Midnight Confessions

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"Midnight Confessions"
Single by The Grass Roots
from the album Golden Grass
B-side "Who Will You Be Tomorrow"
Released June 1968 (1968-06)[1]
Format 7" 45 RPM
Recorded 1968 in Los Angeles, California
Genre Rock, Psychedelic pop
Length 2:42
Label ABC/Dunhill
Writer(s) Lou Josie
Producer(s) Steve Barri
Certification Gold (RIAA)[2]
The Grass Roots singles chronology
"Midnight Confessions"
"Bella Linda"

"Midnight Confessions" is a song written by Lou T. Josie and originally performed by the Ever-Green Blues. It was later made famous by American rock band The Grass Roots, who released the song as a single in 1968 (see 1968 in music). It was the first single from their fourth studio album, Golden Grass. The single was, however, released five months in advance of the album.

The Grass Roots version became the band's biggest charting hit on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching the Top 5 of both the U.S. and Canadian pop singles charts.[3] The lyrics describe a man who is infatuated with a married woman, knows he can never have her, and is relegated to confessing his love for her audibly, but alone. The song appears to be a musical dramatization of the midnight confession of the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale's love for Hester Prynne in the classic 1850 Nathaniel Hawthorne novel, "The Scarlet Letter."

Background and recording[edit]

The original recording of "Midnight Confessions" was a demo by the Evergreen Blues Band, whose manager – Lou Josie – wrote the song. The demo contained a horn section and caught the attention of Record producer/engineer Steve Barri, who was looking to produce a song for the Grass Roots that was a "West Coast" version of a Motown-style production. The Grass Roots version was produced/engineered by Steve Barri with the horn section's arrangement by Jimmie Haskell. The performers included bassist-vocalist Rob Grill, guitarists Creed Bratton and Warren Entner, drummer Rick Coonce, and various members of the group of LA studio-musicians known as the Wrecking Crew, including Carol Kaye playing the opening bass-line.[4][5] Other musicians on the recording included John Audino, Bud Childers, and Anthony Terran on trumpet, Richard Hyde, Harold Diner, and Edward Kusby on trombone, Plas Johnson on sax, Don Randi on piano, Larry Knechtel on organ, Hal Blaine on drums, Emil Richards on percussion, Mike Deasy and Lyle Ritz on guitar.[citation needed] Because of the way The Grass Roots was handled by its producers, it is unlikely that any of the members of the band actually played on the recording, although they did provide the vocals and did perform it in concert.[4]

Release and reception[edit]

"Midnight Confessions" was released as a single by the ABC/Dunhill record label in late June 1968.[1] It was the Grass Roots' first single to feature a horn section and was a departure from the group's previous singles and thus caused worry for the band members as it might not have become a hit.[5] But the single was well received and became their biggest hit in the United States, peaking at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 2, 1968[3] and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, with sales of over one million units, on December 3, 1968.[2] The single also did well in Canada peaking at #4 on the RPM 100 singles chart.[6]

Chart performance[edit]

Notable cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ackerman, Paul, ed. (June 29, 1968). "Spotlight Singles: Top 60 Pop Spotlight". Billboard. Vol. 80 (No. 26): 95. Retrieved March 25, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Gold & Platinum Searchable Database. Recording Industry Association of America. Type in "Grass Roots" under Artist to see search results.
  3. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2010). "Chapter 1: The Artists". The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (9th ed.). Billboard Books. p. 276. ISBN 978-0-8230-8554-5. 
  4. ^ a b Hartman, Kent (2012). The Wrecking Crew. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 169–172. ISBN 978-0-312-61974-9. 
  5. ^ a b ‹See Tfm›Everett, Todd (1996). All Time Greatest Hits (CD liner). The Grass Roots. MCA Records. MCAMD-11467. 
  6. ^ "The RPM 100" (PHP). RPM Weekly. Vol. 10 (No. 8): 5. October 28, 1968. Retrieved March 25, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  8. ^ [Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002]
  9. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1968/Top 100 Songs of 1968". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  10. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1968". 1968-12-28. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 

External links[edit]