The sexy and seductive hit Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright) by Rod “The Bod” Stewart began an impressive 8-week run at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 on this day.
To put that in perspective, it sat at number one from November 13th until January 8, 1977.
It was finally toppled on that date by You Don’t Have To Be A Star (To Be In My Show), the duet from two ex-members of The Fifth Dimension, then-husband and wife Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.
Penned by Stewart, ‘Tonight’s The Night’ (not the 60’s song by The Shirelles with the same title) became the biggest single of 1976 on the Hot 100, beating out Silly Love Songs by Paul McCartney & Wings and Elton John‘s and Kiki Dee‘s Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, which were 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Because of some lascivious lyrics and the obvious nature of its content (helping a virgin with her ‘coming of age’) the record was banned on the UK’s BBC London radio channel. And no doubt the seductive voice of Rod’s girlfriend at the time – Swiss actress Britt Ekland – with her provocative verbalizing (in French, of course) and sultry moaning during the song’s last 40 seconds only added to its salaciousness.
Britt Ekland and Rod Stewart (circa 1975)
[Note] Some audio song files may not play on smartphones, tablets or connected devices. A laptop, desktop PC or Mac may be required for optimal enjoyment.
TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT
(Gonna Be Alright)
The second of three RS hits to reach #1, ‘Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright)’ was also the second-biggest charting solo single – out of 56 – in the long career of Stewart, who turned 70 this past January.
His high-water mark for a recording is 1971’s classic hit Maggie May; that, along with 1978’s Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? are the other two which ascended to the top.
‘Tonight’s The Night’ was a track from Rod Stewart’s 12th album, A Night On The Town, with cover art based on Pierre-Auguste Renoir‘s painting Bal du Moulin de la Galette, with Stewart superimposed in the center wearing a period costume.
‘A Night On The Town’ peaked at #2 on Billboard’s Pop Album Chart and was a chart-topper in both the UK and Australia.
THE FIRST CUT IS THE DEEPEST
(Edited Single Version)
Besides ‘Tonight’s The Night’, the album produced two more Top 30 singles – both in 1977: The First Cut Is The Deepest (#21) and The Killing Of Georgie (Part I And II) (#30).
Here’s the higher charting one, a song written and first recorded by the famed UK singer-songwriter Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam).
[Note] Canadian readers may recall a recording of this song by Keith Hampshire, a British-born singer who was also a long-time radio and TV personality in Toronto.
TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT (Gonna Be Alright)
Stewart and Ekland (seen only from behind) essentially act out the lyrics to the song.
[Note] In this re-created version of the official original, a more recent, higher-quality stereo version of the audio recording has been synced to match Rod’s lips with
the video that was shot in 1976 for this re-release by Rhino Video.