I Need You Tonight

Album: Alive 'Til I'm Dead (2010)
Charted: 3

Songfacts®:

  • East Londoner Professor Green, or Stephen Paul Manderson as he's known to his family, has been a well known name in the underground Hip Hop scene for a number of years. In 2007, he spent 13 months hosting part of a radio show on BBC Radio 1, called In New DJs We Trust. A couple of years later, Manderson claimed his status as the world's second best MC in the rap battle championship US Mix Show Power Summit in the Bahamas. This song is his first single release after signing with Virgin Records.
  • The song is constructed around a sample from Australian rock band INXS's 1988 hit single "Need You Tonight" and features vocals from English singer-songwriter Ed Drewett. Manderson told the NME: "I'm not as cool as Michael Hutchence so I wrote a self depreciating version."
  • Manderson told the story of the song to Orange Music Store: "It all started about a year ago, the day before I went out to the Bahamas [for the US Mix Show Power Summit]. I contacted a guy on Facebook called Jax who's part of the duo Thundacatz who produced the track. I asked if he was interested in doing any work and he said, 'Yeah, I have the perfect beat for you.' He sent it over and it was a no-brainer. I had the sample on my iPod when I was in the hotel room, everyone else was sleeping and I was walking around the room trying to work out the chorus. But sometimes it pretty much writes itself. The sunshine helped, I don't usually write such happy music, but yes, that's definitely why I'm on fire."
  • Manderson admitted to The Sun in a March 2012 interview that for a long time he found it depressing performing the track live on stage. He said: "Touring is hard work, singing the same stuff every night. There was a time when performing 'I Need You Tonight' made me want to kill myself. I love that song but there were times on stage when as soon as I heard the intro it made me contemplate self-harm."

    Manderson continued: "Every hit on the guitar was like a needle in my eye. That song broke me and is still an anthem for me but, man, it was tough. Thankfully, I can hear it again now and it's no longer painful."

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