#142: Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me) by Rod Stewart
Peak Month: December 1982
15 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN
Peak Position ~ #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #20
YouTube: “Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)”
Lyrics: “Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)”
Roderick David Stewart was born in London, England, in 1945. In 1956 he got introduced to rock ‘n roll when he saw Bill Haley and His Comets in concert, and heard Little Richard’s “The Girl Can’t Help It”. He was given a guitar by his dad in 1959, and he learned to play the Kingston Trio’s “A Worried Man”. He quit school at age 15 and worked as a newspaper boy. He auditioned with Joe Meek in 1961, but didn’t get a record deal. By 1963 he was part of an R&B band called The Dimensions. In 1965 he teamed up with Long John Baldry, Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger to form a blues band called Steampacket. This lasted another year. Eventually, Stewart became part of the Jeff Beck Group in 1967. When that band broke up in the fall of ’68, Rod Stewart got invited to join the reformed Small Faces, who were now just called Faces.
The Faces played a rowdy, brawling brand of rock that could make a large arena seem like a corner bar. Rod Stewart’s raspy, soulful vocals and the musicianship of other Faces bandmates made the group a rival live act to the Rolling Stones. Their onstage performances paved the way for punk bands like the Sex Pistols. They also were influences for roots bands decades later like the Georgia Satellites and the Black Crowes.
The Faces made four studio albums with A Nod Is as Good as a Wink…To a Blind Horse in 1971 their biggest seller. Their first hit single, “Stay With Me”, went to #6 in the UK, #17 in the USA and #1 in Vancouver.
Meanwhile, Stewart also embarked on a parallel solo career. In 1970 he released Every Picture Tells A Story. The album was released with the double-sided hit number one hit “Maggie May” and “Reason To Believe”. The followup single from the album was a cover of a Temptations hit from the mid-sixties titled “(I Know) I’m Losing You“.
In the fall of 1972 Stewart’s single from Never A Dull Moment, “You Wear It Well”, peaked at #8 in Vancouver (BC) and #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also became his second chart topping single in the UK. Between 1973 and 1975 Stewart charted four singles into the Top Ten on the UK charts: “Oh! No Not My Baby”, the medley “Farewell/Bring It On Home To Me/You Send Me”, a cover of the Isley Brothers “This Old Heart Of Mine”; And a number one hit in England titled “Sailing”, later covered by Joan Baez on her Blowin’ Away album in 1977.
But Stewart waited for four years to return to the Top Ten in most North American radio markets in 1976 with “Tonight’s The Night”, from his A Night On The Town album. He was a common Top Ten feature in Vancouver (BC). In 1977-78 Rod Stewart had more Top 30 hits starting with “You’re In My Heart”, “Hot Legs”, and “I Was Only Joking“.
Stewart continued to have chart successes in the late 70s, and into the early 80s with “Do You Think I’m Sexy?”, “Ain’t Love A Bitch”, “Passion”, “Young Turks” and “Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)”. The latter hit was the title track from the album Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me). Internationally, the title track was the debut single from the album. But in North America, “Young Turks” was the debut single and the title track was the followup release.
“Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)” was cowritten by Rod Stewart, James Cregan and Kevin Saviger. James Cregan was born in Somerset, England, in 1946. He was in the psychedelic rock band Blossom Toes in 1967-68, who had a hit single with the Bob Dylan-penned “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”. In 1969 he was a session musician for the Julie Driscoll album 1969. In 1972 he was part of an opening act headlined by Elton John. In the mid-70s, Cregan was in Cockney Rebel. The band had a #1 hit in the UK in 1975 with “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)”. Cregan joined Rod Stewart’s band in 1976 and also co-wrote “Passion” and “Forever Young”. In the mid-90s, Cregan teamed up with Bernie Taupin to form Farm Dogs. In 2019 Cregan released his autobiography “…And on Guitar” for which Stewart wrote the forward.
Kevin Savigar was born in London in 1956. He began to play piano at age five. He joined Rod Stewart’s band in 1978. He has co-written “Passion”, “Young Turks”, and others. Savigar has been awarded 16 RIAA awards, 10 Brit awards, and 6 ASCAP awards.
“Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)” is a song about two people who hook up for a night of passion. The guy observes the woman he’s been eyeing looks like she’s “been bored for a long, long, time.” He doesn’t care if he ever sees her again. But, for just one night he wants to “make love for 24 hours or more.” He candidly admits “I’m only looking for a fantasy. an interlude from reality…. I don’t want…to marry you or remember you.” With this pitch, she goes for the offer, as he says he’ll make love “like a hurricane.”
“Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)” peaked at #1 in Vancouver, #2 in Toronto, San Diego, and Halifax (NS), #3 in Milwaukee (WI), #4 in Winnipeg (MB), Edmonton (AB), Montreal, Burbank (CA), and Providence (RI), #5 in Buffalo, and Tacoma (WA), #6 in Pittsburgh, and San Bernardino (CA), #7 in Cleveland, Presque Isle (ME), and Baltimore, #8 in Los Angeles, Seattle, San Jose (CA), and Minneapolis/St. Paul, #9 in Kitchener (ON), and Philadelphia, and #10 in Odessa (TX).
Internationally, the single peaked at #2 in Canada, #4 in Norway, #5 in Belgium, #6 in Australia, #8 in Ireland and the UK, #9 in Switzerland and #10 in Sweden.
Through the 1980s, Rod Stewart had many international Top Ten hits, including “Baby Jane”, “Infatuation”, “Some Guys Have All The Luck”, “Love Touch”, “Forever Young”, “My Heart Can’t Tell You No”, “Crazy About Her”, “This Old Heart Of Mine”, “Downtown Train”, “Broken Arrow”, “Rhythm Of My Heart” and “The Motown Song”.
In 1993 Stewart recorded a song with Sting and Bryan Adams titled “All For Love”, which climbed to #1 in many countries. Since 1977 Rod Stewart has mounted over thirty tours. He has sold over 200 million records. He has been nominated fifteen times for a Grammy Award, and won once in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Stardust: The Great American Song Book Volume III, in 2004. He has also been nominated seven times for a Juno Award in Canada. He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
On October 1, 1977, April 14th and 15th, 1979, December 7, 1981, July 11 and 12, 1984, August 20, 1988, and December 11, 1993, Rod Stewart appeared in concert each time at the Pacific Coliseum. Amongst these concerts, On July 16, 1989, and December 9, 1991, Stewart performed at BC Place Stadium.
Rod Stewart performed in concert in Vancouver each time at General Motors Place on the following dates: April 15, 1996, September 11, 1998, May 4, 1999, June 1, 2001, March 17, 2004, March 10, 2007, and August 8, 2009. Subsequently, at Rogers Arena, Rod Stewart appeared in Vancouver on April 22, 2011; August 2, 2014, and later on April 10, 2018.
John Walsh, “The Saturday Profile: Rod Stewart, Rock Star: Do ya Still think I’m Sexy?,” Independent, UK, December 5, 1998.
“Stewart Goes Beneath the Covers,” BBC, December 23, 2006.
Matthew Taylor, “Five decades of rocking and 62 hits earn Rod CBE,” Guardian, December 30, 2006.
Proverbs 26: 18-19, Hebrew Bible
Mikhail Lyubansky Ph.D., “Robin Williams and the Mask of Humor: Like many, the Star Sometimes used his Comedic Gifts as a Shield,” Psychology Today, August 11, 2014.
William Stafford, “A Ritual To Read To One Another“, sacompassion.net.
“CFUN Top Thirty,” CFUN 1410 AM, Vancouver, BC, March 13, 1982.
For more song reviews visit the Countdown.