Rod Stewart's corny but confident ode to seduction, "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)," sealed the deal 42 years ago when it went all the way to No. 1 on this day in 1976.
But the salacious single didn't stop there. It proved its remarkable staying power by riding the top of the charts for eight weeks before cooling off a week after ringing in the new year.
The sweet melody, orchestral strings and flirtatious guitar licks helped sugarcoat the not-so-subtle lyrics, which initially got the song banned in the United Kingdom. The buildup to deflowering "my virgin child" even includes a few lines that might make a gangsta rapper blush.
"Don't deny your man's desire," Stewart sings. "You'd be a fool to stop this tide/Spread your wings and let me come inside."
Like most wild nights, the fun began innocently enough when Stewart was visiting Dan Peek of America, who was working on a song called "Today's the Day." "Rod said that he liked it," remembers the writer of the 1974 Top 10 hit "Lonely People," "and that it gave him an idea for a song."
Did it ever. Stewart even got then-girlfriend Britt Ekland to join the fun, convincing her to coo her satisfaction in French near the song's climax. "I remember I got her drunk," Stewart told an interviewer, "pissed as a fart to sing that old French bollocks on the end, because she didn't want to do it."
The sweet talk of "Tonight's the Night," apparently, didn't extend to real life.