On a Night Like This

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"On a Night Like This"
An image of a woman lying down on a marble-like surface, wearing a tan-coloured bikini. The title "Kylie" is superimposed on her.
CD1 and digital cover.
Single by Kylie Minogue
from the album Light Years
Released September 11, 2000 (2000-09-11)
Format
Recorded 2000
Genre
Length 3:32
Label
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Stack
  • Taylor
Kylie Minogue singles chronology
"Spinning Around"
(2000)
"On a Night Like This"
(2000)
"Kids"
(2000)

"On a Night Like This" is a song recorded by Australian recording artist Kylie Minogue. It was released on 11 September 2000 by Parlophone as the second single off her seventh studio album Light Years (2000), and distributed in various formats. The track was originally written for Swedish recording artist Pandora by Steve Torch, Brian Rawling, Graham Stack, and Mark Taylor, whilst production was handled by the latter two collaborators; for unknown reasons, it was handed to Minogue to record. Musically, it is a dance song that incorporates elements of disco music, and is about having one-in-a-life time experiences during the night.

Upon its release, "On a Night Like This" received favorable reviews from most music critics. Some critics complimented the production and its dance sound, whilst some noted that it didn't stand out amongst other tracks from Light Years. Commercially, it was a success in Australia and the UK, peaking at number one and number two respectively. Elsewhere, it performed moderately and reached the top 40 in countries such as Sweden, Ireland, Finland, and New Zealand. An accompanying music video was shot by Douglas Avery, with the plotline loosely inspired by the Martin Scorsese 1995 film Casino.

To promote the single, Minogue has included it on majority of her concert tours and live albums including her 2000 titular concert tour, her Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour, and most recently on her Kylie Summer 2015 concert tour. Since its release, it has been selected by contemporary critics as one of her most recognisable and career-defining tracks, and has been re-released as an acoustic version from her 2014 greatest hits album The Abbey Road Sessions.

Background and release[edit]

Swedish singer Pandora (pictured) was the first musician to record the single, which led to Minogue and Vissi re-recording it.

After leaving her label Deconstruction Records in 1999, Minogue signed a deal with British label Parlophone that same year and began recording her album Light Years (2000). The following year, she released her comeback single "Spinning Around", which garnered critical and commercial success in Australasia and Europe, and led her to release a follow-up single from Light Years.[1][2] "On a Night Like This" was originally written for Swedish recording artist Pandora by Steve Torch, Brian Rawling, Graham Stack, and Mark Taylor, with production handled by the latter two collaborators.[3] Pandora recorded it for her 1999 album No Regrets, but the writers felt it didn't gain as much success as they had hoped.[4] They gave the song to Parlophone and suggested that Minogue record vocals over the backing track, which she did. Greek recording artist Anna Vissi had also obtained rights to record the track, and her version appeared on the studio album Everything I Am (2000); both Vissi and Minogue's version feature the same backing track, whilst Pandora's had a completely different composition.[3][5]

"On a Night Like This" was released on 11 September 2000 by Parlophone as the second single from Minogue's seventh studio album Light Years, and distributed in various formats.[6] The first CD single in Australia and New Zealand featured the original recording, three remixes of the song and the enhanced music video, whilst the second CD single included the original recording, one remix of the song, a remix of her single "Your Disco Needs You" and the B-side track "Ocean Blue".[6][7] The UK and Europe CD singles had a similar tracklist, but omitted one remix from each format.[8][9] A cardboard sleeve was issued in France only, including the single and "Ocean Blue", whilst the Australian and New Zealand formats were re-released in Taiwan by EMI Music Taiwan.[10][11][12]

