The night has always been a source of musical inspiration, with countless songs written about its mysteries, enchantments, and endless possibilities.
From classic rock anthems to contemporary pop hits, the night has played a central role in some of the most iconic and memorable songs in music history.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at 33 songs that celebrate the magic of the night, exploring the different ways artists have captured its essence and brought it to life through their music.
So turn off the lights, crank up the volume, and let’s dive into the inky world of music inspired by the night.
1. You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
On top of the list, we have an amazing hard rock song that fits perfectly to accompany a cold beer jar.
Released in 1980 and included in the well-known album Back In Black, this track was the first AC/DC single with the new lead singer Brian Johnson, replacing the deceased Bon Scott.
In the song, the singer portrays the woman he’s with as making an extra effort to seduce him, suggesting that they will spend the night together.
The music’s lively rhythm and electrifying guitar riffs also enhance the song’s nighttime atmosphere, creating a feeling of excitement and liveliness.
2. All Night Long (All Night) – Lionel Richie
The great Lionel Richie invites us to spend a whole night enjoying an endless party, such long that it lasts all night long.
In 1983 the album Can’t Slow Down was released and with it, this danceable track.
The singer encourages the listener to forget their worries and enjoy themselves.
All in all, this song celebrates the joy and energy of a late-night party, with its upbeat melody and festive lyrics capturing the essence of a lively and vibrant evening.
3. In The Air Tonight – Phil Collins
Following the divorce of his first wife, Phill Collins penned this song to express the anger and devastation he experienced, leading him to temporarily leave his band, Genesis.
Face Value is the studio album in which this track takes part, released in 1981 most of the songs of the album was led by feelings about Collin’s breakup.
This piece consists of a long first section in which the singer prepares the listener for a memorable drum breakdown.
The song’s dark and haunting melody creates a sense of mystery and intrigue, contributing to its association with the nighttime.
4. Dance The Night Away – Van Halen
Originally, the title of this song was Dance, Lolita, Dance but Eddie Van Halen convinced David Lee Roth to change it to one that suited better.
The group was also inspired by Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way, and Dance The Night Away was born.
From the 1979 album Van Halen II, this classic rock song suggests a desire to dance and celebrate until the early hours of the morning.
The upbeat rhythm, catchy melodic lines, and festive lyrics perfectly capture the essence of the night party.
5. Night Fever – Bee Gees
When it comes to night songs, this track is a must and perhaps the first that comes to your mind.
In 1977, Stingwood the Bee Gees manager was producing a movie about the disco scene in New York City so he asked the group to write a song with the title Saturday Night.
However, the Bee Gees weren’t convinced about that name so they proposed the title Night Fever which sounded great for Stingwood.
Released in 1978, the film became an acclaimed classic and as did the song, which placed the band at the top of the music charts worldwide.
6. Night Moves – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
This track is the lead single from Bob Seger’s ninth album Night Moves.
Released in 1976, the song tells the story of a young couple exploring their sexuality in the back seat of a car and enjoying the freedom and adventure of the night.
The emotive lyrics perfectly capture that bittersweet feeling when remembering those youthful nights spent in exploration and discovery.
Overall, a classic song about coming of age and adults’ memories of adolescent love tales.
7. A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles
Once you listen to that particularly curious chords at the beginning of the piece, you will instantly recognize which song it is.
Included in the album of the same name which was released in 1964, the title of this track has a funny story that suggests a sense of exhaustion and relief after a long and tiring day.
After a long-lasting day working in the recording studio, the Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr said “it’s been a hard day…” but shortly after he realized that it was dark outside so he added “…night” and that’s how the name was created.
This catchy track celebrates the determination of the working-class hero, capturing the spirit of youthful optimism and perseverance.
8. Nights in White Satin -The Moody Blues
In 1967 The Moody Blues recorded an album named Days of Future Passed with The London Festival Orchestra.
However, that orchestra never actually existed, it was just the name given to the musicians assembled to record the album.
The song is about a man longing for an unattainable woman, and the night serves as a metaphor for the emotional darkness and uncertainty of the situation.
9. All Day and All of the Night – The Kinks
From the 1964 album Kinks-Size, this track evokes the energy and excitement of nights out.
The Kinks themselves affirmed that was one of those songs meant to become hits and tells the story of a neurotic guy who can’t stand to be away from his girl even for a minute.
The band sued the Californian group The Doors for the song Hello, I Love You which has a suspiciously similar riff.
The Kinks ended up winning the lawsuit.
10. In the Night – The Weeknd
This 2015 synthpop song included in the album Beauty Behind the Madness, suggests a sense of danger and intrigue often associated with the night.
The track was really acclaimed and well-received by critics, it is usually compared with songs by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
11. Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me – The Smiths
12. The Nights – Avicii
13. Up At Night – Kehlani
14. Night Flight – Led Zeppelin
15. Dancing in the Moonlight – King Harvest
16. Spirit In The Night – Bruce Springsteen
17. Twistin’ the Night Away – Sam Cooke
18. Take Me Home Tonight (Be My Baby) – Eddie Money
19. One Night In Bangkok – Murray Head
20. Let’s Spend The Night Together – The Rolling Stones
21. All Night Long – Joe Walsh
22. Beautiful Night – Paul McCartney
23. Rock The Night – Europe
24. Heartache Tonight – Eagles
25. Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright) – Rod Stewart
26. End Of The Night – The Doors
27. Tender Is The Night – Jackson Browne
28. Saturday Night Special – Lynyrd Skynyrd
29. Heat Of The Night – Coleman Hell
30. Summer Night City – ABBA
31. (I Just) Died In Your Arms – Cutting Crew
32. One More Night – Maroon 5
33. Can You Feel The Love Tonight – Elton John
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