Eddie Money vs Every Avenue
By Sam Devotta |
August 9, 2017 at 1:00 PM
“Take Me Home Tonight” Writers: Mike Leeson, Peter Vale, Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, Phil Spector Original Release Date: August 16, 1986
You may not recognize the name “Eddie Money”, but you’ll be able to sing along to one of his biggest hits:
It’s no surprise that “Take Me Home Tonight” was produced in the eighties: One listen to that synth-filled intro, and you know what era Eddie Money was living in. But the eighties weren’t the only decade to have a big influence on the song—part of the chorus blends in a snippet from The Ronettes’ 1963 hit “Be My Baby”. In fact, Eddie Money talked Ronnie Spector (of The Ronettes) out of retirement long enough to feature on his song, and her popularity resurged as a result. Similarly, “Take Me Home Tonight” was a comeback song for Money who, after a string of hits in the seventies, went on a mini hiatus in 1983. As far as comebacks go, he couldn’t have picked a better song to re-enter the spotlight: It immediately catches our attention with those keys and Money’s plaintive vocals, and Ronnie Spector’s call-and-answer cameo makes it truly memorable.
To be honest, my very favorite version of this song is actually called “Stake Me Out Tonight”, as sung by Charles Boyle to Jake Peralta in season two of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Before that episode though, the best cover belonged to Every Avenue (speaking of going on hiatus…whatever happened to them?) who released it on Punk Goes Classic Rock in 2010. In their case, Ronnie Spector’s part was given to Juliet Simms, who provides some great background vocals throughout the song. Every Avenue rearranges the track a little, starting with the chorus and replacing Money’s original synth-y intro, before wrapping back around to the first verse. They modernize the song as well, playing up the percussion, while still keeping the eighties flavor with their electric guitars.
Eddie Money’s version is, of course, a classic, and it’s a delight to hear Ronnie Spector, even if it’s only a couple of lines…but I’ve been missing Every Avenue lately, so their cover is the one I’ve had on repeat.