These songs worked in dark clubs, on top 40 radio and on myriad Jock Jams compilations. If you were sentient in the early '90s, they are permanently embedded into your hippocampus as the era's premiere pump-up tracks.
So it also goes with "Another Night" the 1994 glowstick of a hit by Real McCoy, a Eurodance act out of the Berlin suburb of Spandau, Germany. The song, like much of the group's material, was written and produced by Juergen Wind and Frank Hassas, and performed by an assemblage of vocalists, originally called M.C. Sar & The Real McCoy.
Released in the U.S. in the summer of 1994, the success of "Another Night" was largely a function of music industry sage Clive Davis, who saw how well the song had fared on the Canadian charts, and thus signed Real McCoy in the States -- hoping to replicate the success his label, Arista, had enjoyed with the Swedish trio Ace of Base. But first there was some reconfiguring to do.
"Another Night" had some minor success throughout Europe upon its initial release in 1993, with its semi-foreboding "I talk talk, I talk to you" rap verses, written and performed by German rapper Olaf Jeglitza, who performed as O-Jay. (Such rapping was a key characteristic of Eurodance.) Vocals were sung by studio artist Karin Kasar and lip-synced for performances and the song's music video by Real McCoy member Patricia Peterson.
But when "Another Night" hit in the U.S., reaching No. 1 on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart in the issue dated Oct. 1, 1994, the group had been adjusted to feature Jeglitza, Petersen and American-German singer Vanessa Mason. They were no longer M.C. Sar & The Real McCoy, but simply, Real McCoy. Released in Europe as Space Invaders, the group's debut album was renamed Another Night for its U.S. release, with a few songs dropped and several -- including a cover of the 1973 Redbone hit "Come and Get Your Love" -- added for American audiences.
These adjustments worked. While the album delivered subsequent hits with "Runaway" and "Automatic Lover (Call for Love)," "Another Night" became the group's defining anthem and biggest success, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and ultimately spending 45 weeks on the chart.
Built out of urgent piano stabs, laser synths, kick drum and a truly delectable melody -- layered underneath lyrics about meeting the man of your dreams in your actual dreams -- the song was pure ear candy. Jeglitza's lower-octave rap verses added a masculine feel to the ebullient chorus, altogether disguising pure club fare as a mainstream hit to be sung in the backseats of minivans by Midwestern children on their way to basketball practice.
Or, as Billboard's dance music critic Larry Flick wrote in 1994: "The track is a slick blend of frenetic beats, glossy synths and a lively exchange of male/female vocals." Flick went on to call the track "blindingly bright and chipper" while praising various remixes by artists -- including then-up-and-coming New York house music phenom Armand Van Helden.
While Real McCoy followed Another Night with their 1997 album One More Time, they weren't able to match the moxie or momentum of their first batch of hits, and the group dissolved by the late '90s, with Jeglitza and original studio vocalist Kasar reuniting in 2016 to perform on the '90s festival circuit.
Still, 26 years after their greatest success, the Real McCoy's biggest hit -- a shining star of the Eurodance genre -- can still get all of us who dream of love so true singing along with incredible accuracy.