43] 61
UK Dance (Music Week)[44] 19

10,000 Maniacs version[edit]

"Because the Night"
10,000 Maniacs - Because the Night cover.jpg
Single by 10,000 Maniacs
from the album MTV Unplugged
B-side"Stockton Gala Days"
ReleasedOctober 11, 1993 (1993-10-11)[45]
RecordedApril 21, 1993[citation needed]
StudioSony Music (New York City)[46]
LabelElektra, MTV Networks
Songwriter(s)Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith
Producer(s)Paul Fox
10,000 Maniacs singles chronology
"Everyday Is Like Sunday"
"Because the Night"
"More Than This"

An acoustic version was recorded by 10,000 Maniacs in 1993 for MTV Unplugged, with a few lyrical alterations. The recording gained considerable radio airplay and reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.[3] The cover reached the top 10 in Canada and Iceland, reaching No. 10 and No. 7, respectively. A live version with lead vocalist Mary Ramsey was also included on their 2016 album Playing Favorites.

Track listing[edit]

CD single – US (1993)

  1. "Because the Night" (Live version) – 3:28
  2. "Stockton Gala Days" (Live version) – 5:25


Cascada version[edit]

"Because the Night"
Because The Night (Cascada cover).jpg
Single by Cascada
from the album Perfect Day
ReleasedJuly 18, 2008
Cascada singles chronology
"What Do You Want from Me?"
"Because the Night"
Music video
"Because the Night" on YouTube

In 2008, Cascada recorded a version which appears on their second album Perfect Day. The music video for the single premiered on YouTube on May 28, 2008. The single was released on July 18, 2008, in Germany.

Track listing[edit]

CD single – Germany (2008)

  1. "Because the Night" – 3:26
  2. "Because the Night" (Original Mix) – 5:32
  3. "Because the Night" (Mondo Remix) – 5:58
  4. "Because the Night" (2-4 Grooves remix) – 5:45
  5. "Because the Night" (The Hitmen remix) – 5:49
  6. "Because the Night" (Manian Bootleg Cut) – 5:04
  7. "Because the Night" (Manox remix) – 6:19

CD single - UK (2008)

  1. "Because the Night" – 3:26
  2. "Because the Night" (Original Mix) – 5:32
  3. "Because the Night" (Styles & Breeze Remix) – 6:15
  4. "Because the Night" (Riffs & Rays Remix) – 6:27
  5. "Because the Night" (Hypasonic Remix) – 5:34
  6. "Because the Night" (Hitmen Remix) – 5:49
  7. "Because the Night" (Manox remix) – 6:19

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[55] 45
Czech Republic (Rádio – Top 100)[56] 90
European Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[57] 53
Germany (Official German Charts)[58] 41
Scotland (OCC)[59] 5
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[60] 56
UK Singles (OCC)[61] 28

Release history[edit]

Region Release Date Record Label
Germany July 18, 2008 Zooland
United Kingdom July 28, 2008 Zooland

Garbage and Screaming Females version[edit]

"Because the Night"
Single by Garbage and Screaming Females
B-side"Love Like Suicide"
ReleasedApril 20, 2013 (2013-04-20)
StudioEastWest Studio 1, Los Angeles
GenreAlternative rock
Songwriter(s)Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith
Producer(s)Garbage and Screaming Females
Garbage singles chronology
"Automatic Systematic Habit"
"Because the Night"
"Girls Talk"
Music video
"Because the Night" on YouTube

In early 2013, Garbage and Screaming Females recorded a cover of "Because the Night" for an exclusive vinyl release on that year's Record Store Day;[62] an annual celebration of independent record stores.[63] Garbage had released two singles ("Blood for Poppies"[64] and "Battle in Me"[65]) to mark the 2012 event, and were keen to release "something special" for the following year. The band decided to record "Because the Night" with Screaming Females following some well-received duets of the track at live dates during their North American tour. Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females originally suggested covering "Because the Night" live.[66] "We thought it'd be the perfect opportunity to solidify a recording and do something really special for the fans and for all the independent record stores," Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson told Billboard.[66]

