Rod Stewart – Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)

This song is centered on the narrator (Rod Stewart), succinctly put, sensually seducing the addressee. In fact it gets this point across so effectively that “Tonight’s the Night” faced bans and the such during its day.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Rod Stewart's the Night (Gonna Be Alright) at

More specifically, as noted in the fourth verse, the addressee is a virgin. And basically, what Rod is telling her is that “tonight’s the night” she is going to lose her virginity, to him in particular. Indeed the setting of their conversation is the two of them being alone in his house, obviously during the evening. And in addition to entreating her to take her clothes off, Stewart is also in the midst of getting her intoxicated. Moreover as illustrated by the chorus, he is very determined that they indeed do the do. And all of this is in name of love, as in he being in love with the addressee. In fact if you really wanted to defend Rod you could say that despite wanting to have relations with her, he never presents his emotions as being dominated by pure lust. So we can say that he genuinely loves the addressee.

But then…

But then when he drops lines like “spread your wings and let me come inside” – the same phrase that had gotten this song banned by the BBC – then it’s understandable why some people would have issues with “Tonight’s the Night”. Or stated otherwise this song was indeed dropped back in the 1970s.  And it was unusual for mainstream artists to make overt sensual references in their music during that era.

But if nothing else, the audience definitely walks away from listening to this track knowing that the singer is insistent that he scores this very evening with a young lady he is smitten with. So in the end instead of classifying this as a general love song, we will instead say that it is more akin to a lovemaking song.

Lyrics of "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)"

Facts about “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)”

The music video to “Tonight’s the Night” had a filmographer Rod Stewart worked with regularly, Bruce Gowers, as its director. And it featured Rod’s girlfriend at the time, a Swedish actress by the name of Britt Ekland.

This song was written by Stewart. And it was produced by one of his regular collaborators, the highly-successful Tom Dowd (1925-2002).

This is the lead single from Rod Stewart’s album “A Night on the Town”. The track itself was released during May of 1976 internationally by Riva Records.  And later in the year, it was introduced to American audiences via Warner Bros. Records.

This song was very successful. For instance, it topped RPM’s Canada Top Singles as well as the Billboard Hot 100. In fact it stayed on top of the Hot 100 for eight weeks straights – longer than any other track in 1976 – and was placed at number 1 on Billboard’s year-ending chart for that annum.

Moreover the track peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart. This is despite it initially being under a ban instituted by the BBC. It ended up charting in nine countries overall. Moreover in virtually every case it broke the top 10.

In fact in a way you can call “Tonight’s the Night” Rod Stewart’s signature song. For example, he is known to perform this tune live more so than any other track in his catalog, with the exception of 1971’s “Maggie May”.  Moreover there was actually a short-lived musical which came out in London in 2003 based on Rod’s song which was entitled “Tonight’s the Night”.

This song has been covered by a number of artists over the years and most notably Janet Jackson in 1997.

15 Responses

  1. sj says:

    It’s a creepy song really. He’s really raping an underage girl. A cri.e in most countries. He calls her child at one point.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think its creepy at all! very sexual

    • Josephine says:

      I agree that it is creepy. I was around 17 at the time the song came out and I definitely knew what it was about and was a virgin myself at the time, and I never thought to judge the song at the time because there were other sexual songs in that era. But now, looking back, it seems very creepy, and the implication is getting an underage girl drunk and taking advantage. Not only that, he had another song “Hot Legs” which was also about sex with what surely sounds like a minor in the song. Though I like many of Rod’s songs, I think he is creepy.

      • Linda says:

        When you watch the video, you can see he changes his mind about giving her a glass of champagne. I was 18 when the song was released. I recall hearing an interview with Rod telling how he had to get Brit drunk before she would record the ending in French.

    • Anonymous says:

      He calls her child as she’s much younger than him, he could have just as easily called her babe, but that wouldn’t have fitted the lyrics. When all is said and done it’s just a song, not factual.

    • Adnil says:

      He calls her child as he’s much older than her, if he could have said babe but it didn’t fit with the lyrics. It’s not real it’s just a song! I was nearly raped at 17 and it was violent, it was me crying for my mum that stopped the guy. Nothing like that in the song

  2. Chris says:

    Yup this song is just gross, spread you wings and let me inside ? Relax my child , and he says she is a virgin , it’s a blatant pedi song.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What’s wrong with you guys?!? It is what you want it to be! I like to think Rod is in love with her. The video is with his current gf at that time Brett Ekland.
    I wish I knew what the lady is saying quietly in the background in Spanish… now that is sexy!!!!

    • Kazmo says:

      It’s French.
      My God, what will become of him?
      My love come, f, kiss me
      Oh, I adore you very much
      It doesn’t want to give anything
      Ah yes, it’s painful, huh?
      Oh, I love you, I love you, I love you very much
      And tonight, oh…
      Ah, tonight, oh…

  4. Anonymous says:

    My question is why does he ask her to stay away from the windows and the back door?

  5. Lori says:

    This song made me think of how I losing my virginity should have been like this!!!

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