Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)
|"Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)"|
|Single by Rod Stewart|
|from the album A Night on the Town|
|Released||May 1976 (International)|
September 1976 (US)
|Length||3:56 (album version)|
|Label||Riva (UK); Warner Bros. (US)|
|Rod Stewart singles chronology|
"Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)" is a song written by Rod Stewart, and recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama for his 1976 album A Night on the Town. The song proved to be a massive commercial success and became his second US chart topper on the Billboard Hot 100. It made its debut at number 81 on October 2, 1976 and rose quickly, climbing from number eight to the top of the chart on November 13, 1976, and remained on top for eight consecutive weeks until January 8, 1977. It was the longest stay of any song during 1976, as well as the longest stay at number one for Rod Stewart in his entire recording career. The song also peaked at No. 5 in the UK, No. 3 in Australia and charted well in other parts of the world. It was the number 1 song on Billboard's 1977 year-end chart. It became the best-selling single of 1977 in the United States. As of 2018, it is the nineteenth most popular song in the history of the chart.
Background and lyrics
According to Dan Peek of America, Stewart's inspiration for "Tonight's the Night" was America's Top 30 hit "Today's the Day": Peek recalls that one evening when he and his guest Rod Stewart were playing together in Peek's home recording studio: "I played 'Today's the Day', the song I had been working on. Rod said that he liked it and that it gave him an idea for a song. Of course after his recording of 'Tonight's the Night' came out I laughed when I remembered what he'd said. I'm sure I probably smacked my forehead and said: 'Why didn't I think of that?'"
The song features a French spoken part from Britt Ekland who was Stewart's girlfriend at the time. While primarily recorded at Muscle Shoals, the final vocal was recorded at Caribou Ranch studios, where Stewart, Ekland and producer Tom Dowd spent several days. The high-altitude result was a vocal an octave higher than "sea-based" versions--and fit the song perfectly. Some radio stations play edits of the song, shortening the coda, as well as the whispers, because they were deemed to be too suggestive for airplay, where the songs could be banned from being played on the air.
The song has been remade by such artists as: Linda Clifford, Nicky Moore, and sung by Anthony Kavanagh, Terry Steele, who reached number forty-four on the R&B singles chart, and Alison Crawford on Grease is the Word.
In Janet Jackson's cover, the lyrics imply that she and her partner are about to share a threesome with another woman. Jackson begins the song by saying, "This is just between me and you...and you." Additionally, each chorus addresses a different person, as she sings, "'Cause I love you, boy" in one and "'Cause I love you, girl" in another. "She even makes a bid for gay icon status…" wrote Neil McCormick in The Daily Telegraph's review of The Velvet Rope, "climaxing (if that's the right word) with a bizarre lesbian reinterpretation of Rod Stewart's 'Tonight's the Night'."