I first became aware of Nick Gilder when Hot Child in the City broke in 1978, and I must admit, me and my pals were among the sad bunch that thought the singer was a chick — at least until I saw Nick perform the song on TV. Amazingly enough, judging from the comments on some of his videos on YouTube, there are still people who think Nick was a girl.
It wasn’t until later that I discovered Sweeney Todd, the Canadian band Nick started out with before going solo (he was replaced in Sweeney Todd by Bryan Adams), and their awesome song Roxy Roller (in fact, I think I heard Suzi Quatro’s cover of Roxy before I heard the original). This isn’t the best video but the song is so great I’m posting it anyway.
And of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw Hot Child in the City in here, so here’s Nick — definitely not a girl — performing that song (from the album City Nights).
Gilder was also very successful as a songwriter (co-writing with ex-Sweeney Todd member James McCulloch, Martin Briley and others), contributing songs for Bette Midler, Joe Cocker, and with Holly Knight, The Warrior for Patty Smyth and Scandal. Pat Benatar did a great cover of Gilder’s song Rated X on her first album, In the Heat of the Night.
Gilder eventually reunited with Sweeney Todd and they’ve toured in recent years. Gilder’s voice might be a little deeper than it once was, but he can still wail like nobody’s business. I leave you with another not-so-great video but a terrific song, Here Comes the Night.
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