Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Hums Of The Lovin' SpoonfulReleased: 1966Charted:
This song contrasts what it's like to live in a large city during the day and during the night. According to the song, it's difficult to walk around a crowded and hot city during the day, but it's great at night because you have plenty of opportunities to chase women.
The sound of car horns and traffic was the first time these sounds appeared on a hit song. A year later, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff used the idea when they produced the Soul Survivors track "Expressway (To Your Heart)
Was used at the beginning of the movie Die Hard: With A Vengeance
. The song plays throughout the opening credits, showing different scenes of New York City until a building blows up.
From 2006-2007, the piano portion was used in various Gatorade ads depicting the history of the sports drink, which was created in 1965.
The song was a collaboration between John Sebastian, The Lovin Spoonful's bassist Steve Boone, and the frontman's brother (and non-group member) Mark Sebastian. John Sebastian recalled to Uncut magazine June 2014: "That song that came from an idea my brother Mike had. He had this great chorus, and the release was so big. I had to create some kind of tension at the front end to make it even bigger. That's where that jagged piano part comes from."
"Steve contributed the middle eight, which I thought sounded like Gershwin, so we hired a radio sound effects engineer to come in with records of horns and traffic, a real New York City thing."
This is used during the looting sequence on The Simpsons episode "Poppa's Got a Brand New Badge."
The song served as the theme song for German art-director Wim Wenders' first film, 1970's Summer in the City. It plays during an incongruous scene in which the protagonist Hans is seen walking on a brutally cold day, surrounded by snow.