Thursday, December 8, 2016
NUMBER ONE FLASHBACK
The number one song in America during this week in 1976 was "Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright)" by Rod Stewart. This tune from the raspy-voiced, English rocker spent a total of eight weeks at the top of the pop chart and ended up being the year-end number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
A high school drop-out, Stewart had wanted to be a footballer but fell in to music at first as a means to get free drinks and meet girls. He learned to play the harmonica and played with several rock bands touring around Europe. Then he discovered Sam Cooke and soul music and eagerly moved in that direction. He formed an r&b group called the Dimensions in 1963 and performed as a harmonica player and vocalist. He soon left, joining a few other soul bands before venturing out on his own without much success. Then he met Jeff Beck who invited him to join his new band, as a singer and songwriter, after leaving the Yardbirds.
A successful tour in America brought the Jeff Beck Group critical acclaim and attention to Stewart. Stewart was still trying to jump start his solo career but nothing would click. He met guitarist Ronnie Wood and they became fast friends which eventually lead to them forming the blues-rock outfit, Faces. During this time, Stewart's solo career finally took off when he had his first hit single, "Maggie May" in 1971.
Stewart wrote "Tonight" with the song basically about a man deciding it's time for him and his young lover to finally make love for the first time. Swedish actress, Britt Ekland, Stewart's then-girlfriend, provided the French cooing you hear near the end of the track.
Not surprisingly, some radio stations balked due to the suggestive nature of the song and would only play an edited version. That certainly didn't stop it's success with "Tonight's The Night" becoming Stewart's second number one in the U.S. and reaching the top-ten in several countries.
"Tonight's The Night" - Rod Stewart (1976) mp3
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