Hot Summer Nights by Night (Planet, 1979)

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?

Advertisements
Leave a comment

7 Comments

  1. Al

     /  August 8, 2012

    I love this song! Walter Egan’s original is kind of dull, but Night’s take was late 70’s gold! As for a band with their name in their single, Big Country hit #17 with “In A Big Country” in 1983.

    Reply
  2. porky

     /  August 9, 2012

    “Stray Cat Strut” comes instantly to mind……and “This is the Radio Clash” maybe?

    Reply
  3. porky

     /  August 23, 2012

    a couple more:
    Chairman of the Board- Chairman of the Board
    Everybody Wang Chung Tonight-Wang Chung

    Reply
    • Chairmen Of The Board’s Chairmen of the Board only made it #42.
      The Wang Chung song was officially named Everybody Have Fun Tonight, which hit #2.
      And I have to nick you on the Stray Cat Strut because the band has Cats and the title has Cat. Sorry to get all Casey Kasem on you. The Clash never made the Top 40 either. At any rate, great songs and thanks for the suggestions

      Reply
  4. Carlton Fisk

     /  September 3, 2012

    Bad Company by Bad Company? I remember hearing at the time that this was the first instance of a group using their name in a title….
    Great Blog btw Obey_Gravity

    Reply
  5. Greg

     /  April 24, 2014

    talk talk by talk talk
    is there a compilation cd available with Hot summer night on as I am having no luck finding one. Thanks

    Reply
  6. Classic song, very well remembered around these parts. Nicky Hopkins’ piano and synth work is brilliant as always. It reached number one in Melbourne, Australia in late 1979.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: