Wild Night

"Wild Night" is a song written by Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and is the opening track on his fifth studio album Tupelo Honey. It was released as a single in 1971 and reached number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[1]

"Wild Night"
Single by Van Morrison
from the album Tupelo Honey
B-side"When That Evening Sun Goes Down" (alternative take)
ReleasedOctober 1971
RecordedSpring 1971 in Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco
GenreR&B, Rock
Length3:33
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Van Morrison
Producer(s)Van Morrison
Ted Templeman
Van Morrison singles chronology
"Call Me Up in Dreamland"
(1971)
"Wild Night"
(1971)
"Tupelo Honey"
(1972)

Morrison has continued to perform it in concerts throughout his career and it has been recorded by many artists and bands. A version recorded by John Mellencamp and Meshell Ndegeocello in 1994 peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of that year and reached number one in Canada for three weeks.

Recording and composition

"Wild Night" was first recorded during a session with Lewis Merenstein as producer at Warners Publishing Studio in New York City in autumn 1968. The version released on Tupelo Honey was recorded in spring 1971 at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco with Ted Templeman as producer.[2]

Response

Tom Maginnis in Allmusic describes it as: "an effusive three and a half minutes of Stax-inspired R&B, buoyed by a sweet guitar lick from Ronnie Montrose of such quality that would make Steve Cropper proud."[3]

Reviewing Tupelo Honey in Uncut magazine, David Cavanagh wrote of "Wild Night": "Recorded live in the studio (as all Morrison's albums are), it sounds intricately layered, highly sophisticated by 2007's standards, like speeded-up Steely Dan meets Allen Toussaint. It's fluid but meticulous; ultra-rehearsed but effortless. It promises a party to come."[4]

"Wild Night" as originally recorded by Morrison was rated at #747 on Dave Marsh's 1989 book, The Heart of Rock and Soul, The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever.[5]

Other releases

"Wild Night" has remained a popular tune performed by Morrison at many of his concerts from 1970 to 2009.[6] It featured as one of the closing songs during his appearance as the first day headline act at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in September 2006. It was included in the Limited Edition Album, Live at Austin City Limits Festival recorded from the performance. The song was used on the soundtrack of the movie Twenty Four Seven and as such is one of the nineteen movie hits featured on Morrison's 2007 compilation album, Van Morrison at the Movies - Soundtrack Hits. The original as remastered in 2007 is one of the hits included on the compilation album, Still on Top - The Greatest Hits. "Wild Night" was included on the 2003 (10 CD) set Ultimate Seventies Collection by Time-Life.[7]

A live performance is also one of the songs performed on Morrison's 1980 concert disc on the Live At Montreux 1980/1974 DVD released in 2006.

Personnel

Charts

Chart (1971) Peak
position
Belgium [9] 41
Canada RPM Top Singles 20
Netherlands Dutch Singles Chart[10] 24
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 28
US Cash Box Top 100[12] 24

John Mellencamp and Meshell Ndegeocello version

"Wild Night"
Single by John Mellencamp and Meshell Ndegeocello
from the album Dance Naked
B-side"Brothers (Live)"
ReleasedJune 1994 (US)
22 August 1994 (UK)
GenreRock
Length3:27
LabelMercury Records
Songwriter(s)Van Morrison
Producer(s)John Mellencamp, Mike Manchic
John Mellencamp singles chronology
"Junior"
(1994)
"Wild Night"
(1994)
"Dance Naked"
(1994)

"Wild Night" was recorded by John Mellencamp and Meshell Ndegeocello and released as a single in 1994. The song was included on Mellencamp's 1994 album, Dance Naked[13] and an "acoustic" remix was released as a promotional single for radio. This version of the song reached number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 during the summer of 1994 and remained in the top 40 for 33 weeks. It also topped the US Adult Contemporary chart for eight weeks, the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart for three weeks, and the RPM Adult Contemporary chart for one week. It sold 500,000 copies in the US.[14]

Charts

Weekly charts

Chart (1994–1995) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[15] 18
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[16] 1
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[17] 1
Germany (Official German Charts)[18] 55
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)[19] 7
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[20] 24
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[21] 34
US Billboard Hot 100[22] 3
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[23] 1
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[24] 30
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[25] 17
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[26] 2

Year-end charts

Chart (1994) Position
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[27] 6
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[28] 13
US Billboard Hot 100[29] 15

Sales

Region CertificationCertified units/sales
United States 500,000[14]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Other versions

Martha Reeves included the song on her first solo album Martha Reeves.[30] When she released it as a single in 1974, it reached number seventy-four on the R&B charts.[31] Reeves' version of the song was featured in the 1991 film Thelma & Louise.[32]

Other versions were recorded by Polly Brown,[33] Richie Havens,[34] Johnny Rivers,[35] and The Amazing Rhythm Aces on the 1980 album How the Hell Do You Spell Rhythum?.

Starsailor have performed this song in concert[36] and in 2008, Elvis Costello performed "Wild Night" at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.[37]

In 2014, Martina McBride included her version of "Wild Night" on her album Everlasting.[38]

References

  1. "Song artist 420 - Van Morrison". tsort.info. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
  2. Heylin. Can You Feel the Silence?. pp. 518-520.
  3. "Wild Night: Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  4. Cavanagh, David. "Van Morrison Tupelo Honey review". Uncut. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  5. "Dave Marsh the 1001 greatest Singles Ever". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 8 April 2007.
  6. "Wild Night Performances". ivan.vanomatic.de. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  7. "Ultimate Seventies". deaddisc.com. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
  8. "Rick Shlosser - About". rickshlosser.com. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
  9. https://dutchcharts.nl/showitem.asp?interpret=Van+Morrison&titel=Domino&cat=s
  10. "Dutch singles history:Van Morrison". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  11. "Allmusic: Van Morrison bllboard singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  12. Cash Box Top 100 Singles, December 11, 1971
  13. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Dance Naked". Allmusic. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  14. "Best-Selling Records of 1994". Billboard. BPI Communications. 107 (3): 57. 21 January 1995. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  15. "Australian-charts.com – John Mellencamp with Me'shell N'degéocello – Wild Night". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  16. "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2536." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  17. "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2579." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  18. "Offiziellecharts.de – John Mellencamp with Me'shell N'degéocello – Wild Night". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  19. "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (29.9.–5.10. '94)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 29 September 1994. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  20. "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  21. "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  22. "John Mellencamp Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  23. "John Mellencamp Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  24. "John Mellencamp Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  25. "John Mellencamp Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  26. "John Mellencamp Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  27. "RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1994". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  28. "RPM Top 100 AC tracks of 1994". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  29. "Billboard Top 100 - 1994". Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  30. "Martha Reeves". allmusic.com. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  31. "Billboard singles - Martha Reeves". Allmusic. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  32. Mansfield, Brian. "Thelma & Louise". Allmusic. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  33. "allmusic (((Bewitched! the Polly Brown Story> Overview )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
  34. "Artist:Ritchie Havens". secondhandsongs.com. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
  35. "Johnny Rivers All-Time Greatest Hits". starpulse.com. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
  36. "Good Souls; the starsailor archive". goodsouls.org.uk. Retrieved 2 November 2008.
  37. "Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2008". sanfranmag.com. Archived from the original on 9 October 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  38. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (7 April 2014). "Everlasting - Martina McBride : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  • Heylin, Clinton (2003). Can You Feel the Silence? Van Morrison: A New Biography, Chicago Review Press, ISBN 1-55652-542-7
  • The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition, 1996
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