I've been on a Natalie Merchant kick for the last couple of days.
Just because, well, because she's freakin' awesome, that's why.
Because the Night was, of course, made famous by another one of my favorite singers, Patti Smith. The song was written by Smith and Bruce Springsteen and originally recorded by The Boss for his Darkness on the Edge of Town album - but it didn't quite mesh with the rest of the album, so Springsteen gave it to Smith who was recording next door in the same studio. Smith rearranged the song and released it on her album Easter in 1978. It made #13 on the Billboard charts. Springsteen used to perform the song using Smith's arrangement at his live concerts but never released it on an album - which is a shame because it was damned good.
I like Patti Smith's version, but this arrangement by Natalie Merchant and performed by 10,000 Maniacs is the best yet. I love Merchant's voice, she's an incredibly powerful talent. And I love the strings in this version of the song.
And just for comparison's sake, here's the acoustic version by Patti Smith: