|Released February 23, 1985|
|Format 7", 12"|
Genre Funk, soul
"Rhythm of the Night" is a single by DeBarge, released on February 23, 1985. Written by Diane Warren. It was a single from their fourth studio album, Rhythm of the Night on the Motown label. The song is said to have jump-started the career of songwriter Diane Warren, and was the biggest hit recorded by the Motown family singing group.
By 1985, DeBarge had become pop/R&B sensations with mostly ballads making the repertoire of their hit catalog though they were as impressive as live performers with their mixture of their trademark soft ballads and a collection of dance material. Motown Records sought to produce DeBarge with a dance single to give them a bigger crossover success that mirrored that of label-mate Lionel Richie, who like DeBarge, had created his initial fan base on soft songs before the release of "All Night Long", which included a catchy dance beat influenced by calypso. A similar influence would come in the production of "Rhythm of the Night" which featured more of El DeBarge's deep tenor with flashes of his trademark falsetto. Richard Perry, the hit producer behind hit recordings for The Pointer Sisters and other artists, was appointed to produce the single with Diane Warren as its writer.
The release of "Rhythm of the Night" coincided with the release of the Motown film The Last Dragon, which featured the song as part of its soundtrack. The free publicity from the song on its soundtrack and in the movie itself helped boost its popularity. Eventually released as a single, the song produced DeBarge's biggest success yet with the single reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100, number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart,. number one on the US adult contemporary chart, and number four in the UK singles chart - their only major hit single in the UK - going gold and boosting similar success for its parent album of the same name. The group's music video of the song gained the group heavy rotation on MTV and BET and was actually the group's first and last real music video starting a brief period where DeBarge became pop superstars.