Rock n’ Roll Nights

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Released March 1979
Recorded 1978-1979, Mushroom Studios, Vancouver, Canada
Genre Rock, soft rock
Length 36:50
Label Mercury
Producer BTO, Jim Vallance

Rock n’ Roll Nights is the eighth studio album by Canadian rock band BTO, released in 1979. This album was one of three BTO albums that did not feature co-founder Randy Bachman. Rock n’ Roll Nights is also one of the two albums from this band to feature Jim Clench, formerly of April Wine. This album generated sales of only about 350,000 copies, though a single from the album called “Heartaches” managed to reach #60 on the U.S. charts and cracked the Top 40 in Canada. Rock n’ Roll Nights is a rare find on CD, as it was released only for a short time on that format in 1990.

The band used multiple outside songwriters on Rock n’ Roll Nights, including Jim Vallance of Prism and Bryan Adams (who penned the song, “Wastin’ Time”). C.F. Turner and Jim Clench would later appear as session musicians for Adams’ debut album in 1980, where Adams recorded his own version of “Wastin’ Time”.

The band played two songs — “Heartaches”, the last BTO single to chart, and “Jamaica”—live on American Bandstand in February 1979 to support the Rock n’ Roll Nights album release. Producer Vallance played the piano for the TV taping of “Heartaches”. During an interview segment on the show, Dick Clark mentions to the band that he is concerned about the increasing and dominating popularity of disco music at the time. Many consider disco and the decline of guitar-based hard rock in the late 1970s to be among the reasons that both Street Action and Rock n’ Roll Nights sold so poorly.

The song “Rock and Roll Hell” would later be re-recorded, written with a new verse, by KISS in 1982, for the album Creatures of the Night.

The song “Jamaica” would later be re-recorded, with new words, as “Kristina” by Rick Springfield on his 1982 album Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet.