Hot Child in The City

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Song: Hot Child in the City (1978)

Artist: Nick Gilder

Album: City Nights (Chrysalis)

At around the same time that Billy Joel was winning a Grammy for Just the Way You Are and disco, punk, and New Wave were simultaneously selling records, a pop/rock song about a runaway teenage girl who may or may not be a prostitute, “running wild” in the city, was a smash-hit.

The song Hot Child in the City spent 31 weeks on the charts, reaching no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 end of October 1978. Say what you want about the song, though, it’s catchy. What’s more, most people probably thought a woman was singing it.

Nick Gilder started out in music as the lead singer for the Vancouver, Canada based glam band Sweeney Todd. According to the biography on his website, he and guitarist Jimmy Mccullough were the founding members.

The band had a No. 1 hit in Canada with Roxy Roller in 1976, and winning a Juno award, after which Gilder left the band with Jimmy McCullough to move the Los Angeles and start a solo career. Gilder was replaced by none other than the 15-year old Bryan Adams, who obviously did not start a band in the Summer of ’69. Sweeney Todd’s subsequent album If Wishes Were Horses was unsuccessful, and Adams left, after which the band replaced him with singer Chris Booth before breaking up in 1978.

Gilder with partner Jimmy McCullough fared a bit better. He signed a deal with Chrysalis and made an album called You Know Who You Are, followed by City Nights, featuring Hot Child in the City, co-written by Gilder and McCullough. None of Gilder’s other songs reach such heights. But, but Here Comes the Night (City Nights) was a minor hit, peaking at no. 44, and (You Really) Rock Me (Frequency) went to 57, both in 1979.

Nick Gilder is still well-remembered for the original Sweeney Todd hit Roxy Roller, and the band, for their part, tried to recapture the success of the song by recording new versions of it with new singers, but none of these attempts ever worked out. However, the band reunited in 2000 and released an album and then in 2007, they headlined the Golden Spike Days Festival in Port Moody, British Columbia, with Nick Gilder on vocals. The band is still gigging.

Some of Guilder’s songs were big hits for other artists, including Rated X for Pat Benatar, and The Warrior, which he wrote for Patti Smythe.

Hot Child in the City Video

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