We've Got Tonite

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"We've Got Tonite"
WeveGotTonite.jpg
Single by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
from the album Stranger in Town
B-side"Aint Got No Money"
ReleasedOctober 1978
Format7" vinyl
Recorded1976
GenreEasy Listening, soft rock
Length4:38 (album version)
3:40 (single edit)
LabelCapitol
Songwriter(s)Bob Seger
Producer(s)Bob Seger, Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section
Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band singles chronology
"Hollywood Nights"
(1978)
"We've Got Tonite"
(1978)
"Old Time Rock and Roll"
(1979)

"We've Got Tonite" (sic) is a song written by American Bob Seger, from his 1978 album Stranger in Town.

It also played in the background of Melissa Sue Anderson's 1979 TV film Survival of Dana, in a scene where Anderson's character was in Los Angeles visiting one of her new friends' homes and was in a room with co-star Robert Carradine's character Donny Davis, whom she was falling for.[1] In Season 4, episode 4 of Ray Donovan, Liev Schreiber sings a karaoke version of the song, then a reprise to his wife as the episode ends.

Original version[edit]

Dave Marsh (Rolling Stone)
on "We've Got Tonite"
Seger's melodic sense has never been better than on "We've Got Tonite," a grand seduction song in the tradition of Rod Stewart's "Tonight's the Night".[2]

Background[edit]

The song developed from an earlier Seger composition entitled "This Old House" which featured the same chords as "We've Got Tonite" although the earlier song had a slightly different melody. Seger overhauled "This Old House" into "We've Got Tonite" the day after seeing the 1973 film The Sting which features a conversation between the Robert Redford character and a woman he's attracted to played by Dimitra Arliss who says: "I don't even know you': Redford's response: "You know me. It's two in the morning and I don't know nobody", caused an emotional response in Seger manifested in the overhauled song lyrics.[3][4]

"We've Got Tonite" was not recorded until the 1976 sessions for Seger's Night Moves album and was held off that album as Seger felt it was not a thematic fit.[5] One of five Stranger... tracks recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, "We've Got Tonite" served as the album's third single, reaching No. 13 on the US pop charts: in the UK, the original version would chart twice, reaching No. 41 in 1979, and then reaching No. 22 as a 1995 re-release - as "We've Got Tonight" - to promote a Greatest Hits album: in 1982, a live version - entitled "We've Got Tonite" - from the in-concert album Nine Tonight reached No. 60 UK.[6]

Since the passing of his mother Charlotte Seger (née Zadow) (1913-1989),[7] Seger has made a point of always including "We've Got Tonite" in his live setlist, as it was her favorite of Seger's compositions.[8]

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1979) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[9] 11
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[10] 9
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[11] 6
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[12] 13
South Africa (Springbok Radio)[13] 11
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[14] 41
US Billboard Hot 100 [15] 13
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[16] 29
US Cash Box Top 100[17] 11

Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton version[edit]

"We've Got Tonight"
WGT KennyRogers UK.jpg
Single by Kenny Rogers & Sheena Easton
from the album We've Got Tonight and Best Kept Secret
B-side"You Are So Beautiful"
ReleasedJanuary 24, 1983
Format7" Vinyl
RecordedDecember 31 1982
- January 9 1983
Length3:49
LabelLiberty
Songwriter(s)Bob Seger
Producer(s)David Foster
Kenny Rogers singles chronology
"A Love Song"
(1982)
"We've Got Tonight"
(1983)
"All My Life"
(1983)
Sheena Easton singles chronology
"I Wouldn't Beg for Water"
(1982)
"We've Got Tonight"
(1983)
"Telefone (Long Distance Love Affair)"
(1983)

Background[edit]

In 1983, American country-pop star Kenny Rogers recorded the song as a duet with Scottish pop star Sheena Easton, and made it the title track of his album We've Got Tonight. Both Rogers and Easton were on the roster of EMI America-Liberty Records and their collaboration on "We've Got Tonight" was at the firm suggestion of label chairman Larry Mazza who hoped to restore Easton to chart ascendancy.[24] Mazza was also the president of Capitol Records the label of release for the Bob Seger original.[25] Rogers - who'd state: "I liked the idea of recording with Sheena: I thought the contrast in styles - I'm so throaty and she's so trained and pure - would really work well" -[25] himself had phoned Easton to pitch their dueting on the song on 23 December 1982: the two singers then met up on Christmas Eve to rehearse the song with a piano, six days later going into the studio, with the completed track "going to radio" nine days after that.[26]

