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Today's ear X-tacy: 10,000 Maniacs "Because The Night" (1993 MTV Unplugged)

10,000 Maniacs score their biggest hit with their cover of "Because The Night"

"Because the Night" was written by Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith and first appeared on the Patti Smith Group’s 1986 album Easter. The song was Smith’s only commercial hit.

Springsteen didn't release a studio version of this song until 2010 for his album The Promise, but he often played it at his live shows with different lyrics. The first time his version was released came in 1986 on the boxed set Live 1975-1985.

In 1993, the 10,000 Maniacs acoustic cover of "Because The Night" was recorded for MTV Unplugged. This week in 1994, it became the biggest hit for 10,000 Maniacs when it reached #11 on the charts in the US, far more successful than Smith’s original. The MTV performance was one of Natalie Merchant’s last with the group before embarking on a solo career.

Today's ear X-tacy features a classic track or deep-cut from the Alternative era every weekday at 10:10.

John is the mid-morning host on WFPK. Email John at jtimmons@lpm.org