Tonight It's You

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"Tonight It's You"
Cheap Trick 1985 Single Cover Tonight It's You.jpg
Single by Cheap Trick
from the album Standing on the Edge
B-side "Wild Wild Women"
Released 1985
Format 7", 12"
Genre Rock, Power pop, art rock
Length 3:30
Label Epic
Songwriter(s) Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Jon Brant, Mark Radice
Producer(s) Jack Douglas
Cheap Trick singles chronology
"Up the Creek"
"Tonight It's You"
"Little Sister"
"Up the Creek"
"Tonight It's You"
"Little Sister"

"Tonight It's You" is a single by American rock band Cheap Trick, released as the lead single from their 1985 album Standing on the Edge. The song was written by Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Jon Brant and Mark Radice.[1]

The single was released as a 7" vinyl only although a promotional 12" vinyl exists.[1] The single was edited compared to the album version, with the single version's duration at 3:30 and the album version's duration at 4:46.[2] On the promotional 12" single, the song was edited again, being only slightly shorter than the album version.[3]

The b-side "Wild Wild Women" was featured as the closing track on the same album, written by Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Bun E. Carlos and Mark Radice.[2]

Both tracks were produced by Jack Douglas who had previously produced the band's eponymous debut album as well as the Found All the Parts EP.[4][5] The mixer of the tracks was Tony Platt who would produce the band's following 1986 album The Doctor.[6]

The single's cover is a copy of the album cover however the album version is in blue rather than orange.[2]


For the album, song doctor Mark Radice was brought in to help the band with the songwriting process. Radice later claimed that the majority of "Tonight It's You" was written by himself and bassist Jon Brant.

The track remains one of two tracks that Brant ever co-wrote, the other track was also from the same album, titled "This Time Around".[2]

The single remains the most well-known track from the album and also appears on numerous greatest hits compilations. Two promotional music videos were made for the song and both clips received much airplay on MTV, with one of these videos being a mimed performance in front of a live audience on a beach, created especially for MTV Spring Break.[7] The single's main music video was produced by Joey Nardelli and directed by Just Jaeckin.[8] In 1985, the band performed both "Tonight It's You" and the following single "Little Sister" on the American TV show Nighttime, hosted by Dick Clark.[9]

The two following singles from the album, "Little Sister" and "How About You" were released as promotional singles only.

With the MTV exposure, the single gave Cheap Trick their first appearance on the American Billboard Hot 100 singles chart since the 1982 single She's Tight. "Tonight It's You" peaked at #44 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a total of 17 weeks as well as #8 on the American Mainstream Rock chart, the band's highest placing on the rock chart at the time.[10]

After the return of the original bassist Tom Petersson in 1988, the band no longer performed the song live although in recent years the song has been performed a few times.

A live version was recorded for the 2001 live set "Silver".[11]

Track listing[edit]

7" Single
  1. "Tonight It's You" - 3:30
  2. "Wild Wild Women" - 4:14
7" Single (American promo)
  1. "Tonight It's You" - 3:30
  2. "Tonight It's You" - 3:30
12" Single (American promo)
  1. "Tonight It's You (Edit)" - 4:19
  2. "Tonight It's You" - 3:30

Critical reception[edit]

In the review for the album Standing on the Edge, wrote "Standing on the Edge's only highlight comes from the silvery-sounding "Tonight It's You," which peaked just outside the Top 40 at number 44 in the fall of 1985."[12] picks the track as an AMG recommended track.[12]

Rolling Stone magazine spoke of the song in a review of the album "Tonight It's You is gorgeous Top Forty mischief, reminiscent of the Raspberries' 1973 neo-operatic nugget, "Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)." Zigzagging through the Sixties British Invasion like a runaway train, Cheap Trick plows into Rubber Soul folk-pop, jingle-jangle Merseybeat and orchestral guitar metal recalling the Move's classic 1970 album, Shazam. Cascading acoustic guitars decorate axeman Rick Nielsen's wall of monster fuzz while singer Robin Zander wails in front of sheetmetal harmonies. The cumulative effect is like three or four hit songs vacuum-packed into one."[13]

In a review of the 1996 four disc box set "Sex, America, Cheap Trick", Billboard Magazine wrote of the band's decline in the early to mid-1980s, writing "Despite the dispriting times, Cheap Trick never ceased producing the occasional Beatlesque gem, such as "If You Want My Love," from "One on One" ('82); "I Can't Take It," from the Todd Rundgren-produced "Next Position Please" ('83); and "Tonight It's You" from "Standing on the Edge" ('85) - each included on the box."[14]

In the 2007 book "Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide", a section on Cheap Trick featured reviews on the top 20 stand-out tracks from the band. One track included was "Tonight It's You", where the author John M. Borack wrote "Sure, it sounds a bit dated now and seems, in retrospect, to have been a calculated effort to get the boys back on the pop charts in '85...but still, that chorus...heavenly, I tell ya. Zander sings it like he means it, too, but it's docked a notch for spawning one of the silliest music videos of the era (remember, the dope who ignores his girlfriend in favor of a televised boxing match?)."[15]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 Chart[10] 44
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart[10] 8


  • Robin Zander - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Rick Nielsen - lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Jon Brant - bass, backing vocals
  • Bun E. Carlos - drums, percussion

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Mark Radice - Additional keyboards, vocals
  • Jack Douglas - Producer
  • Paul Klingberg - Recording engineer, keyboards
  • Tony Platt - Mixer
  • Writers of "Tonight It's You" – Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Jon Brant, Mark Radice
  • Writers of "Wild Wild Women" - Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Bun E. Carlos, Mark Radice


  1. ^ a b "Cheap Trick - Tonight It's You at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Cheap Trick - Standing On The Edge at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  3. ^ "Cheap Trick - Tonight It's You (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  4. ^ "Cheap Trick - Cheap Trick at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  5. ^ "Cheap Trick - Found All The Parts (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  6. ^ "Cheap Trick - The Doctor (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  7. ^ "Cheap Trick - 1985 - Tonight It's You ("live" audience)". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  8. ^ "12 round U S B A Middleweight Championship, Curry vs. Montgomery, Tonight it's you". Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  9. ^ "Cheap Trick on "Nighttime" U.S. TV 1985 (2 songs + interview)". YouTube. 2012-04-06. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  10. ^ a b c "Cheap Trick". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  11. ^ "Cheap Trick - Silver at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  12. ^ a b Mike DeGagne. "Standing on the Edge - Cheap Trick". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  13. ^ David Fricke (1985-10-10). "Standing on the Edge | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  14. ^ Billboard - Google Books. 1996-08-10. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  15. ^ Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide - John M. Borack - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 

External links[edit]