Running with the Night

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"Running with the Night"
Single by Lionel Richie
from the album Can't Slow Down
A-side Running with the Night
B-side Serves You Right
Released November 1983
Format 7" (45 rpm)
Genre Disco, Pop
Length 4:05 (single version)
6:02 (album version)
Label Motown
Writer(s) Lionel Richie
Cynthia Weil
Producer(s) Lionel Richie
James Anthony Carmichael
Lionel Richie singles chronology
"All Night Long (All Night)"
"Running with the Night"

"Running with the Night" was the second single released from Lionel Richie's multi-platinum and Grammy Award-winning 1983 album, Can't Slow Down. Richie co-wrote the song with songwriter Cynthia Weil and co-produced it with James Anthony Carmichael.


The electric guitar solo on "Running with the Night" was played by Steve Lukather, best known as a member of the rock band Toto.[1] Lukather sat down in the studio and the engineer played the basic tracks of the song, for him to hear for the first time, so he could plan his part. As the music played, he jammed along on his instrument. At the conclusion of the tune, he said to the engineer, "Okay, I'm ready for a take." The producer replied, "That was a take."[2] Some adult contemporary stations edited out Lukather's guitar solo.[1] Singer Richard Marx added backing vocals on the track as a session singer; he had also lent his vocals to Richie's "All Night Long (All Night)" and "You Are".


Released as the follow-up single to Richie's hit "All Night Long (All Night)", "Running with the Night" became another Billboard Hot 100 top ten for the singer, peaking at #7 in early 1984.[3] The song also reached the top ten on two other Billboard charts that year, topping out at #6 on both the adult contemporary and R&B charts.[1] "Running with the Night" also made the top ten on the UK Singles Chart, reaching #9 in January 1984.[4]

In a positive review Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic wrote "he even adds a bit of rock with the sleek nocturnal menace of 'Running With the Night,' one of the best songs here. He doesn't swing for the fences like Michael did in 1982; he makes safe bets, which is more in his character."[5]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song was directed by Bob Giraldi and features Richie and a group of dancers crashing a wedding and beginning a choreographed dance routine with all of the participants.


  • Rihanna sampled this song on "Push Up On Me", a track from her 2007 album Good Girl Gone Bad. Both Richie and Weil are given songwriter credit.
  • The song can be heard in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on the in-game radio station Flash FM but was removed from later versions of the game.

Other uses in media[edit]

  • For a time until 1988, Houston NBC affiliate KPRC-TV used the song as a theme for a community relations show as well as for station promos.[6]



  1. ^ a b c Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 279.
  2. ^ GuitarPlayer Steve Lukather Bonus Interview Outtakes August 2013
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 529.
  4. ^ UK Singles Chart info from Retrieved 24 March 2009.
  5. ^ "Running with the night review". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  6. ^,1,470
  7. ^ " – Lionel Richie – Running with the Night" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  8. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  9. ^ " – Lionel Richie – Running with the Night" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  10. ^ "Radio 2 Top 30 : 21 januari 1984" (in Dutch). Top 30. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  11. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 4468." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 4436." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  13. ^ CHART NUMBER 1413 – Sunday, February 05, 1984 at the Wayback Machine (archived 7 November 2006). CHUM.
  14. ^ " – Lionel Richie – Running with the Night". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  15. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Running with the Night". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 1, 1984" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  17. ^ " – Lionel Richie – Running with the Night". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  18. ^ "Lista Przebojów Programu 3". Polskie Radio. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  19. ^ "Archive Chart: 1984-01-21" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  20. ^ "Lionel Richie – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Lionel Richie. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  21. ^ "Lionel Richie – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Lionel Richie. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  22. ^ "Lionel Richie – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Lionel Richie. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  23. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending FEBRUARY 4, 1984 at the Wayback Machine (archived 11 September 2012). Cash Box magazine.
  24. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9638." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  25. ^ "Volume 96 No. 51, DECEMBER 22. 1984" (PDF). Billboard. New York, NY, USA. 22 December 1984. p. TA-19. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  26. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1984 at the Wayback Machine (archived September 11, 2012). Cash Box magazine.
Preceded by
"Read 'Em and Weep" by Barry Manilow
RPM Adult Contemporary number-one single
21 January 1984 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Read 'Em and Weep" by Barry Manilow

External links[edit]