Wilson Pickett – In The Midnight Hour

Wilson Pickett - In The Midnight Hour

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Wilson Pickett - In The Midnight Hour


"In the Midnight Hour" is a song originally performed by Wilson Pickett in 1965 and released on his 1965 album of the same name, also appearing on the 1966 album The Exciting Wilson Pickett.

The song was composed by Pickett and Steve Cropper at the historic Lorraine Motel in Memphis where Martin Luther King, Jr. would later be assassinated in April 1968. Pickett's first hit on Atlantic Records, it reached number one on the R&B charts and peaked at number 21 on the pop charts.

In 2017, the song was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or artistically significant."

Wilson Pickett recorded it at Stax Studios, Memphis, May 12, 1965.

Composition and recording

The song's co-writer Steve Cropper recalls: "[Atlantic Records president]  Jerry Wexler said he was going to bring down this great singer Wilson Pickett" to record at Stax Studio where Cropper was a session guitarist "and I didn’t know what groups he'd been in or whatever. But I used to work in [a] record shop, and I found some gospel songs that Wilson Pickett had sung on. On a couple [at] the end, he goes: 'I'll see my Jesus in the midnight hour! Oh, in the midnight hour. I'll see my Jesus in the midnight hour.'" and Cropper got the idea of using the phrase "in the midnight hour" as the basis for an R&B song.

More likely, Cropper was remembering the Falcon's 1962 song "I Found a Love," on which Pickett sings lead and says "And sometimes I call in the midnight hour!" The only gospel record Pickett had appeared on before this was the Violinaires' "Sign of the Judgement," which includes no such phrase.

Besides Cropper the band featured Stax session regulars Al Jackson (drums) and Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass).

According to Cropper, "Wexler was responsible for the track's innovative delayed backbeat", as Cropper revamped his planned groove for the song based on a dance step which Wexler demonstrated in the studio - "(quote Cropper) this was the way the kids were dancing; they were putting the accent on two. Basically, we'd been one-beat-accenters with an afterbeat; it was like 'boom dah,' but here was a thing that went 'um-chaw,' just the reverse as far as the accent goes."

Charts and recognition

It reached number one on the R&B chart in Billboard magazine dated August 7, 1965 and crossed over to the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 reaching number 21: however according to Stax owner Jim Stewart the domestic sales total of the single in its original release was a moderate 300,000 units.

However it has become an iconic R&B track, placing at number 134 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time, Wilson Pickett's first of two entries on the list (the other being "Mustang Sally" at number 434). It is also one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, Pickett's only such entry.

The song is currently ranked as the 175th greatest song of all time, as well as the eleventh best song of 1965, by Acclaimed Music. Pickett re-recorded the song for his 1987 album American Soul Man.

The English rock band Roxy Music remade the song for their 1980 Flesh and Blood album with the track issued as a single in USA where it bubbled under the Billboard Hot 100 reaching #106: the track was also issued as a single in Portugal.


In the Midnight Hour è il secondo album di Wilson Pickett, pubblicato dalla Atlantic Records nell'ottobre del 1965.


Wilson Pickett (Prattville18 marzo 1941 – Reston19 gennaio 2006) è stato un cantante statunitense di R&B e musica soul. È conosciuto per le sue interpretazioni potenti, grintose e cariche di pathos, che hanno fatto di lui uno dei principali esponenti della soul music.

Fu citato come esempio da imitare dal cantante italo-francese Nino Ferrer nel brano La pelle nera.

Pickett - che ha avuto anche una (peraltro breve) carriera italiana - partecipò per due volte al Festival di Sanremo: nel 1968 cantando Deborah in coppia con Fausto Leali, e l'anno successivo con il brano Un'avventura, con l'allora relativamente poco conosciuto Lucio Battisti.

Tra le sue interpretazioni di maggior successo si ricordano In the Midnight HourLand of 1,000 DancesMustang SallyHey Joe e Funky Broadway.

La rivista Rolling Stone lo inserisce al sessantottesimo posto nella sua lista dei 100 migliori cantanti.



I'm gonna wait 'till the midnight hour
That's when my love come tumbling down
I'm gonna wait 'till the midnight hour
When there' no one else around
I'm gonna take you, girl, and hold you
And do all things I told you, in the midnight hour

Yes I am, oh yes I am
One thing I just wanna say, right here

I'm gonna wait till the stars come out
And see that twinkle in your eyes
I'm gonna wait 'till the midnight hour
That's when my love begins to shine

You're the only girl I know
Can really love me so, in the midnight hour

Oh yeah, in the midnight hour
Yeah, all right, play it for me one time, now

I'm gonna wait 'till the midnight hour
That's when my love come tumbling down
I'm gonna wait, way in the midnight hour
That's when my love begin to shine, just you and I
Oh, baby, just you and I
Nobody around, baby, just you and I
Oh, right, you know what?
I'm gonna hold you in my arms, just you and I
Oh yeah, in the midnight hour
Oh, baby, in the midnight hour


Aspetterò fino all'ora di mezzanotte
È allora che il mio amore crolla
Aspetterò fino all'ora di mezzanotte
Quando non c'è nessun altro in giro
Ti prenderò, ragazza, e ti terrò
E fai tutto ciò che ti ho detto, a mezzanotte

Sì lo sono, oh sì lo sono
Una cosa che voglio solo dire, proprio qui

Aspetterò che le stelle vengano fuori
E vedi quel luccichio nei tuoi occhi
Aspetterò fino all'ora di mezzanotte
È allora che il mio amore inizia a brillare

Sei l'unica ragazza che conosco
Può davvero amarmi così, nell'ora di mezzanotte

Oh sì, a mezzanotte
Sì, va bene, suonalo per me una volta, ora

Aspetterò fino all'ora di mezzanotte
È allora che il mio amore crolla
Aspetterò, a mezzanotte
È allora che il mio amore inizia a brillare, solo io e te
Oh, piccola, solo io e te
Nessuno in giro, piccola, solo io e te
Oh, giusto, sai una cosa?
Ti terrò tra le mie braccia, solo io e te
Oh sì, a mezzanotte
Oh, piccola, a mezzanotte

Feat. Bruce Springsteen



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