Easton would assert that it was the song choice which appealed to her, while allowing Rogers to be "a good singer with a distinctive voice" who she found "always helpful and co-operative" in the studio, debunking insider reports that the ten day recording session for the track was a stormy one with Rogers overtly disliking Easton's high-pitched vocals.[24] Easton's contribution to the track would prove a bone of critical contention: whereas Rolling Stone critic Christopher Connelly would dismiss the Easton/Rogers duet of "We've Got Tonight" as "shrieking [and] insensitive",[27] and Jerseyite critic Jim Bohen would lament how Rogers "who usually sounds good duetting with women" was defeated by "Easton's nails-across-the-blackboard voice",[28] Dennis Hunt (Los Angeles Times) would prefer the Rogers/Easton take to the Seger original due to a "very appealing" "blend of sharply contrasting voices, his deep and hers very high" adding that "Rogers, never known for his vocal power, stretches to match Easton, [attaining] his finest vocal performance",[29] and AllMusic critic Joe Viglione would opine that Easton's "splendid voice reaching the high registers over Kenny's familiar monotone...really makes [the track] special."[30]

A number one hit on the Billboard Country Singles chart, "We've Got Tonight" reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart, and number two on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, also reaching the top 30 in the United Kingdom.[31] It's hard to imagine anyone singing "We've Got Tonight,- one of the great ballads of the '70s, better than Seger himself. But an unlikely duo, Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton, surpass Seger with a stirring version that's already in the Top 10. The blend of sharply contrasting voices—his deep and hers very high—is very appealing. Bob Seger's The song's composer and original singer Bob Seger would say of the Rogers/Easton version of the song: "I know my mom will love it."[25] Rebranded as a Country & Western song due to the Rogers/Easton duet, "We've Got Tonight" would be honored by ASCAP as the Most Performed Country Song of 1983, with Seger, an iconic Detroit rocker, personally acknowledging the honor by attending the October 1984 ASCAP Country Music Awards fête held at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.[32][33]

Personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Ronan Keating duet version[edit]

"We've Got Tonight"
Ronangottonight.jpg
Single by Ronan Keating and Lulu
from the album Destination and Together
Released25 November 2002
FormatCD single
Length3:39
LabelPolydor
Songwriter(s)Bob Seger
Producer(s)Bill Padley
Ronan Keating and Lulu singles chronology
"I Love It When We Do"
(2002)
"We've Got Tonight"
(2002)
"The Long Goodbye"
(2003)

Background[edit]

"We've Got Tonight" was remade by Irish singer Ronan Keating and Scottish singer Lulu for Lulu's twelfth studio album Together released in 2002, with the track also appearing on Keating's second studio album Destination. The Together album, consisting of tracks pairing Lulu with a variety of "name" duet partners, was a comeback vehicle for Lulu designed by top entertainment impresario Louis Walsh whom the singer had signed on with in 2000:[60] three of the acts the album paired Lulu with: Samantha Mumba, Westlife and Keating, were protégées of Walsh. However Keating has stated that Lulu herself recruited him to duet with her: (Ronan Keating quote:)"I said 'Yeah, as long as you let me pick the song!' I picked...one of my all time favorite love songs".[61]

Both the Together and Destination albums were released in the spring of 2002: it was decided to forego any single releases of off Together[62] but - after two earlier singles - Keating's label Polydor issued "We've Got Tonight" - credited to Ronan Keating featuring Lulu - that November to debut at its No. 4 peak on the UK Singles Chart dated 7 December 2002.[63] The track was also an international hit, reaching No. 7 in the Netherlands, No. 10 in Ireland, No. 12 in Australia, and No. 14 in Flemish Belgium.

