Hot Nights & City Lights is without a doubt the single most requested K-Tel album (thus far) from the Kollection. In addition to a couple of comments posted here on the Kollection itself, HERC has received more than a dozen (but less than fourteen) emails from people 1) wanting to know when the album was going to be featured or 2) wanting to know how much their still-sealed with price sticker album was worth. HERC will attempt to answer both questions with today's post. First, the 1979 album will be featured today on The K-Tel Kollection as the first album of 2015. (Fortunately for all of us, this great collection of disco music can easily be heard HERE in a raw vinyl rip courtesy of Brandon Hixson.) 

Though it's labeled as "Non-stop", the tracks do not overlap and are not mixed in key or by BPM - there is merely an eensy-weensy teeny-tiny gap between each track. HERC doesn't expect Hot Nights & City Lights will do too well on the K-Tel Scale given its emphasis on Pop Top 40 but he is curious how the songs did on the R&B and Disco charts. As for what the album may be worth, the Discogs Marketplace says the median price for copies of the album sold there is $1.25 with the highest priced one, in near mint plus condition, fetching a two dollar premium. Over on eBay, the Buy It Now asking prices are much higher, averaging more than $10 and as HERC types this there are no copies up for auction which would more accurately reflect what buyers are willing to pay. So to answer the value question, Hot Nights & City Lights is apparently worth more to the sellers than potential buyers. Now let's run this baby through the K-Tel Scale.

Hot Nights & City Lights [1979]
K-tel Scale:
Billboard Top 40s
We Are FamilySister Sledge2113025
Ring My BellAnita Ward11111
In The NavyVillage People33014310
ChainsBionic Boogie8
Haven't Stopped Dancing YetGonzalez267
Knock On WoodAmii Stewart16511
Boogie Woogie Dancin' ShoesClaudja Barry377
I Will SurviveGloria Gaynor141911
Heart Of GlassBlondie112
Love And DesireArpeggio4
At MidnightT-Connection323
I Got My Mnd Made UpInstant Funk20112226
I Don't Know If It's RightEvelyn "Champagne" King237251723
Shake Your BodyThe Jacksons732054

Four #1 Pop hits are offset by four songs that failed to make the Top 40 at all. Ten of fourteen made the R&B chart with three going to the top and all but one song made the Top 40 on the Disco chart, with Blondie stalling at #56. Surprisingly, two of the songs crossed over to the Adult Contemporary charts. HERC says the 24.75 score is also a surprise. As an experiment, HERC swapped the roles and the weighted effect that the Pop Top 40 and the Disco Top 40 have on the K-Tel Scale, which yielded a 33.29 score for Hot Nights & City Lights. Collectors note that the album was also released on cassette and 8-track tape, which can be found in both white and black plastic casings. While the cassette contains the same play order as the vinyl album <see first comment below>, the 8-track's playlist was slightly rearranged to accommodate the limitations of the format, as seen below. I was also informed by an anonymous viewer that the 8-track contains some full-length or even longer twelve-inch versions of some tracks.
Hot Nights & City Lights was also released in Australia as Hot Nights City Lights with wildly different artwork (below) and eighteen tracks, only three of which appeared on its American counterpart. One of the weirdest things about the cut and pasted cover is the way the pictures of the Felipe the Indian and Glenn the Leatherman of the Village People line up with Amii Stewart's huge headgear. HERC also gets a giggle from the titles to the Mental As Anything and Dave & the Derros tracks. As well as Jimmy's Review of the album.
The album was also released in Canada with similar cover art to the American version but as a double album with a whopping 24 tracks. HERC was unable to verify if the album was also released as two, single record sets which is usually what K-Tel did with double albums in the States but he did confirm that Hot Nights & City Lights was released on two 8-track tapes in the Great White North. The album features an amazing 21 songs not featured on the US edition including HERC favorites like Dan Hartman's "Instant Replay", Bonnie Pointer's disco-fied version of "Heaven Must Have Sent You", Foxy's "Get Off", Alicia Bridges and her sassy "I Love The Nightlife (Disco 'Round)", Peter Brown's "Dance With Me", A Taste Of Honey's "Boogie Oogie Oogie" and, perhaps his most favorite of them all, "Every 1's A Winner" by Hot Chocolate.

Next time around, HERC trips the Circuit Breaker.

cassette and 8-track scans courtesy of 8-Track Shack
all other images courtesy of Discogs users


  1. Glad to hear that I'm not alone in my appreciation of "Hot Nights & City Lights"... While it certainly isn't the most star-studded or hit-laden release in the annals of K-Tel history, it's undeniably the one I'm most fond of (by a country mile).

    For my 10th birthday in October of '79, I received not only my first "big boy" tape recorder (very similar to this model, except older... and "Kmartier"), but also this phenomenal cassette to go with it. Front to back, I must've played that tape what seemed like a thousand times or more; soaking in whole experience each and every time. I'm not the least bit surprised that of all the cassettes I bought in subsequent years, none could ever match the thrill of that first "hot night"... Ahem!

    Before we get to what is quickly becoming an obligatory feature of Ol' Dirk's comments, I should probably point out that the cassette track listing does, in fact, differ from the vinyl album in that Instant Funk & Gonzalez switch places in the 5-spot on their respective sides. Other than that bit of business, why don't we get on with the countdown, shall we?

    Dirk's Official "Hot Nights & City Lights" Hierarchy!:

    14) Love And Desire - Arpeggio
    13) I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor **(Disclaimer: There's no Disco song I'm more sick of hearing)**
    12) Boogie Woogie Dancin' Shoes - Claudja Barry
    11) I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl) - Instant Funk
    10) In The Navy - Village People
    09) Chains - Bionic Boogie
    08) I Don't Know If It's Right - Evelyn "Champagne" King
    07) Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet - Gonzalez
    06) At Midnight - T-Connection
    05) Ring My Bell - Anita Ward
    04) Knock On Wood - Amii Stewart
    03) Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) - The Jacksons
    02) We Are Family - Sister Sledge
    01) Heart Of Glass - Blondie

    Great album. Great post. Great work. Thanks, Herc!

    1. Thanks for your comments, countdown and corrections. All are always welcome here.

      Borrowed your sweet j-card scan, too.

  2. Canadian release (much better version) is listed here:

    1. Thanks for your comment and link.

      There is a also a Discogs link for the Canadian version of the album within the post above in case you missed it.