"Midnight Confessions" is a song written by Lou T. Josie and originally performed by the Ever-Green Blues. It was later made famous by Americanrock 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. 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."
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/engineerSteve 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-vocalistRob Grill, guitaristsCreed Bratton and Warren Entner, drummerRick Coonce, and various members of the group of LA studio-musicians known as the Wrecking Crew, including Carol Kaye playing the opening bass-line. 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. 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.
"Midnight Confessions" was released as a single by the ABC/Dunhillrecord label in late June 1968. 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. 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 and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, with sales of over one million units, on December 3, 1968. The single also did well in Canada peaking at #4 on the RPM 100 singles chart.