Canadian Nick Gilder had a penchant for writing sugary-sweet pop/rock songs about underage hookers/street trash/what have you for a couple of years in the mid-‘70s with Canada’s glam answer to The Sweet, Sweeney Todd. But after scoring a #1 hit and a Juno Award up north in 1975 with the single “Roxy Roller,” Gilder struck out on his own for solo stardom, giving a young 16-year old Bryan Adams his shot as Sweeney Todd’s new lead singer (wonder whatever happened to that Adams kid?).
Gilder’s first solo album came and went with nary a blip, but in 1978, the lead single off his second album, City Nights, changed everything. “Hot Child in the City” hit the top of the charts in the U.S. and Canada — and made the Top Ten in quite a few other territories — making Gilder the one of the hottest new superstars in rock.
Then came follow-up time.
”Here Comes the Night” seemed a natural for City Nights‘ second single. It was written by Gilder and his guitarist James McCulloch, just like “Hot Child in the City.” It was instantly catchy, just like “Hot Child in the City.” It was about hot jailbait, just like “Hot Child in the City.” But it was a flop, not like “Hot Child in the City.”
To this day, I’m confounded by “…Night’s” failure to become a hit. As a admittedly pop-forward-thinking 10-year old, I bought the 45 and wore it out, even more than “Hot Child.” I even held up my little portable cassette player to my stand-alone phonograph and recorded it over and over, so I’d have the song on a nice loop and wouldn’t have to wait for the tone arm to go back and forth before I could hear it again.
This explains much about me.
“Here Comes the Night” peaked at #44 on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart in 1978.
City Nights was recently re-released on CD alongside the next Nick Gilder album Frequency as a two-fer — you can grab them both for a decent price on Amazon