Wild Night

Album: Tupelo Honey (1971)
Charted: 28

Songfacts®:

  • One of Van Morrison's most popular songs, "Wild Night" describes the thrill of a night on the town: getting dressed up, watching the girls, feeling the wind at your feet...

    It's one of his few songs with mass appeal, and proof that he could write a terrific Pop song whenever he desired. Morrison, however, generally shied away from couplets like "Come on out and dance, come on out, make romance" in favor of more esoteric offerings, which earned him a devoted following and critical praise from those willing to conquer his catalogue.
  • Ted Templeman, who would later produce another Van (Halen), produced the Tupelo Honey album with Morrison. Musicians to perform on this track include Ronnie Montrose on electric guitar, John McFee on pedal steel guitar, Jack Schroer on saxophone and Luis Gasca on trumpet.
  • John Mellencamp and Meshell Ndegeocello teamed up to release a new version of this song in 1994 which was a huge hit, going to #3 in America. This was an interesting combination: Mellancamp was disenchanted with the music industry and Ndegeocello was just entering it - her first album came out in 1993. It was Mellencamp's good friend Timothy White who put them together. White was a writer for Billboard magazine and had gotten to know Meshell, who says he was "one of the few people that understood what I was doing."

    In our interview with Meshell Ndegeocello, she told the story: "I went to Indiana. He [Mellencamp] has a compound, a studio. My first record I had made totally in a house with machinery, because I played everything on a computer - a real hi-pro production. He took me back to my roots where you just have a band in the studio and you played together. There was no clique. It was just trying to create a vibe and humanity. He was really nice to me.

    That's one of the great experiences of my life. It made my second record much better, as well, because I started adding more live elements and playing with other people.

    So, it's something I look back on fondly and I thank Timothy White for that, just for his crazy idea of, 'Y'all should meet each other.' And of course, Van Morrison, who's one of the many people I look to in his approach to singing and his lyricism. To me, it's about him and that great song and John and me coming together and having fun with it."

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