Dance the Night Away (Van Halen song)

"Dance the Night Away" was Van Halen's first top 20 U.S. hit, peaking at #15, and the second song from their 1979 album Van Halen II. While the rest of the songs from this album had existed in various forms since their days doing demos and playing clubs, this song was possibly the only song written during the recording sessions for the album. The band members conceived the song during the recording sessions while they were standing in a circle humming to each other. It was inspired by Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way". Eddie Van Halen purposely left a guitar solo out of the final version of the song, replacing it instead with a riff of tap harmonics. David Lee Roth originally wanted to call the song "Dance, Lolita, Dance", but Eddie Van Halen convinced him that "Dance the Night Away" was more suitable and the chorus was changed to reflect that.[2]

"Dance the Night Away"
Van Halen - Dance the Night Away.jpg
Single by Van Halen
from the album Van Halen II
B-side"Outta Love Again"
ReleasedApril 1979
Format7" vinyl
RecordedDecember 1978 – January 1979
GenreHard rock[1]
Length3:07
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth
Producer(s)Ted Templeman
Van Halen singles chronology
"Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love"
(1978)
"Dance the Night Away"
(1979)
"Beautiful Girls"
(1979)

BackgroundEdit

Roth claimed, during a 2006 performance in San Diego, California, that he wrote this song in tribute to an intoxicated woman who was having sex in the back of a truck and ran with her pants on backwards while escaping police officers into the bar where the fledgling band was playing. This was also mentioned at a 2006 performance in Detroit, Michigan.

AppearancesEdit

The song appears in the 2000 science fiction film "Mission to Mars" (where two astronauts dance to it in zero gravity) as well as in the 2012 film Argo.[3] It was covered in 2010 by Pat Monahan on Santana's album Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time. In 2015, the song was covered and performed by Vocal Adrenaline, on the premiere episode, "Loser Like Me", of the sixth season of Glee. It also appears in the Van Halen tribute album - Strummin' with the Devil: The Southern Side of Van Halen - performed by Mountain Heart.

Live performancesEdit

The song was not performed live during the Sammy Hagar era, but did get played during the Van Halen III Tour in 1998. It has been played live on every tour since the 2007 reunion with Roth, and a live version is included on the album Tokyo Dome Live in Concert.

Track listingEdit

7" single
Side A
No.TitleLength
1."Dance the Night Away"3:04
Side B
No.TitleLength
1."Outta Love Again"2:51
Japanese single
Side A
No.TitleLength
1."Dance the Night Away"3:04
Side B
No.TitleLength
1."Spanish Fly" (instrumental)0:59
Mono and stereo single
Side A
No.TitleLength
1."Dance the Night Away" (Mono)3:07
Side B
No.TitleLength
1."Dance the Night Away" (Stereo)3:07

ChartsEdit

Year-end chart (1979) Rank
US Top Pop Singles (Billboard)[4] 95

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Tucker, Dan (February 28, 2014). "13 Classic Hard Rock Songs That Will Make You Scream "More Cowbell!"". VH1. Viacom. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  2. ^ ClassicVanHalen.com - Van Halen II
  3. ^ Argo (2012) - Soundtrack.net
  4. ^ "1979 Talent in Action – Year End Charts : Pop Singles". Billboard. 91 (51): TIA-10. December 22, 1979.

External linksEdit