The group, Night, holds a special chart fact that only Casey Kasem would love. It’s one of the few bands to have a Top 40 hit that includes the entire name of the band. Not counting examples like The Beatles Movie Medley, I can only think of two other instances: Living In A Box by Living In A Box in 1987 and Killer Queen by Queen in 1975. I can think of a few solo artists that turned the trick, like Are You Jimmy Ray by Jimmy Ray in 1999, Lucas With The Lid Off by Lucas in 1994 and countless other hip-hop acts. But we expect them to brag and boast and say their name over & over again. That’s why Hot Summer Nights by Night is a rarity. [Let me know which ones I’ve missed.]
But was Night actually a band? Or was it an excuse for Manfred Mann member Chris Thompson and background singer Stevie Lange to record some songs and see what happens? The first album (yes, there was 2) featured ‘rolling stone’ Nicky Hopkins on keyboards and future Pretender Robbie McIntosh on guitar. They even toured a bit as an opening act on the Doobie Bros Minute By Minute 1979 tour. But the song and LP instead came off as bland as their namesake. Probably why no one remembers this Top 20 hit or its Top 20 follow-up, If You Remember Me from the Jon Voight non-classic, The Champ. (wonder if he ever bit anyone in the ring or gave Ricky Schroeder a ride in his Chrysler LeBaron) I will talk more about that song in post #9732, I promise.
The song written by Walter Egan and recorded on his first LP, Fundamental Roll. It had more spirit and it was good enough as album filler for Walter, but Night turn it into a square 3-chord snooze-stomp. While Stevie Lange’s Bonnie Tyler-without-the-nodules vocals tried to give the song some much needed soul, it still didn’t make for a song you would ever want to hear on a hot sticky humid night, unless you couldn’t go to sleep.
Again I will ask – how did this make the Top 20? During its peak at #18 for the week ending September 8, 1979, it was ranked higher than Bad Case of Loving You by Robert Palmer, Drivers Seat by Sniff N the Tears and Cruel To Be Kind by Nick Lowe – all superior singles. Did producer Richard Perry have that much blow to share with radio programmers?