"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.
|Single by Van Morrison|
|from the album Tupelo Honey|
|B-side||"When That Evening Sun Goes Down" (alternative take)|
|Recorded||Spring 1971 in Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco|
|Van Morrison singles chronology|
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.
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."
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."
"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.
"Wild Night" has remained a popular tune performed by Morrison at many of his concerts from 1970 to 2009. 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.
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.
|Canada RPM Top Singles||20|
|Netherlands Dutch Singles Chart||24|
|US Billboard Hot 100||28|
|US Cash Box Top 100||24|
John Mellencamp and Meshell Ndegeocello version
|Single by John Mellencamp and Meshell Ndegeocello|
|from the album Dance Naked|
|Released||June 1994 (US)|
22 August 1994 (UK)
|Producer(s)||John Mellencamp, Mike Manchic|
|John Mellencamp singles chronology|
"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 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.
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||1|
|Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)||1|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||55|
|Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)||7|
|Scotland (Official Charts Company)||24|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||34|
|US Billboard Hot 100||3|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||1|
|US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)||30|
|US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)||17|
|US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)||2|
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||6|
|Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)||13|
|US Billboard Hot 100||15|
*sales figures based on certification alone
Martha Reeves included the song on her first solo album Martha Reeves. When she released it as a single in 1974, it reached number seventy-four on the R&B charts. Reeves' version of the song was featured in the 1991 film Thelma & Louise.
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