The Story and Secret Inspiration For Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s the Night”
Rod Stewart live in 2018 - ViVaHD / Youtube
Rod Stewart’s iconic 1976 hit “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” is truly an exceptional song that revived the career of Stewart, who’s about to become irrelevant during that point.
The lustful lyrics “Don’t say a word my virgin child / Just let your inhibitions run wild / The secret is about to unfold / Upstairs before the night’s too old” made BBC ban the song for clear reasons. However, when it was lifted, the song remained on top of the charts for 8 consecutive weeks, the longest run for a song since the Beatles’ 1968 hit “Hey Jude.” This gave Stewart a career boost; since then, he’s been asked several times the real meaning and inspiration of the song.
Stewart remembers making the song’s title and its inspiration. In an interview with Star Tribune in 2014, Stewart revealed how he came up with its title. “I was working with [guitarist] Steve Cropper in Muscle Shoals in the afternoon, just strumming around. Someone said that line. I wish I could give you some elaborate explanation. But it’s more luck than judgment.”
Dan Peek, a member of the band America, also once shared the story behind the inspiration of this suggestive track. Peek wrote his thoughts inside his book, An American Band in which, he explained the rather innocent beginnings of the song. Stewart and America became close due to their occasional catch-ups while on the road.
“I played ‘Today’s the Day,’ the song I had been working on. Rod said that he liked it and that it gave him an idea for a song. Of course, after his recording of ‘Tonight’s the Night’ came out, I laughed when I remembered what he’d said. I’m sure I probably smacked my forehead and said: ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’”