"Sunglasses At Night" is one of those instantly recognizable songs from the 1980's...

Have "Hart" at New Jersey 101.5! (Craig Allen photo).
Have "Hart" at New Jersey 101.5! (Craig Allen photo).

...and it is one of "Jersey's Greatest Hits."

Of course.

At the time that starry-eyed 19-year old Corey Hart was putting the finishing touches on his first album, "Sunglasses" wasn't even a thought.

Hart says that its early Spring of 1983, and he is in a recording studio in Manchester, England. It rains just about every day. He has a brand new pair of Ray Ban sunglasses, but doesn't have a chance to use them...

Hmm....sunglasses...unused...(we'll just let that thought percolate for a while).

Hart returns to his hometown of Montreal with a cassette in hand, containing the 11 songs that are slated to be his "First Offense" album. A debut album...

By late summer 1983, the album is in the hands of Aquarius/Capitol Records. And, they like what they hear.

So, you'd think that Corey Hart would be able to sit back and relax, right?


He says that he was "kinda like a writing magnet in those days, so the song ideas kept flowing even though we were done with the recording."

He starts working on a melody, with the idea "My Cigarette Got Wet."

Ironic, as he has never smoked.

Soon, he had recorded a demo of "Cigarette," but he felt somehow...unsatisfied.

One night, Corey Hart takes out the demo, and just blurts out: "I Wear My Sunglasses At Night" over the melody.

And like that, a song is born.

Hart says that he instantly knew that it would be a hit...and wanted to put it on his completed album.

He despaired, thinking that it would be impossible to add "Sunglasses" at such a late date...but the label sent Hart back to England...and in his words, his producers "brilliantly produced the track, highlighting the hip sounds and styles exploding out of the UK music scene during that prolific period in the early '80s."

The song that almost wasn't...is the lead song on the album! (Craig Allen photo).
The song that almost wasn't...is the lead song on the album. (Craig Allen photo).

Released in Canada in November of 1983, Corey Hart remembers hearing his soon-to-be-life-changing-hit for the first time, but "I only caught 30 seconds before I blew out my car speakers because I had cranked the volume up to overload."

"Sunglasses At Night" was the hit that Corey Hart promised...landing at #7 on the pop charts in the summer of 1984.

Corey Hart says that he first realized that he had a hit on his hands, when he was "mobbed" at Detroit airport in June 1984. He had arrived as the opening act for Rick Springfield. He calls being escorted through the airport "surreal."

Soon, Corey Hart was on the road, and in the skies, crisscrossing the US and Canada in support of his own album.

It is interesting to note that while the song-that-almost-wasn't, "Sunglasses At Night," is Corey Hart's best-known hit, it isn't his biggest chart hit.

That honor belongs to "Never Surrender"...

...off Hart's second album, which went all the way to #3 in the US in 1985.

Further, "Sunglasses At Night" was a minor hit in Canada...where it only went to #24. Hart's three Canadian chart-toppers are: "Never Surrender," "Everything In My Heart," and "Can't Help Falling In Love."

Far from a "one-hit-wonder," Corey Hart placed 9 hits on the charts in New Jersey between 1984 and 1990.

Has Corey Hart gotten tired of his shades-wearing song?

Not one bit.

Says Hart in an online interview: "Yeah man, it still feels super cool to hear it, even after all these years."

What is Corey Hart up to lately?

Check him out by clicking here.

And, don't forget your sunglasses.

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