Near the end of 2000, dance record label Dance Factory distributed the single as a 12" vinyl that included the original tracklist from the first Australian and New Zealand CD single, whilst two vinyls were released in the UK.[13][14][15] The final format was a cassette tape, distributed in the UK and Europe, which included the single and two remixes on both flip-sides.[16] The single artwork was shot by Vincent Peters in Ibiza, and features Minogue laying down on a marble surface in front of a sea front; the shot also appeared in the booklet included with Light Years. According to Minogue, she believed it intertwined with the message of "sunshine, beach, fun, glamour", a concept she wanted to experiment with on the parent album. British fashion designer and friend of Minogue's William Baker felt the image portrayed a somewhat "mystical quality".[17]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

Musically, "On a Night Like This" is a dance song that incorporates elements of disco music, as described by Nick Levine from Digital Spy and radio pod cast Pandora.[18][19] Minogue recorded the track at Dreamhouse Studios in London, United Kingdom during early 2000, and was mixed by Mark Taylor and Graham Stack. A staff member at Pandora Radio said that it features instrumentation of string sections, acoustic guitars, keyboards and synthesizers, all handled by Taylor and Stack; the pre-chorus and chorus section features backing vocals.[3][19] According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Universal Music Publishing, the song is written in the key of C minor and is set in time signature of common time with a tempo of 130 beats per minute.[20] Minogue's vocals span between B♭3 and C5, whilst the song has a sequence of Cm-B♭-Fm7-B♭-Cm-B♭-FM7-B♭-Cm-B♭/C-Fm7/C-B♭/C in the verses, and Cm-B♭/C-A♭-B♭ in the chorus as its chord progression.[20] Lyrically, the song focuses on someone enjoying a one-in-a-life time experience at night time, whilst referencing factors of a relationship and love.[21] According to New Zealand Herald's Scott Kara, he labelled the composition as a "a swirling, late night club pop tune."[22] A reviewer from British tabloid NME compared the "disco" sound to the 2000 track "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" by Spiller and English recording artist Sophie Ellis-Bextor.[23] However, Philip Matusavage from MusicOMH argued that the song included musical influences of Europop.[24]

Critical reception[edit]

"On a Night Like This" received generally favourable reviews from most music critics. Writing for Stylus Magazine, Mark Edwards said that it was one of her songs from her greatest hits compilation album Ultimate Kylie (2004) that "cemented her comeback". He referred it as an "aforementioned mega-song".[25] Similarly, Jason Shawahn from About.com noted it as "a blessing for domestic music consumers".[26] AllMusic's Chris True favoured it as one of the better cuts on the parent album, and selected the track as some of her best work.[27][28] Nick Levine from Digital Spy called it a "catchy" number, and selected it as a highlight from the album.[18] When comparing it to the track "Groovejet" by Spiller and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, A reviewer from Britsh tabloid NME felt the comparison "works because it doesn't revolve awkwardly round a random disco beat".[23]

Similarly, Hunter Felt from PopMatters enjoyed the song, but felt disappointed by Parlophone and the public for not releasing the single in the United States, commenting "'On a Night Like This', a track that is meant to go right to number one on the Billboard Club Tracks list and while being completely ignored by the general public."[29] However, the song was not void to criticism, including a review by Matt James from PopMatters, who reviewed Minogue's greatest hits album The Best of Kylie Minogue (2012). He described the song as a "bedroom-eyed nightclubber", but did say it was "still hot enough to melt large glaciers."[30] Another editor from NME was Stevie Chick, whom believed that Minogue lacked genuine "passion" throughout the song and labelled it "unremarkable".[31]

Chart performance[edit]

Commercially, the single was a success in Australia and the United Kingdom. It debuted at number one on the Australian Singles Chart, making it her seventh number one in that region; it also gave her the record for having the most singles debuting at number one with seven entries.[32] It fell to number three and number five in its second and third week, giving Minogue the distinction of having the lowest week drops for a number-one debuting single.[33] However, it replaced the single "Most Girls" by American recording artist Pink during its fourth week, and spent an overall 17 weeks in the chart, one of Minogue's longest spanning releases in that region.[34] It was certified Platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for physical shipments of 70,000 units. On the UK Singles Chart, it debuted at number two, having been stalled from the top position by the song "Lady (Hear Me Tonight)" by French duo Modjo. The single descended outside the top ten the following week, had three non-consecutive chart runs, and lasted 13 weeks inside the Top 100 chart.[35] As of March 2014, "On a Night Like This" had sold 170,000 units in that region, as confirmed by the Official Chart Company.[36] Elsewhere, it reached number two on the Scottish Singles Chart and number 16 on the Irish Singles Chart.[37][38]

