The Night

Album: Chameleon (1972)
Charted: 7

Songfacts®:

  • By the early 1970s The Four Seasons hits had dried up and the group signed to Motown with disastrous results. Even with the team of songwriter/producers Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio with lead singer Frankie Valli intact, the first album, Chameleon, tanked after it was released by the Motown subsidiary label MoWest. The release of a follow-up LP was canceled, but this song from the album found an audience in the UK when it was adopted by the British Northern Soul and disco circuit. Originally released as a single only in Germany and the Netherlands, MoWest capitalized on the song's newfound popularity by releasing "The Night" as a single in the UK in 1975, where it went to #7 on the UK Singles Chart.
  • Bob Gaudio wrote this song with Al Ruzicka, who was added to the group as a keyboard player in 1972 and left later that year. The song finds Frankie Valli asking a girl to resist the charms of her Lothario.
  • The song was covered by B.E.F, a British production group that stands for British Electric Foundation, for their 2013 album Dark. Though their version didn't make the final tracklisting, it did inspire the name of their LP. The project's leader, Martyn Ware, told us that it was this song's dark lyrics that inspired the album title. "It's quite fast and Motown-y dance-able, I suppose, but the lyrics are really deep," he explained. "The verse is kind of half whispered. You've got this very kind of dance-y backing track going on, but he's going [singing] 'Beware of his promise, believe what I say, before you go forever, be sure what you say.' It's all about, 'Oh, I'm fu--ing up.' I've lost this woman. But watch out. The guy that you're with is a bastard."
  • This should not be confused with other Four Seasons nocturnally titled songs such as "December 1963 (Oh What a Night)," "Spend The Night in Love" and "Heaven Must Have Sent You (Here in The Night)."
  • In 1975, around the same time this song charted in the UK, Frankie Valli was enjoying chart success in the US with "My Eyes Adored You" (#1 in March) and "Swearin' To God" (#6 in July). This prompted Bob Gaudio to form a new version of the band around Valli, which signed a deal with Warner-Curb Records and released an album that year called "Who Loves You."
  • In our interview with Frankie Valli, he cited this song as an example of one that should have been a hit, but failed because of poor promotion. "There are some songs that were on albums that I felt could have been hits but record companies at the time didn't agree," Valli explained. "A good example is when we recorded an album for Motown Records and it was put out and nothing really happened. They really didn't promote it, and promotion is a very, very important part of it."

Comments: 1

  • Rick from PhiladelphiaNot only did I love this song, which remains one of my favorite Four Seasons songs, but the album as a whole is fantastic and I do not know why it was not promoted the way it was. At least two songs on here that could have charted, "The Night" and "Sun Country".
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