October 26, 1993: Another band scores big with the tune Stateside as 10,000 Maniacs perform a version on MTV Unplugged and get a hit out of it. Their arrangement mostly takes its cues from Smith, but with a few Springsteen-isms thrown in.
January 6, 1996: On their Blood Music EP, English trip-hop band Earthling lend “Because the Night” a vibe it hadn’t had before and hasn’t attained since.
November 21, 1996: Speaking of vibes, Japanese singer-songwriter Ua releases “Because the Night” on her single “Kumo ga Chigireru Toki,” giving the world the most chill version of the song yet.
September 11, 1998: In a bit of a departure from “Kids in America,” Kim Wilde performs “Because the Night” with Germany’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for the album Philharmania, which added orchestral backing to rock and roll classics. Kim stays pretty close to the Smith version here, but you can’t mistake her voice.
September 25, 2000: Another strange entry from Japan, singer and actress Jun Togawa releases a noisy take on the track on her album 20th.
May 13, 2002: German DJ Jan Wayne shares her own club rendition of “Because the Night” with European audiences, complete with mega-sexy video. Worldwide, this is one of the most popular takes on the song, but it’s certainly not the last dance version to make a big impact.
September 9, 2005: Irish singer Hazel Kaneswaran’s poppy cover of “Because the Night” isn’t too noteworthy, except that she seems to be the only artist to use Springsteen’s altered Live/1975-85 lyrics in her version. “I work all day out in the hot sun / stay with me until the morning comes.” Full audio’s unavailable, but check the sample here.
September 20, 2005: Electronic group Alphabet Girls manages to create a synthy “Because the Night” that won’t drive you mad with techno beats. Cool!
July 25, 2006: A few college a cappella groups have taken a crack at “Because the Night.” Generally they seem to being paying tribute to the 10,000 Maniacs version, which makes sense given that most contemporary college students would’ve been inundated with that song in the ’90s. Here’s the first vocal recording of the tune, courtesy of James Madison University’s Note-oriety.
October 30, 2006: This is totally badass. Electric violinist Ed Alleyne-Johnson records an instrumental version of “Because the Night” and mashes it up with Derek and the Dominoes’ “Layla.” You’ve gotta hear this.
For more, including the first cover ever posted to YouTube, continue to Page 4.
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