Luther Vandross “Nights In Harlem,” 1998, With Silvia’s, The Apollo, Stoops And More (Video)

October 20, 2023

Nights in Harlem” is a song by the legendary recording artist Luther Vandross.

It was photographed throughout Harlem in some of the most beautiful parks from Lenox Lounge to The Apollo Theater.

“Nights in Harlem” is a song by American recording artist Luther Vandross, released July 14, 1998. It was written by Vandross along with Fonzi Thornton and Rex Rideout for his eleventh studio album I Know (1998). The uptempo song served as the album’s lead single. Following its release, it peaked number 4 on Billboards Adult R&B Songs.

A “Darkchild remix” version appears as the final track on I Know; it features uncredited background vocals by Brandy and is remixed by her frequent collaborator, Rodney Jerkins.


Following its release, it peaked to number 4 on Billboard’s Adult R&B Songs.

The lyrics

There’s a party in Harlem, come on

I like to reminisce about that night we kissed
It was somewhere one night in Harlem
The nights were hot and bright
You could treat your honey right
?Cause Sylvia’s would burn all night

The people there were really something
(You know that’s right)
The music always kept us jumping
And it used to knock me down
When Smokey came to town
(And the miracles, please)
My favorite song was “Tears Of A Clown“, oh yeah

There ain’t nothing like them nights in Harlem
They really shake the funk up there
Tonight I’m gonna stomp in Harlem
And I’m gonna take my baby back
To the heart of Harlem

Big sister had a group
And they’d sit out on the stoop
And Lordy could they harmonize (Oh yeah)
My cousin Joe could blow
Just like the radio
And he used to drove them “B” girls wild

But when grandma started happy dancing
(Oh, she gon’ break somethin’)
She really turned the mother out
I like the way they do it up in Harlem
When there’s a party up in Harlem
That’s what it’s all about

Ain’t nothing like them nights in Harlem
They never fake the funk up there
I met my Cherie Amour in Harlem

And tonight I’m gonna take her back to the ‘pollo
There’s a party in Harlem
They say that all the stars will be there
Everyone is going to Harlem
Harlem is a party and everybody’s going there

Follow me visually, ?cause I usually be all around
Originally everybody headed uptown
Finessing the fly way you ?cruisin in your car
On the West Side to the highway, East Side D-R
And yes, we are about to set it
Forget it, I thought you knew
The Apollo is where I had to go with my crew
From BMW’s to my daddy’s Cadillac
He had the sunroof top wit the diamond in the back
Check the ambiance, the place a renaissance
Who frontin’ nonchalant up in the restaurant
What you really really want, we grabbin’ by the clutch
Precise can flaunt with this and never too much
It’s such a love flow, high but natural
The thug’s a no-show, and drugs a no-no
The only thing that they was shootin’ was pool
While Harlem nights was right, the party was cool

Nothing like them nights in Harlem
They really shake the funk up there
Tonight I’m gonna stomp in Harlem
I’m gonna take my baby back to the heart of Harlem

Nights in Harlem
They never fake the funk up there
I met my Cherie Amour in Harlem
Back to the Harlem Apollo

Nights in Harlem
They don’t let you fake the funk up there
Tonight I’m gonna stomp in Harlem
I’m gonna take my honey
Back to the Harlem Apollo

Nights in Harlem
They really shake the funk up there
Tonight I’m gonna stomp in Harlem
I’m gonna take my baby
Back to the Harlem Apollo

The Video


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The video was shot throughout different parts of Harlem, check out the video below:

Critical reception

Larry Flick of Billboard wrote, “Vandross christens his new alliance with Virgin with a lively jam that firmly reminds programmers how cool soul music is really made. Seamlessly produced by the artist, “Nights In Harlem” chugs with an old-school, funk-juiced flavor that takes the listener back to the days when music was made, not sampled. A rap cameo by Precise keeps “Nights In Harlem” on a jeep-smart path, though this track hardly needs it. The combo platter of blissfully nostalgic lyrics and a top-form performance from Vandross is enough to render this an instant R&B radio smash. Popsters should pay close attention, too. After all, no one can live solely on kiddie pop.”

Photo credit: 1) “12 Luthers, 2023,” HWM Studio. 2) Youtube. Songwriters: Rex K. Rideout / Writer Unknown. Nights in Harlem lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management, Missing Link Music.

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