Polydor Records elected to release a reformatted version of the track which replaced Lulu's vocal with that of Jeanette Biedermann, a Polydor artist who had enjoyed considerable success with English-language releases in her native Germany and also Austria and Switzerland: "We've Got Tonight" credited to Ronan Keating & Jeanette was issued in those three nations with resultant Top Ten status in Austria and Germany and moderate Swiss chart success.[64] In Italy, the track was issued with the Italian soul singer Giorgia Todrani and published as the B-side of Giorgia's single "Gocce di memoria", and in the Philippines, Keating performed the song with Kyla.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

UK single

  1. "We've Got Tonight" (featuring Lulu) – 3:39
  2. "All I Have Is My Heart" – 3:50
  3. "In the Ghetto" (Live) – 3:13
  4. "We've Got Tonight" (Video) – 4:15

German single

  1. "We've Got Tonight" (featuring Jeanette) – 3:39
  2. "Sea of Love" – 3:14
  3. "All I Have Is My Heart" – 3:50
  4. "In the Ghetto" (Live) – 3:13

Italian single

  1. "We've Got Tonight" (featuring Giorgia) – 3:39
  2. "All I Have Is My Heart" – 3:50

Charts[edit]

Other versions[edit]

"We've Got Tonight" has also been recorded by Rein Alexander (no) (duet with Trine Rein) (album Song For You/ 2007), Bill Anderson (album Nashville Mirrors/ 1980), Anne Lise (album First Dance/ 2006), Patti Austin (album Body Language/ 1980), Shirley Bassey (album Show Must Go On/ 1980), Elkie Brooks (album Nor More the Fool/ 1986: 1987 UK chart single@No. 67),[82] Rhonda Burchmore (album Midnight Rendezvous/ 2001), Rita Coolidge (as "...Tonite": duet with Jermaine Jackson) (album Never Let You Go/ 1983), Dozi (af) & Nianell (album It Takes Two/ 2009), Allison Durbin (album Country Love Songs/ 1983), Ray Dylan (duet with Charlize Berg (af)) (album Goeie Ou Country in Duet/ 2013), Adam Harvey & Beccy Cole (album The Great Country Song Book Volume II/ 2017), (album Richie Havens (album Connections/ 1980), Steven Houghton (album Steven Houghton/ 1997), Tom Jones (album Mr Jones/ 2002), Reg Livermore (album Livermore's Firing Squad/ 1983), Barry Manilow (album Summer of '78/ 1996), Jane McDonald (album The Singer of Your Song/ 2014), Melanie (album Moments From My Life/ 2002), Angelika Milster (de (duet with Steve Barton) (album Ich bin wie ich bin/ 1984), Chord Overstreet (multi-artist album Muscle Shoals...Small Town, Big Sound/ 2018),[83] Marti Pellow (album Love to Love/ 2011), Tex Perkins & His Ladyboyz (album No.1's & No.2's/ 2008), Lee Towers & Anita Meyer (album Run to Me/ 1985),Conway Twitty (as "...Tonite") (album Heart & Soul/ 1980), and Dottie West (as "...Tonite") (album Special Delivery/ 1980)[84]

American Idol Season 11 contestant and eventual winner Phillip Phillips performed "We've Got Tonight" on the series episode broadcast May 16, 2012: his studio recording of the song appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 97.

Sheena Easton also recorded a Spanish-language version of "We've Got Tonight" entitled "La Noche Y Tú"Spanish on her 1984 Spanish-language album Todo Me Recuerda A Ti, the track being a duet with Dyango. The song has also been rendered as "Grazie perché" Italian which as recorded by Amii Stewart and Gianni Morandi was a No. 5 hit in Italy in 1984 and as "Všímej si víc"Czech recorded in 1983 by Věra Špinarová and Karel Černoch (cs): another Czech rendering of the song: "Čas dál nech spát", was recorded in 2012 by David Deyl (cs) and Helena Vondráčková, being a new track included on Vondráčková's 3-CD compilation Helena (nejen) o lásce.[85]

References[edit]

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  4. ^ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 21 November 2011 "Bob Seger Makes a Joyful Noise at Consol" by Scott Mervis p.C-4
  5. ^ Moline Dispatch 22 November 2009 "Bob Seger Opens the Vaults for Disc of '70s Rarities" p.G1
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