|B-side "Teenage Jail"|
Format 7-inch single
|Released September 18, 1979|
"Heartache Tonight" is a song written by Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Bob Seger and J. D. Souther, and recorded by the Eagles. The track was included on their album The Long Run and released as a single in 1979. It reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in November of that year. Although it remained in the top position for only one week, the single sold 1 million copies. It was the Eagles' final chart-topping song on the Hot 100.
The recording also received a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The song originated from an electric jam session between Glenn Frey and J. D. Souther who would visit Frey's home in Los Angeles whenever he was in town on tour. Frey and Souther wrote the first verse while listening to Sam Cooke songs. In the heat of jamming, Frey called Seger on the phone and sang him the verse. Seger then blurted out the chorus. According to Frey, "J.D. [Souther], Don and I finished that song up. No heavy lyrics-the song is more of a romp-and that's what it was intended to be." The song was covered by country music singer John Anderson on the tribute album Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles and was also covered by Michael Bublé on his album Crazy Love.
Haim "The Wire"
The Haim sisters use the riff from "Heartache Tonight" at the beginning of their hit "The Wire" from 2013.
Conway Twitty version
"Heartache Tonight" was revived four years later in a cover version by country music artist Conway Twitty. Released as the second single from his Lost in the Feeling album, Twitty's version reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in the fall of 1983.
Twitty's version featured the Osmond Brothers on backing vocals. Allmusic reviewer Thom Jurek wrote that "Heartache Tonight" and its follow-up single, "Three Times a Lady," "offer(ed) a solid view of Twitty's amazing crossover potential, and his ability to take well-known pop tracks and turn them into solid country smashes long after the countrypolitan days of Chet Atkins and RCA." (In addition to "Three Times a Lady" (a cover of a song by The Commodores), Twitty had successfully covered "Slow Hand" and "The Rose," previously pop hits for the Pointer Sisters and Bette Midler, respectively.)