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-â€˜70s with Canadaâ€™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 â€œRoxy Roller,â€ Gilder struck out on his own for solo stardom, giving a young 16-year old Bryan Adams his shot as Sweeney Toddâ€™s new lead singer (wonder whatever happened to that Adams kid?).
Gilderâ€™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. â€œHot Child in the Cityâ€ 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.
â€Here Comes the Nightâ€ seemed a natural for City Nights‘ second single. It was written by Gilder and his guitarist James McCulloch, just like â€œHot Child in the City.â€ It was instantly catchy, just like â€œHot Child in the City.â€ It was about hot jailbait, just like â€œHot Child in the City.â€ But it was a flop, not like â€œHot Child in the City.â€
To this day, Iâ€™m confounded by â€œ…Nightâ€™sâ€ 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 â€œHot Child.â€ 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