"Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)" is a song by Rod Stewart, recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama for his 1976 album A Night on the Town. The song became his second US chart topper on the Billboard Hot 100, peaked at #5 in UK, #3 in Australia and charted well in other parts of the world as well. It was the number 1 song in Billboard's1977 year-end chart.
The song features whispers from Britt Ekland who was Stewart's girlfriend at the time. While primarily recorded at Muscle Shoals, the final vocal was recorded at Caribou Ranch studios, where Stewart, Ekland and producer Tom Dowd spent several days. Some radio stations play edits of the song, shortening the coda, as well as the whispers, because they were deemed to be too suggestive for airplay, where the songs could be banned from being played on the air.
The singer is addressing a girl (later it states that she is a virgin), encouraging her to do various acts that one normally associates with preparing for sex, such as drawing the blinds, removing her shoes, and the like. One particular line is a relatively blatant double entendre referring to sex:
- 'Cmon Angel my heart's on fire
- Don't deny your man's desire
- You'd be a fool to stop this tide
- Spread your wings and let me come inside 'cause
- Tonight's the night (gonna be alright)
The song has been remade by such artists as Linda Clifford, Nicky Moore, and sung by Anthony Kavanagh, Terry Steele, who reached number forty-four on the R&B singles chart, andAlison Crawford on Grease is the Word.
In Janet Jackson's cover, the lyrics imply that she and her partner are about to share a threesome with another woman. Indeed, Janet begins the song by saying, "This is just between me and you...and you." Additionally, each chorus addresses a different person, as she sings, "'Cause I love you, boy" in one and "'Cause I love you, girl" in another. "She even makes a bid for gay icon status…" wrote Neil McCormick in The Daily Telegraph's review of The Velvet Rope, "climaxing (if that's the right word) with a bizarre lesbian reinterpretation of Rod Stewart's 'Tonight's the Night'."
The song was often included in Tina Turner's 1980s live set and features with another Rod Stewart song on her 'Nice n Rough' video.