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Wild Night

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Title: Wild Night  
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Subject: Call Me Up in Dreamland, Did Ye Get Healed?, John Mellencamp, Scandinavia (composition), Enlightenment (Van Morrison song)
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Wild Night

"Wild Night"
Single by Van Morrison
from the album Tupelo Honey
B-side "When That Evening Sun Goes Down" (alternative take)
Released October 1971
Recorded spring 1971 in Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco
Genre R&B, Rock
Length 3:33
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Van Morrison
Producer(s) Van Morrison
Ted Templeman
Van Morrison singles chronology
"Call Me Up in Dreamland"
"Wild Night"
"Tupelo Honey"
Tupelo Honey track listing
"Wild Night"
"(Straight to Your Heart) Like a Cannonball"

"Wild Night" is a song written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and is the opening track on his fifth studio album Tupelo Honey. It was released as a single in 1971 and reached number twenty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[1]

Morrison has continued to perform it in concerts throughout his career and it has been covered by many artists and bands. A cover version recorded by John Mellencamp and Meshell Ndegeocello and released as a single in 1994 reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart of 1994 and topped the U.S. adult contemporary chart.

Recording and composition

"Wild Night" was first recorded during a session with Lewis Merenstein as producer at Warners Publishing Studio in New York City in autumn 1968. The version released on Tupelo Honey was recorded in spring 1971 at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco with Ted Templeman as producer.[2]


Tom Maginnis in Allmusic describes it as: "an effusive three and a half minutes of Stax-inspired R&B, buoyed by a sweet guitar lick from Ronnie Montrose of such quality that would make Steve Cropper proud."[3]

Reviewing Tupelo Honey in Uncut magazine, David Cavanagh wrote of "Wild Night": "Recorded live in the studio (as all Morrison's albums are), it sounds intricately layered, highly sophisticated by 2007's standards, like speeded-up Steely Dan meets Allen Toussaint. It's fluid but meticulous; ultra-rehearsed but effortless. It promises a party to come."[4]

"Wild Night" as originally recorded by Morrison was rated at #747 on Dave Marsh's 1989 book, The Heart of Rock and Soul, The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever.[5]

Other releases

"Wild Night" has remained a popular tune performed by Morrison at many of his concerts from 1970 to 2009.[6] It featured as one of the closing songs during his appearance as the first day headline act at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in September 2006. It was included in the Limited Edition Album, Live at Austin City Limits Festival recorded from the performance. The song was used on the soundtrack of the movie Twenty Four Seven and as such is one of the nineteen movie hits featured on Morrison's 2007 compilation album, Van Morrison at the Movies - Soundtrack Hits. The original as remastered in 2007 is one of the hits included on the compilation album, Still on Top - The Greatest Hits. "Wild Night" was included on the 2003 (10 CD) set Ultimate Seventies Collection by Time-Life.[7]

A live performance is also one of the songs performed on Morrison's 1980 concert disc on the Live At Montreux 1980/1974 DVD released in 2006.


Cover versions

"Wild Night"
Single by John Mellencamp and Me'shell Ndegeocello
from the album Dance Naked
A-side "Wild Night"
Released June 1994
Genre Rock
Length 3:27
Label Mercury Records
Writer(s) Van Morrison
Producer(s) John Mellencamp, Mike Manchic
John Mellencamp singles chronology
"Wild Night"
"Dance Naked"

"Wild Night" was recorded by John Mellencamp and Meshell Ndegeocello and released as a single in 1994. This version of the song reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart during the summer of 1994 and remained in the Top 40 for 33 weeks. It also topped the U.S. adult contemporary chart for eight weeks.[9] The song was included on Mellencamp's 1994 album, Dance Naked[10] and an "acoustic" remix was released as a promotional single for radio.

Martha Reeves covered the song on her first solo album Martha Reeves.[11] When she released it as a single in 1974, it reached number seventy-four on the R&B charts.[12] Reeves' version of the song was featured on the 1991 film Thelma and Louise.[13]

Other cover versions were recorded by Polly Brown,[14] Richie Havens,[15] Johnny Rivers,[16] and The Amazing Rhythm Aces on the 1980 album How the Hell Do You Spell Rhythum?.

Starsailor have covered this song in concert[17] and in 2008, Elvis Costello covered "Wild Night" at the Hardly Strickly Bluegrass Festival.[18]

In 2014, Martina McBride included a cover of "Wild Night" on her album Everlasting.


Van Morrison

Chart (1971) Peak
Billboard Hot 100[19] 28
Dutch Singles Chart[20] 24

Martha Reeves

Chart (1974) Peak
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 74

John Mellencamp

Chart (1994) Peak
Billboard Hot 100 3
Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 17
Billboard Adult Contemporary 1
UK Singles Chart 34
End of year chart (1994) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[21] 15


  1. ^ "Song artist 420 - Van Morrison". Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  2. ^ Heylin. Can You Feel the Silence?. pp. 518-520.
  3. ^ "Wild Night: Review".  
  4. ^ Cavanagh, David. "Van Morrison Tupelo Honey review".  
  5. ^ "Dave Marsh the 1001 greatest Singles Ever". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  6. ^ "Wild Night Performances". Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  7. ^ "Ultimate Seventies". Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  8. ^ "Rick Shlosser - About". Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  9. ^ "Billboard singles - Dance Naked".  
  10. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Dance Naked".  
  11. ^ "Martha Reeves". Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  12. ^ "Billboard singles - Martha Reeves".  
  13. ^ Mansfield, Brian. "Thelma & Louise".  
  14. ^ "allmusic (((Bewitched! the Polly Brown Story> Overview )))".  
  15. ^ "Artist:Ritchie Havens". Retrieved 2010-10-08. 
  16. ^ "Johnny Rivers All-Time Greatest Hits". Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  17. ^ "Good Souls; the starsailor archive". Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  18. ^ "Hardly Strickly Bluegrass 2008". Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  19. ^ "Allmusic: Van Morrison bllboard singles".  
  20. ^ "Dutch singles history:Van Morrison". Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  21. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1994". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 


  • Heylin, Clinton (2003). Can You Feel the Silence? Van Morrison: A New Biography, Chicago Review Press, ISBN 1-55652-542-7
  • The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition, 1996

External links

Preceded by
"Can You Feel the Love Tonight" by Elton John
Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single
3 September – 22 October 1994
Succeeded by
"All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow
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