In the Midnight Hour

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For other uses, see Midnight Hour (disambiguation).
"In the Midnight Hour"
Single by Wilson Pickett
from the album In the Midnight Hour
B-side I'm Not Tired
Released 1965 (1965)
Genre Rhythm and Blues, Soul
Label Atlantic

"In the Midnight Hour" is a song originally performed by Wilson Pickett in 1965 and released on the 1965 album of the same name, also appearing on the 1966 album The Exciting Wilson Pickett. It was composed by Pickett and Steve Cropper at the historic Lorraine Motel in Memphis where Martin Luther King, Jr. would later be murdered in April 1968. Pickett's first hit on Atlantic Records,[1] it reached #1 on the R&B charts and peaked at #21 on the pop charts.[2]

The song has become a 1960s soul standard, and placed at #134 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time, Wilson Pickett's first of two entries on the list (the other being "Mustang Sally" at #434). It is also one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, Pickett's only such entry. The song is currently ranked as the 152nd greatest song of all time, as well as the tenth best song of 1965, by Acclaimed Music.[3] The Jam covered the song. It was also covered (in Australia) by Ray Brown and the Whispers in 1965 and in 1966 by the Righteous Brothers in their Soul & Inspiration album. The Young Rascals covered it on their 1966 album The Young Rascals and Ace Cannon covered it on his 1967 album Memphis Golden Hits.

Wilson Pickett rerecorded the song for his 1987 album American Soul Man.

Track listing[edit]

  • 7" Single (45-2289)
  1. "In the Midnight Hour" - 2:30
  2. "I'm Not Tired" - 2:45

Roxy Music version[edit]

"In the Midnight Hour"
Single by Roxy Music
from the album Flesh and Blood
B-side "Flesh and Blood" (USA)
"Rain Rain Rain" (Portugal)
Released December 1980
Genre Pop/Rock
Length 3:12
Label Polydor/E.G.
Writer(s) Wilson Pickett, Steve Cropper
Producer(s) Rhett Davies & Roxy  Music
Roxy Music singles chronology
"Same Old Scene"
"In The Midnight Hour"
"Jealous Guy"

Roxy Music covered a version of the song for their "Flesh and Blood" album, and was released as a single in USA and Portugal.


  1. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 51 - The Soul Reformation: Phase three, soul music at the summit. [Part 7] : UNT Digital Library" (audio). Pop Chronicles. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 461. 
  3. ^ "Acclaimed Music Top 3000 songs". 27 May 2009. 
Preceded by
"I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" by The Four Tops
Billboard Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles number-one single
(by Wilson Pickett)

August 7, 1965 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" Part 1 by James Brown