Sunday, September 26, 2021

"Don't You Know What the Night Can Do?" by Steve Winwod

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3625
Date:  08/20/1988
Debut:  61
Peak:  6
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  Winwood scored the biggest chart hit of his career with "Roll with It," the first single and title track of his fifth solo album. It would spend four weeks at #1 on the Pop chart while also hitting #1 AC and #1 Rock. For a follow-up, this next track would be selected for release. It would be another #1 for him at Rock while reaching #2 AC. It would also become Winwood's sixth Pop Top 10 hit. Unfortunately, it would end up being his last single to make the Top 10. This hit would help sell more copies of the album (which had already peaked at #1) and by November of '88 it would reach double platinum status.

ReduxReview:  This rolling, atmospheric track was a good foil to Winwood's previous #1 hit. While the chorus was certainly hooky, I almost think that the mood, tone, and groove of the song is what really attracted listeners. It was one of those tunes that you'd put on when an evening out or a party was beginning to wind down late at night. A few somewhat inebriated people standing around the room with a drink still in their hand, a smile on their face, their eyes half shut, swaying (maybe inadvertently) to the tune and thinking "ah, what a great night." Not that I've ever done that...

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Prior to this single being released, it was being used in a series of ads for Michelob beer. Some critics and other folks tossed out accusations of Winwood writing the song specifically for Michelob - in other words, selling out to corporate interests. However, that wasn't the case. Michelob was brought on board to sponsor Winwood's tour for the Roll with It album. When the LP was finished, but not yet released, it seems the deal was that Michelob could select a track and use it in their advertising. They chose "Do You Know What the Night Can Do?" and quickly worked to make a commercial and it actually started airing prior to the release of the album. The early airing made it seem like Winwood wrote the song specifically for the commercial, which he did not. The ad was one in a series that went along with their slogan at at the time "The Night Belongs to Michelob." Winwood's song was one of several rock tunes used in the campaign. The first was Eric Clapton's 1970 #18 hit "After Midnight," which he re-recorded for the ad. Then came Genesis' "Tonight Tonight Tonight" followed by Winwood's track. Wang Chung got two of their songs picked up. "To Live and Die in L.A." and their #2 hit "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" got tapped by the beer company.


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