The single performed moderately around Europe and in Australasia. "On a Night Like This" entered at number 39 on the New Zealand Singles Chart, and reached its peak position of 34 the following week; this resulted as one of Minogue's lowest charting singles in that region, and spent a total of 9 weeks in the top 50.[39] It reached number 69 on the French Singles Chart and spent a total of 5 weeks inside the top 200 chart, one of her lowest charting singles in that region.[40] It had a similar chart run in the Netherlands, which peaked at number 64 and lasted four weeks.[41] It reached the top 40 in both Sweden and Finland, whilst the latter only lasted a sole week in their top 20 chart,[42][43] and managed to enter the top 70 and 50 in both Germany and Switzerland.[44][45] The single fared slightly better in the Belgium regions of Flanders and Wallonia, which peaked at number 29 on the former chart and number three on the Bubbling Under chart in Wallonia, failing to enter the regions official chart.[46][47]

Music video[edit]

Minogue played Rutger Hauer's (pictured) mistress in the music video.

The accompanying music video was directed by Douglas Avery, and was filmed in Monte Carlo in July 2000.[48][49] The music video was loosely based on Martin Scorsese's 1995 crime drama movie Casino, with Minogue herself portraying a character loosely based on Sharon Stone's bored trophy wife; Dutch actor Rutger Hauer portrayed as Minogue's on-screen mob partner and husband.[50][51] According to Hauer, no one from the set including Minogue, and apart from Avery, knew he was appearing as a cameo.[49] Regarding the relationship on-screen, Minogue stated; "'In my opinion, the Rutger Hauer character is kind of like a minder or he's in charge of her, although there is that kind of strong sexual tension."[49] Minogue wore three outfits in the video; a multi-coloured dress at the start of the video, a black dress during her appearance at a casino in Monte Carlo, and a final blue cocktail dress.[51] Minogue had worn an estimated $2 million worth of jewellery and diamonds during filming, and according to Minogue, a few security guards had to accompany the set whilst she wore them.[51]

The music video opens with a group of mob members plotting a scheme whilst Hauer is seen drinking an unspecified alcohol. The song starts and Minogue is seen on a diving board, jumping into a pool, presumably dead. Mob members look towards her body in a distance, but then look away towards Hauer. Minogue starts singing the track in the pool, gets out of it, and walks towards the mob members who seem disinterested of her presence. She undresses herself and throws the dress at the window, which captures their attention.[48] She drives in a limousine and puts on accessories whilst the driver takes her to a casino. She enters a large room, and plays poker with several members, eventually winning. Minogue appears in the limosuine again, and dresses herself into the blue cocktail dress. Hauer, who is by himself at home, hears Minogue walk into the apartment, but she pushes over a large green vase and smashes it; disinterested, he looks towards the distance. The final scene has Minogue undressing herself and walking down steps.[48]

British author Sean Smith, who wrote the self-titled biography about Minogue, described the video and scenery as "broody" and "atmospheric."[51] According to Smith, an original version had shown footage of Minogue both full-frontal and back nude.[51] NME had reportedly published an article regarding the nude scene, but Avery stated that no nude shots were ever created.[23][51] However, Hauer then confirmed that there were in fact three versions of the music video; a safe one that didn't include any sexual references, the original "late-night" version, and an X-rated version that did in fact have Minogue nude.[49]

Promotion[edit]

Live performances and other usage[edit]

Minogue performed "On a Night Like This" on her Aphrodite World Tour.

