This song was written by Loverboy guitarist Paul Dean, drummer Matt Frenette, and lead singer Mike Reno. In our interview with Paul Dean, he explained the song's origin: "That one was originally, 'Everybody's Waiting for the Weekend.' I was walking down close to where I was living. It was a Wednesday afternoon, beautiful afternoon, and I'm walking in this heavily populated area, and it was deserted. Everybody was at work. And me being the musician, I'm out working and my work is, okay, what am I going to do for inspiration and where can I find it? So I'm out on the beach and wondering, 'Where is everybody? Well, I guess they're all waiting for the weekend.'
So that experience spurred that. And Mike had the great idea of, 'Why don't we call it, Working for the Weekend?' and I said, 'Yeah, that's good. That's fine.' Not a huge difference, still works, it's kind of cool, it's quirky with a little bit of a twist on the lyrics, so yeah, let's go."
One of the earliest Loverboy songs, this was their third single, following "Turn Me Loose" and "The Kid Is Hot Tonite." The band was gaining traction but still playing bars when they wrote the song, so they were able to field test it in a live setting. Paul Dean tells us, "We were playing this bar and it was one of these meat market places, and we did two sets and nobody danced, nobody cared. It was just like, 'Oh, my God, are we ever going to reach these people?' And we when came on stage for the third set, we opened with 'Working for the Weekend,' and the dance floor was packed. I went, 'Okay, we might have something here.' We don't have that luxury now. We still play our new tunes, but it's different now. Now that we're established, it's hard to get people to really sit up and take notice on a new song. You can never compare it to a hit that's established in their mind that they've been waiting for six months to hear."
With slick guitars, a New-Wave synth sound and a big hook, this party song got a lot of airplay. The energetic, yet accessible sound combined with lyrics about the nightlife to make an extremely marketable song. It has been used in a variety of movies and TV shows including:
Zoolander during a scene where Derek Zoolander is trying to be a coal miner with his dad and brothers.
Saturday Night Live where Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze audition for The Chippendales.
Scrubs in an audition for an air band.
Other movies the song has appeared in include Ladder 49, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and Click.
The song was released in 1981, the same year MTV went on the air. Loverboy is Canadian, and there weren't many outlets for music videos in that country either, so the clip for "Working For The Weekend" didn't have much of a budget. In the book MTV Ruled the World - The Early Years of Music Video, Loverboy lead singer Mike Reno tells about the filming of this video: "We would play the song over and over again, and we'd bounce around like we normally did. Here's what I thought was kind of interesting: The director would say, 'OK, we're going to shoot another song, now go get changed.' 'What do you mean?' 'You have to put on a whole new outfit, and we're going to change the lighting a bit.' But it was the same stage! So basically, we just had to get some other clothes, fix your hair, take a break, and then jump back on stage and do the same thing over and over again. I really felt like I was being abused a bit, but that's the nature of the beast."
It was years from inception to recording of this song. Paul Dean explained, "It took a long time to develop that tune, but the germ of it was written in a hotel room in Montreal after a show. I just had my guitar, my trusty old funky Strat that I'd built in '74, and a ghetto blaster that I always carried with me that I could plug in an simulate an amp. I started singing it, and kind of had the germ of it, at least the chorus and the verses. There were a couple of other weird things, transitions that I hadn't worked out yet. But the tricky part, too, is the key changes that go back and forth to the guitar solo, the little theme, and where it goes to the pre-chorus and then the short chorus sets that up behind a guitar riff, a heavier guitar riff that we were playing in bars when we first started."
Loverboy's "Lovin' Every Minute of It" video opens with a scene where a lounge band called The Hollywood Hillbillies is playing this song at a hotel.
Paul B. from South Jersey, UsaOne of my favorite songs...! Especially to dance to the awesome hook!
Luke from Manchester, UkDrew - B'ham, Al - Big Brother didn't write or originally record Piece Of My Heart. It was written by Jerry Ragovoy and Bert Berns and originally recorded by Erma Franklin (Aretha's big sister) in 1967.
Esskayess from Dallas, TxFor years, Seattle station KUBE would play this song at 5 pm every Friday, preceded by a familiar brass fanfare, the screech of a bird and Fred Flintstone’s “Eeee-Yabba-Dabba-Doo!” plus a chorus of voices shouting “IT’S THE WEEKEND!” I always enjoyed hearing that.
Jeff from Boston, MaOne of the best opening riffs ever, then the rest of the song is completely ordinary. Compare to the Hollies' "Long Cool Woman".
Bob from Schenectady, NyWhen I was a kid I always thought they meant they were working on the weekend. Some people would go camping for the weekend, they were working.
Drew from B\'ham, AlFor a while, I thought this was the song titled "Piece of My Heart" from hearing the last line of the refrain, until I listened to the real "Piece of My Heart". I should've known this (by Loverboy) does not sound like Big Brother & the Holding Company. Anyway, I like this better than "Piece of My Heart".