This Night

Album: An Innocent Man (1983)
Charted: 78

Songfacts®:

  • The chorus is an adaptation of a passage from the Beethoven sonata "Pathetique." "L. V. Beethoven" is credited in the album notes. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jen - Urbana, IL

Comments: 10

  • Neil from Detroit, MiThe song was released as the 4th track on Billy's 1983 album "Innocent Man", then later released as a B-Side to "Leave A Tender Moment Alone".
  • Neil from Detroit, MiThis is another one of Joel's underrated, forgotten, yet great masterpieces of art and passion combined into a single, great musical piece.
  • Sonate from Yorktown, NyKenny, A whiter shade of Pale is loosely based upon JS Bach's "Wachet Auf" and Air on a G string, not Beethoven's Pathetique.

    Beethoven was never a great song writer like Schubert or Schumann but seldom has the earth produced one of his ability to develop themes used in creating a musical architecture which was able to support his profoundly deep level of expression and spirituality. Often I feel that clipping a phrase and using it in a pop song trivializes rather than honors him.



  • Brian from Scottsdale, AzLove the song. Midnight Blue was by Louise Tucker, by the way.
  • Kenny from Nyc, Ny"Leave it Billy to take a passage from Beethoven and turn it into such a wonderful song."
    - Ron, Lakewood, CO
    Unfortunately, there have been several uses of Beethoven's sonata "Pathetique" by various musicians throughout the years. Procol Harum in the 60's with the song "A Whiter Shade of Pale"; KISS in the 70's with "Great Expectations"; Racer X used as an intro for the song "Hammer Away" in the early 80's.
  • Leyna from SpIt's a sweet song, very romantic.
  • Dennis from Anchorage, AkI always thought it was funny how Joel credited the songwriting on this, as if it were an actual collaboration between Beethoven and himself. Some people probably thought it was pompous of him, but I always assumed it was a bit of a joke.

    Interestingly, this was not the first popular song based on this particular piece of classical music. Someone else (I forget who) released a song called "Midnight Blue" a year or two before this which was a minor hit. I was in music school at the time, and we studied the piece in class. I loved the melody and wanted to write a song using it myself, but dropped the idea when TWO people beat me to it.
  • Ron from Lakewood, CoLeave it Billy to take a passage from Beethoven and turn it into such a wonderful song.
  • Justin from Felts Mills, NyI believe it is one of Billy Joel's most under-rated compositions. It's a very melodic song, and well-written (well, with a little help from Beethoven). Still, it's a great song.
  • Rick from Buffalo, NyVery popular prom song when it came out.
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