On 22 September 2000, Minogue debuted the first live performance on the Top of the Pops, wearing the same pink and beige dress from the music video.[52] At the 2000 Sydney Olympics closing ceremony, Minogue performed ABBA's "Dancing Queen" and "On a Night Like This".[53] In November 2012, Minogue performed the song as part of the Royal Variety Performance at the Royal Albert Hall.[54] Since its release, "On a Night Like This" has been featured on nearly all of Minogue's concert tours, except the Anti Tour and For You, For Me North American tour. It was one of the headlining songs of the On a Night Like This Tour, which was launched to promote Light Years in 2001. Minogue had been lowered from an anchor up until performing the song.[55] The song was performed during the "Sex in Venice" act of the KylieFever2002 tour.[56] In 2005, she performed the song on her Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour.[57] Minogue was unable to complete the tour as she was diagnosed with early breast cancer and had to cancel the Australian leg of the tour.[58]

After undergoing treatment and recovery, she resumed the concert tour in the form of Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour in 2007, and performed "On a Night Like This" on the "Homecoming" segment.[59] The song was performed as part of the "Black Versus White" act of the KylieX2008 tour. Minogue performed "On a Night Like This" during her Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour in 2011, which contained elements of DJ Sammy's single "Heaven".[60][61] More recently, the song was performed on Minogue's Kylie Summer 2015 Tour in 2015, which featured her in a glittery black and white dress.[62] Minogue promoted the song by appearing in a Pepsi commercial, having the track as background music; it was included on the official soundtrack for 2001, and was singled out by the AllMusic staff as one of the best tracks.[63] It has appeared on three of Minogue's greatest hits compilation albums: Ultimate Kylie (2004),[64] Hits (2011),[65] and most recently on The Best of Kylie Minogue (2012).[66] It has appeared on one of Minogue's remix albums, this being Boombox (2008), which was remixed by Italian DJ's Bini & Martini.[67]

The Abbey Road Sessions version[edit]

On 24 February 2012, Minogue uploaded an orchestral version of "On a Night Like This" on her official YouTube channel.[68] It was released three months after Minogue announced a new album that focused on re-worked versions of her previous singles, commenting "I've been at Abbey Road for about two weeks in total."[69] It was confirmed in September 2012 that this version would appear on her orchestral compilation album The Abbey Road Sessions as the second track on the album, and was globally released on 24 October 2012.[70] Alongside "On a Night Like This", the album was part of a commemoration of Minogue's 25th career anniversary that spanned through the entire 2012.[71] According to Annie Zaleski at The A.V. Club, she described the composition as "a brassy R&B torch song thanks to a soaring gospel choir and dramatic strings ...".[72] Writing for The Guardian, Caroline Sullivan noted the track "transforms the teenage-crush fervour of the original into a cool, big-band seduction".[73] To promote the track, Minogue's label Parlophone distributed a CD single in the United Kingdom, which featured the re-worked recording and its instrumental version; it was released on 17 December 2012.[74][75]

Reaction towards the re-worked version of "On a Night Like This" was positive amongst music critics. Scott Kara from the New Zealand Herald highlighted the track as one of the two standouts on the album, and praised its composition; he called it a "sweeping and grand serenade".[22] Similarly, Digital Spy's Robert Copsey selected the track as one of the better cuts and commended how the orchestral quality allowed to emphasise the lyrical content more than the original.[76] Jeff Katz from the American music website Idolator was very positive, stating "Many of the cuts—including 'On A Night Like This,' 'Finer Feelings' and 'Confide In Me' — sound ready for placement in a Bond film. Driving drums and suspenseful strings breathe new life into the old favorites."[77] Philip Matusavage from MusicOMH enjoyed the "re-invented" and "advertous" track, selected it as a "confident" highlight from the album.[24] To promote the single, Minogue performed the orchestral version as part of the BBC Proms in the Park London 2012 in December.[78]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the CD liner notes of Light Years;[3]

Recording
  • Recorded at Dreamhouse Studios, London, United Kingdom.
Credits

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[83] Platinum 70,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[36] 170,000

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

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External links[edit]