Craig Allen’s Fun Facts: “Because The Night” by Patti Smith
It is fascinating to note that while Patti Smith was inducted into the "Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame" in 2007..."Because The Night" is her only chart hit!
Patti Smith was born in Chicago...but grew up in New Jersey!
And...today's spotlight song has a Jersey Connection too...which I can sum up in one name...
"The Boss" wrote the song...and he was struggling with it, at the time!
In a 2010 interview, he said: "It was a love song...my love songs weren't straight out, they weren't direct." Because The Night "needed directness, and at that time I was very uncomfortable with it."
Patti Smith's producer on the "Easter" album was Jimmy Iovine, who was just getting started in the business. "Because The Night" was the first hit record where he got producer status...and he credits Bruce for giving him the opportunity!
Iovine had worked with Springsteen on the "Born To Run" album in 1975, and Bruce gave him the song...to give to Patti Smith.
Bruce felt that his unfinished song would...fit Smith's voice.
At first, she was hesitant to take on a song written by someone else...til she heard a demo of the song that Bruce had been working on.
Like I stated earlier, Bruce was having problems finishing this would-be-hit...and when it landed in Patti Smith's hands, it was (just) the music and the chorus.
Patti Smith finished the lyrics one night while waiting for a phone call from her husband!
Oh...and there was yet another reason why Bruce hadn't recorded the song for himself:
In 1976, he was in the midst of a legal battle with his manager, Mike Appel, that kept him from recording for almost 3 years!
Bruce would join the Patti Smith Group onstage from time to time, during 1976 and 1977...while he was being kept out of the recording studio.
"The Patti Smith" group rode Bruce's song all the way to #13 on the Hot 100 charts in early 1978!
Patti Smith bought her dad a new car...a 1978 Cordoba...with the money that she made from the song.
Who says rock and roll doesn't...pay?
Once "Because The Night" became a hit...Patti Smith described it as "commercial sh-t."
She does admit that its a well-written song. She had a big hand in that!
She just didn't want the song to define her career (at that time)!
Where is Bruce Springsteen in all of this?
He has performed "Because The Night" many times over the years as part of his live shows ("spectaculars" in my opinion). And while he has never released a studio version of the song, his version first appeared in 1986, with the release of the "Live 1975-1985" box set!
On Patti, and the song that he gave away, Bruce says: "I could not have finished it as good as she did...she put it down in a way that was just quite wonderful."
Enjoy "Because The Night" on New Jersey 101.5...here at nj1015.com...and on the FREE New Jersey 101.5 app!