This Flight Tonight

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"This Flight Tonight"
Song by Joni Mitchell
from the album Blue
ReleasedJune 1971
Songwriter(s)Joni Mitchell
Producer(s)Joni Mitchell

"This Flight Tonight" is a song originally by Joni Mitchell, from her 1971 album Blue. Scottish hard rock band Nazareth released the song as a single in 1973 that charted internationally.

Original recording[edit]

Joni Mitchell wrote and released the song on her 1971 album Blue. The song tells of Mitchell's regrets as she leaves her lover on a flight and wishes to return. The track was also released as the B-side of "Carey".[1]

Nazareth cover[edit]

"This Flight Tonight"
Nazareth This Flight Tonight.png
Cover of the 1973 German single
Single by Nazareth
from the album Loud 'n' Proud
B-side"Called Her Name"
ReleasedOctober 1973
Format7-inch single
GenreHard rock[2]
Songwriter(s)Joni Mitchell
Producer(s)Roger Glover
Nazareth singles chronology
"Broken Down Angel"
"This Flight Tonight"
"Love Hurts"

Scottish hard rock band Nazareth reworked the song in 1973 to make it their own with a powerful, driving hard-rock treatment which was a hit in Canada, Germany (where it reached number one) and the UK.[3][4] It was produced by Roger Glover.[5] The single reached number 11 in the UK charts in November 1973. The band re-recorded the song in 1991 for the album No Jive.

Writing in The Independent in 2012, Robert Webb said:

The Dunfermline hard-rockers Nazareth loved Blue. You remember them: the gap-toothed vocalist, Dan McCafferty, had hair like a kitchen scourer and a voice to match. They were bad, bad boys. Among the tracks on their 1973 album Loud 'n' Proud, produced by the former Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover, is a taut version of "This Flight". "We used to listen to Joni as we were travelling round in the van," recalls Nazareth's bass-player, Pete Agnew. "'This Flight Tonight' was a big favourite."

Mitchell was impressed with the makeover: "When she was recording at A&M, we were just starting an American tour," explains Agnew. "We all happened to be in the studio the day the single was released, so we were introduced to her and told her what we had done. She said, 'What, with a rock band?'" Joni paid the Scottish band the greatest compliment after "This Flight Tonight" became a worldwide hit for them, touching down at No 11 in the UK. "She was playing a gig in London and told the audience: 'I'd like to open with a Nazareth song'!".[6]


Charts (1973–1974) Peak
Austrian Top 40 2
Canadian RPM Top Singles 27
German Singles Chart 1
Swiss Singles Chart 5
U.K. Singles Chart 11

Year-End Chart[edit]

Chart (1974) Peak
Austrian Top 40 4
German Media Control Singles Chart 11
UK Singles Chart 98


  1. ^ "Joni Mitchell – Carey". Discogs. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  2. ^ Song Review by Donald A. Guarisco. "This Flight Tonight - Nazareth | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  3. ^ M. C. Strong (1998), The great rock discography, p. 565, ISBN 978-88-09-21522-1
  4. ^ Dave Thompson (2004), Smoke on the Water: The Deep Purple Story, pp. 201–202, ISBN 978-1-55022-618-8
  5. ^ "Nazareth (2)  – This Flight Tonight". Discogs. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  6. ^ Robert Webb (13 September 2002). "Double Take: 'This Flight Tonight' - Joni Mitchell / Nazareth". The Independent. Retrieved 4 July 2015.

External links[edit]