Song Review: Richard Marx – “Children of the Night”

“Children of the Night” was released as the fifth and final single from Richard Marx’s 1989 album, Repeat Offender. The single was released in the spring of 1990 and peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Children of the Night” was written in support of the suburban Los Angeles-based organization of the same name.

I was 15 years old and in the ninth grade when this single was released. I already considered myself a fan of Richard’s music at this point, so it wasn’t surprising that I liked this song. I think the fact that it also touched on a social topic (youth and teen runaways) also helped me gravitate toward it. While I may not have been a teen runaway myself or personally known anyone who had run away, I think the fact that the song talked about the situation of fellow teenagers had a strong appeal. I may be an adult now, but I still like this song just as much as I did 25 years ago. It always disappointed me that this song didn’t perform better, but I think what hurt it was the fact that the label held off on releasing it as the final single.

The music video for “Children of the Night” was shot in black and white, and it depicts various situations that youth and teen runaways go through. The only time Richard himself makes an appearance is right at the end of the video; but even then, he’s in silhouette. I appreciate the fact that the video placed the focus on the subject of the song without trying to force images of Richard lip-syncing the song. By focusing on the runaway aspect, it strengthened the message of both the song and its accompanying music video.

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