She Wants More, More, More, by Rich Paschall
Perhaps that’s the Rebel Yell you hear in the midnight hour when the music picks up and the time to dance is at hand. I had been wondering what to suggest as my top Midnight songs but the Midnight Memories kicked in and It Came Upon A Midnight Clear. I observed that Midnight’s Another Day and the Top 10 list was revealed. While you may think of many Midnight songs in The Shadows, I will be your Midnight Cowboy and give you my Top 10.
10. I’m A Midnight Mover, Bobby Womack. Whether you hear the Womack version or Wilson Pickett’s growl-infused version, you will think they are channeling James Brown. Both recorded the song and it is a rhythm and blues special either way you go. They have co-writing credit for the hit.
9. Walkin’ After Midnight, Patsy Cline. The country classic was originally offered by the writers to pop singer Kay Starr, but her record label rejected it. Reportedly, Cline was not immediately impressed with the song but ended up with a mega-hit in 1957.
8. Midnight Blue, Melissa Manchester. This was the first song on which Manchester collaborated with famed songwriter Carole Bayer Sager. The 1973 composition was pitched to a producer for Dionne Warwick and later Manchester pitched it to Dusty Springfield who turned it down. In 1975 it was the first single off Manchester’s first album for Arista records.
7. Midnight Confessions, The Grass Roots. The biggest hit for the band was released in 1968. Recorded with a large group of studio musicians, reports are that the group did not actually play on the record but only did the vocals. They did perform it live themselves. I played in a band for a few years that performed this song regularly.
6. Midnight Rider, The Allman Brothers. The song first appeared on the Allman Brothers 1970 album, Idlewild South, and was released as a single in March 1971 without much success. Composer Gregg Allman released it as a solo effort in 1973 and broke the top 20. Versions by other artists have also found some success.
5. Midnight Rambler, The Rolling Stones. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the song was released in 1969. Mick provided lead vocals, of course, and harmonica, while Keith Richards recorded all of the various guitars heard on the original recording. The song continues to appear in Stones’ concert and was recently on the playlist for the historic performance in Havana. Here they play for just a million and a half people in Rio, the largest concert ever held.
4. Midnight at the Oasis, Maria Muldaur. Released in February of 1974 the song is certainly the best-known effort by Muldaur. The soft-rock hit with its sexy lyric was made even more popular by the tease in her unique voice. I absolutely loved this song at the time, still do.
3. Midnight Train to Georgia, Gladys Knight, and the Pips. The song was written and recorded by Jim Weatherly as Midnight Plane to Houston. It was then passed on to Cissy Houston who recorded it as Midnight Train to Georgia. Then Weatherly’s publisher passed it on to Gladys Knight and the Pips. They won a performance Grammy with it. Here the Pips are really workin’ it!
2. Midnight Special, Johnny Rivers. Creedence Clearwater Revival had a hit with the song, but it is hard for me to hear a CCR song and not think about the lead singer, John Fogerty. Apparently, there is no arena big enough for his ego. The Johnny Rivers version was used as the intro to the Midnight Special television programs featuring musical performances. In my time zone, the train came through right on time, and Wolfman Jack was the conductor. This performance is from Hullabaloo.
1. After Midnight, J.J. Cale or Eric Clapton. Cale wrote the song and recorded it in 1966. When Clapton covered it in 1970, Cale did not know about it until it was a hit on the radio. At the time, he was broke and grateful for the song’s success. He subsequently included it in a 1972 album. Since they both have great versions out there, the only fair thing to do is show them playing it together, Cale on vocals.
To hear any of these Midnight songs, just click on the song title above.