Right Time Of The Night

Album: Jennifer Warnes (1976)
Charted: 6

Songfacts®:

  • "Right Time Of The Night" was one of the many mellow love-making hits of the '70s. It's fairly explicit, clearly stating what the right time of the night is for ("makin' love"), but delivered in a way that's unobjectionable.

    It was written by Peter McCann, a singer-songwriter who was trying to wrangle a record deal. When it demoed it for Clive Davis at Arista Records, Davis passed on McCann as an artist, but took the song for Jennifer Warnes, who had recently signed with the label. It was released as her first single on Arista.
  • Peter McCann wrote this for a man to sing, which explains lines like:

    We'll go drinkin' in some heavy bar
    I'll take you night ridin' in my Chevy car


    The singer is clearly setting the tone for the evening; Warnes gave it the right swagger to make it work from a female perspective.
  • When the song started climbing the charts, its writer, Peter McCann, got a deal with 20 Century Fox Records, which released his debut album in 1977 with the first single "Do You Wanna Make Love," another song exploring carnal desires. That one went to #5 US in August 1977, outranking "Right Time Of The Night," which reached #6 for Warnes in May.
  • Jennifer Warnes had a long association with Leonard Cohen. She started working for him as a backing singer in 1972, and in 1986 recorded an album of his songs called Famous Blue Raincoat, which gave Cohen a huge bump in the United States, where he was little known. The songs she worked on with Cohen are very meaningful to her, unlike "Right Time Of The Night," which was foisted on her by Clive Davis. In a Songfacts interview with Warnes, she was asked if she could talk about the song. Her reply: "No."
  • This was Warnes' biggest solo hit, but she did two duets that were far bigger: "Up Where We Belong" with Joe Cocker and "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" with Bill Medley, both of which went to #1 in the US.
  • This reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, where it stayed for one week, bumped by Leo Sayer's "When I Need You."

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