#891: I Need Somebody Tonight by Fosterchild

Peak Month: December 1978
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart

James Edwin Foster was born in Victoria, Canada, in 1950. His family moved to Edmonton and then Calgary. There he met Vern Willis around 1970 and they played in a few bands and learned the ropes of performing in concert. Willis moved on to New York City while Jim Foster formed a quartet named Fosterchild where they were a regular band at Calgary’s the Scotch and Sirloin. The band went to Edmonton and recorded a demo of a song  Jim Foster wrote called “Let Me Down Easy.” On the strength of that demo the band got a record deal with CBS Records. However, CBS was unimpressed with the other three musicians in Fosterchild and got session musicians to work on the single release. Consequently, Jim Foster had a new record out to the general public but no intact Fosterchild band. It was 1976 and Vern Wills had come back to Calgary since his US visa had expired. Jim Foster recalls, “So I called Vern who was living in Edmonton. He said he’d just heard me on the radio. I said ” You wanna join forces?” and that was it. He’d always been one of my faves. Then we had to find more players and get an album together.”

They got a band together adding guitarist Gordon Marr, bass player Barry Boothman, keyboard player Peter Sweetzir and Gerry Wand on drums. Their debut album, Fosterchild, was released in 1977.

The first single was “Let Me Down Easy” which was a local Top 20 hit in Vancouver in October 1976, peaking at #18. A second single from the album, “Until We Meet Again,” made the bottom of the Canadian RPM singles chart in the fall of 1977.  A third single from the debut album “I Need Somebody Tonight,” was written by Jim Foster and climbed to #15 in Vancouver.

I Need Somebody Tonight by Fosterchild

I need somebody tonight,
it’s not the season to be alone.
You haven’t answered the telephone,

I need somebody tonight.
A small invasion of privacy.
Another shot at eternity.
Another reason to stand and fight.

So if you see me this evening by your window,
open the door, make love and let the time go.
If we believe in each other for just one more moment of glory.

I need somebody tonight,
I keep losing my summer tan,
I get lost and I’m just nowhere,
I need somebody tonight.

I need your loving for just awhile,
then I can tackle another mile,
come on and turn on your light.

So if you see me this evening by your window,
you won’t ignore me and know what I’m there for.
If we believe in each other for just one more moment of glory.
I need somebody tonight.

I need somebody tonight,
it’s not the season to be alone.
Tell me, why don’t you answer your telephone?
Why don’t you turn on your light?

I need somebody tonight.
I need somebody tonight.

“I Need Somebody Tonight” concerns an urge to not be alone. The guy wants they to enjoy a “small invasion of privacy” and “another moment of glory” with somebody. It appears there is someone in particular the singer is in touch with who isn’t answering their telephone or turning on their light. He’s been coming by her window to see if she’s up for making love again. He isn’t expecting a big commitment, as he casually mentions “I need your loving for just awhile.” However, the unanswered telephone may be meant to be a message he isn’t getting. And maybe she is out doing something with somebody else and not waiting to see this guy passing by her window again. So perhaps he’ll have to find somebody elsewhere. Back in 1978 this wouldn’t be through social media, but to hook up with someone at a club or a bar.

A followup album, Troubled Child, was full of laid back country-pop music. However, the singles from the album failed to build on the bands’ initial notice. Though the band added Doug Johnson on keyboards at this time, a Canadian tour was cut short and they lost their contract with CBS was not renewed. Johnson left the band and joined the newly forming Loverboy.

Fosterchild recorded another album in 1980, On The Prowl, which trended more toward pop than country. A tour to support the album followed. However, again there were screw-ups with a new record label and the tour ended prematurely. Fosterchild officially broke up in 1981. Jim Foster ended up writing a number of songs for Doug & The Slugs, Loverboy and other bands.

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