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Tonight's The Night by Rod Stewart

Album: A Night On The TownReleased: 1976Charted:
1
5
  • This was never released as a single in England because it was banned on British radio stations due to suggestive lyrics. The offending lyric is: "Spread your wings and let me come inside."
  • Stewart's girlfriend, Swedish actress Britt Ekland, sings the French part at the end. In the May, 1995 issue of Mojo magazine, Stewart said: "I was going out with Britt Ekland. I'd just moved here. So that's 20 years ago. I remember I got her drunk, pissed as a fart to sing that old French bollocks on the end, because she didn't want to do it." When asked if he paid her a royalty, Stewart replied, "Bollocks! I bought her a nice frock."
  • The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section played on this. They were a group of four musicians who started their own studio - Muscle Shoals Sound - in 1969 after doing sessions for FAME studios for Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, and many other popular Soul acts. The famous story the musicians tell is that when Stewart arrived at the studios and saw the musicians getting ready, he refused to believe they were the band - he was sure the guys he heard playing on those records were black, and had a hard time accepting that four white guys were the band.
  • In 2003, a musical called Tonight's The Night opened in London. The show featured Rod Stewart's hits in much the same way as Abba's show Mamma Mia! and Billy Joel's Movin' Out. Tonight's The Night didn't do nearly as well; it closed a year later.
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Comments: 23

Concerning an earlier post; the Shirelles did have a hit single titled "Tonight's the Night", it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart on September 6th, 1960 at position #97, and six weeks later it peaked at #39 {for 1 week} and spent 12 weeks on the Top 100...
It reached #14 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
The quartet's record that succeeded it on the Top 100 was "Will You Love Me Tomorrow"; it peaked at #1* {for 2 weeks} on January 30th, 1961...
* The week it peaked at #1 the next three records on the Top 100 were all instrumentals; #2 was "Calcutta" by Lawrence Welk and His Orchestra, #3 was "Exodus" by Ferrante and Teicher, and at #4 was "Wonderland By Night" by Bert Kaempfert.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
He does say he loves her and I think he wants everything shut down because he wants privacy or maybe I'm just gullible???William - Donora, Pa
@Andy:

Apparently, I did not think to check before I posted, I apologize for jumping to conclusions and stating that you're wrong. You're right in stating that there's a Shirelles song called Tonight's the Night. It's different from this song though, and imo thankfully so; I also think this song is creepy, but I maybe would like it better if it weren't Stewart singing.
Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Here's the original French lyrics:
J'ai un peu peur
Je que c'est que va dira maman
Mon amour viens plus prus, embrasse-moi.
Oh, Je t'adore beaucoup
Cette nuit mon ami
oui cette nuit mon ami
Je t'aime Je t'aime Je t'aime ....


I'm scared
What will my mom say
My love come closer, kiss me.
Oh, I adore you a lot
Tonight my friend
Yes tonight my friend
I love you I love you I love you....
Diafel - Nowhere, Bc
It says in the songfacts that this was not released in the UK as a single. It WAS it reached No.5 in the charts in June 1976 - and I am looking at a copy of the single now!!!!Kim - Hawkhurst, United Kingdom
I agree with the other posters that think that this song is CREEEEEEPY !!!! I've heard this song a million times, but never listened to the words before. I always thought it was a cheesy Rod Stewart song (as most of his songs are), but then I actually listened to the lyrics for the 1st time today when I heard it on the car radio. If you listen to the words, it sounds like the older man is suggesting that he get this virgin alone in his apartment (because a guy this creepy probably doesn't even own a house) & tells her to stay away from all of the exits and to not even think about going anywhere. Jeesh! Talk about creepy older guy!! Did Rod Steward write this himself? EEEEEEW.Songfacts - Pittsburgh, Pa
This song is creepy. It bothered a lot me when I was a virgin and I heard it on the radio in the 70's. I mentioned it to a friend years later and she loved Rod Stewart but never listened to the words. I always listen to words of songs. The words seem to advocate child sex.
Also there is a part where it sounds like he says the dick is coming. Very disturbing. Society has gotten way worse in terms of sexualizing everything. I am no prude but I think prudes has a point. Let the innocent stay innocent. They people that aren't having much sex are the ones that want it spread thoughout out culture don't you think>
K - Jackson, , Ca
Well, thank you Nicolas Bern of Switzerland. You gave the best answer so far. If you're right, it does make better sense than the other proposed translations but I don't see why these lyrics were considered so risque that they were deleted from the song. I haven't heard those lyrics on the radio since sometime in the 70's.Jeanie - Alto, Ga
The French says "I'm a little scared, what is my mother going to say(to think)? Come a little closer, kiss me. I adore you so very much. Oh, it's him, it's him I love you I love you I love you...." The words are perfectly clear. I would assume any French speaking person would be able to translate them. Jessica in NY better check to see if her boyfriend is really French. LOL I love this song. Ciao (Italian for Bye)Nicolas - Bern, Switzerland
Jessica, that's interesting that your boyfriend translated one of the phrases as "what will my husband say?" because according to the song, she is supposed to be a virgin. Hmmm... I suspect Dave's translation may be more accurate.Karen - Melbourne, Fl
The riff and rythym of this song is identical to Jerry Garcia's "Sugaree" which was written in 1971 and released in 1972 on his first solo album.
Did Rod borrow this sound or did it just come out that way? Both songs are great.
David - Lakeland, Fl
I came to this site hoping to find out what Britt is saying in the end. I still don't know cause there are a few differing opinions on what was said. What I would like to know are what are the French lyrics, not the perceived translation of the lyrics? I would like to go to a translation site and translate them myself but I don't know what French words she is using so I don't know what to enter on the translation site. Someone have those somewhere? Like Jerry in Brooklyn said the French lyrics aren't ever a part of the lyrics when you look them up.Jeanie - Clarkesville, Ga
This song always gets me "in the mood" no matter where I am when I hear it !Dorie - Mission Viejo, Ca
Actually, the French lyrics are "oh my God, what will my husband say" and "come here and kiss me"...courtesy of my French boyfriendJessica - Ny, Ny
On Rod Stewart's "Tonights The Nite", Britt Eckland's predictable quotes include: "I'm Scared" and "what will my Mother think?", thats according to my French girl friend at the time.Dave - Palm Bay, Fl
Andy the Sherells song is called "Will you Still Love me Tomorrow" not "Tonight's the Night."Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
I believe Britt, is saying and i qte "Rodney have you put the garbage out" but don't qte me on that, my French is a bit rustyPete - Nowra, Australia
Well... Brit Ekland is exactly singing at the end. In the literal sense of the word at least.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
I would also like to know the french words that are spoken at the end, if anyone has them, please post?Frenchie - Morristown, Tn
I don't know why but this song always creeps me out. I'm usually not offended by songs with similar lyrics... I listen to ones like the Lemon Song for instance. Maybe it's because I never really dug Rod Stuart. Something about this one creeps me out though.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
The Shirelles released a song called "Tonight's the Night" in the early '60s, basically about the same thing from the woman's perspective.Andy - Arlington, Va
When the song first came out, I thought Rod sang "spread your legs and let me come inside". Of course, that is what he meant anyway.
BTW, does anyone have the French lyrics that Britt Ekland is saying at the end? I've seen several postings of the rest of the lyrics but the French part is never there.
Jerry - Brooklyn, Ny
Janet Jackson covered this song on her Velvet Rope album.Ari - Elizabeth, Nj