Screaming Females flew from their base in New Jersey to Los Angeles to record the track with Garbage,[67] who had set up two complete sets of instruments in EastWest Studios for the session.[68] Garbage drummer Butch Vig told NME: "We did it old-school style. They came out to Hollywood and we went into a big tracking room and recorded Phil Spector style... We cut it live and did very few overdubs, did everything in a day and it came out pretty great. Marissa plays, I think, a 48-bar guitar solo at the end, that girl can shred like Eddie Van Halen, no kidding."[69]

Garbage used social media to raise awareness of the release, and to Record Store Day in general. The band shot a video where they professed their love for independent stores, and stated their earliest memories of shopping in them, while Manson wrote a statement about the importance of the continued existence of these stores, and of vinyl records: "In a world like ours, where we live increasingly isolated lives behind the lonely glow of our computer screens, Record Store Day reminds us all that an independent record store is worth protecting and fighting for. They are a haven and a harbour for all curious and wandering souls."[70] Manson also tipped her hat to Patti Smith in the run-up to RSD 2013: "She is absolutely, without a doubt, one of my greatest inspirations. When I think I can't do things, I think about her and what she's achieved and what she continues to achieve on her own terms—always. That really inspires me. I don't know if she's aware of the cover we're releasing, or if she's aware that I covered "Kimberly" with Angelfish."[71]

"Because the Night" was pressed to a "Coke bottle-green" 10-inch vinyl and backed with "Love Like Suicide" and a fan remix of the album's opening track "Automatic Systematic Habit". An original Garbage song, "Love Like Suicide" had been previously released as bonus track exclusive to the Japan pressing of Not Your Kind of People.[72] Manson explained the song's inclusion to MySpace: "We're releasing it now because we wanted to give a nice gift for the fans."[71] The remix of "Automatic..." was produced by Garbage fan Konstantin Khazev and won first prize in an amateur remix competition held through the Beatport website in 2012.[73] The RSD package was limited to 5,000 units, with the sleeve artwork created by Marissa Paternoster.[74]

The release of "Because the Night" in the United Kingdom was delayed due to problems with the record's distributor. The band made a statement via social media the evening before Record Store Day: "We are so pissed off and disappointed about this. And so sad that on Record Store Day in the UK our little jewel will not be available for sale." The UK release of "Because the Night" was rescheduled to May 13, 2013.[75] The single debuted at number 100 on the Physical Singles chart,[76] before shooting up to number 4 the following week.[77]

On May 7, 2013, Garbage issued a digital single of "Because the Night" in the United States,[78] which was followed a week later by an international digital release.[79]

"Because the Night" would later be included on the deluxe edition bonus disc of Garbage's seventh album, No Gods No Masters[80] and Screaming Females compilation album Singles Too.[81]

Music video[edit]

While Garbage and Screaming Females recorded at EastWest Studios, Sophie Muller shot black and white footage to document the sessions. On March 4, 2013, a teaser video was released to YouTube featuring clips of the band members.[82] The full music video was subsequently released on April 17; ahead of Record Store Day.[83]

Critical reception[edit]

The cover version of "Because the Night" was positively received by contemporary music critics in advance of Record Store Day. Billboard magazine's Hilary Hughes stated, "...the Garbage/Screaming Females release embodies the shifts brought on by Record Store Day that impact the music industry across the board-and the shaping trends that have fueled Record Store Day's meteoric rise from a community experiment to an international movement," referencing the pairing of artists and the independent label of release.[66] Chris Martins of Spin wrote, "...the bands gel awesomely. The highlight comes when Paternoster starts to shred. We have a feeling Miss Smith will be proud."[83]

Track listing[edit]

  • 10-inch Record Store Day release (STNVOL-007)[74]
  1. "Because the Night" – 4:55
  2. "Automatic Systematic Habit" (Costa Cadeu remix) – 4:38
  3. "Love Like Suicide" – 3:51
  1. "Because the Night" – 4:55

Release history[edit]

Release date Territory Record label Format
April 20, 2013 United States STUNVOLUME 10-inch vinyl (Record Store Day release)[72]
May 7, 2013 Digital single[78]
May 13, 2013 United Kingdom 10-inch vinyl[75]
Worldwide Digital single[79]
Chart (2013) Peak
UK Physical Singles (The Official Charts Company)[76] 4[77]
USA Hot Single Sales (Billboard) 23

Other cover versions[edit]


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External links[edit]