Tina Turner - Why Must We Wait Until Tonight
Why Must We Wait Until Tonight – CD-/LP-singles

The year 1993 saw another release of a newly produced song: “Why must we wait until Tonight”, again a collaboration between Tina Turner and Bryan Adams. It turned out to be only a medium success but is still a nice slow song to listen to.

Commercial success

“Why Must We Wait Until Tonight” was released on September 16th, 1993 in different and localized formats. It is the third release from the “What´s Love Got To Do With It” album which is the soundtrack of the bio pic about Tina Turner´s life. It was a medium commercial success and could not compete with the first two releases “I Don´t Wanna Fight” and “Disco Inferno” from the same album. To name just a few chart positions:

Top 20 Top 40 Top 100
  • US R&B #12
  • UK Singles #16
  • Poland #19
  • Canada #22
  • UK Airplay Chart #23
  • Ireland #25
  • Japan #59
  • US Hot 100 #97
  • Germany #55


“Why Must We Wait Until Tonight” was written and also produced by Bryan Adams who was a constant partner in the studio with her over the years. He also wrote “Back Where You Started” which appeared on the “Break Every Rule” album and “Without You” which was released on the “Twenty Four Seven” album. In “Without You” and the most famous project “It´s Only Love” we cannot only hear him as background vocals but these two songs are duets which were also presented live. Bryan Adams was assisted by Robert John “Mutt” Lange, a Grammy-award winning producer who collaborated with Bryan Adams and many other artists like Bonnie Tyler, Michael Bolton or Def Lappard.

  • Produced by Bryan Adams and Robert John “Mutt” Lange
  • Written by Bryan Adams and Robert John “Mutt” Lange
  • Edited and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge (album versions) and Tony Dofat (promo mixes and mixes on the CD-/LP-singles)
  • Cover photography of the CD-/LP-single by Peter Lindbergh
  • Released by Parlophone (Europe) and Virgin (North America)

Thoughts on “Why Must We Wait Until Tonight”

“Why Must We Wait Until Tonight” is a very simple and therefore straight-forward song. No real story is told here, no questions are raised and answered – and hence, we cannot find any development. But still, it is written by one of the top writers and sung by one of the top singers in the world. So we definitely can expect something from that simple song which might not directly shine through the lyrics or the musical arrangement but which we can see in the mere fact that it is sung by a woman of 53 years back then.

First, we take a look at the super-simplistic chorus. Not much to be found here except for the one and only question “Why must we wait until tonight?” which is apparently asked a lover, a potential lover or in other words some acquaintance who turned out to be much more than just an acquaintance. The girl – or rather the woman as it is sung by a 53-year-old? – does not ask herself or nobody directly but she directly confronts her potential lover with that longing question “Why must we wait until tonight?”

Tell me why

Why must we wait until tonight?

Tell me why

Why must we wait until tonight?

It bears a little bit of a scandal to ask something like this – maybe not anymore in 1993 – but still, it is still not that much accepted for women to be so open and frank. But still, we cannot deny the fact that she is definitely not beating about the bush and demands something more substantial than just going out to wine and dine with him. She now expects and needs more. And as we don´t want to beat about the bush as we speak about a woman who makes her point of view nice and clear we are compelled to call a spade a spade: she claims sex. Enough waiting, enough going out and getting to know each other – now is the time for more.

You’re gonna take a little time

Gonna drink me like a fine wine

Write the book of love line by line

But I wanna play with you right now

That said, we can now grasp the meaning of the scene described in the lyrics much better: She is through with the mandatory waiting time and maybe even thinks that they both waited longer than society and moral standards expected of them. Obviously, he needs being pushed into the right direction as he seems to hesitate and is unsure about the next move. His behavior which we can only read between the lines and is never expressed or explained explicitly is more typical (stereo-typical we could say) for women but not for men. Hence, it is quite interesting that Tina presents again a song where the woman is not willing to accept moral boundaries or to control her desires to meet with any moral requirements.

Of course, it is still a pop song so that the images which Bryan Adams creates here are very simple and are maybe not even on the edge of being called naughty. What kind of images does he use? We find the famous “book of love” which has been used in numerous songs and which she wants to “write (…) line by line”. We also find the image of “the way” which they need to go so as to transcend the simple dating situation and to enter the realm of lust and passion.

Go all the way with you baby

And show you how

‘Cos my body just can’t say no

And my fingers just won’t let go

Unfortunately, the images applied here have a certain tendency to kitsch and contain notorious clichés. Of course, it is a song about seducement and longing but it cannot stir up any new images and resorts to the standard phrases we´ve already heard in scores of other songs. Even if the woman in the song dares to utter her demand for sex the song applies formulations which would be characterized in European music as “schlager music”. And – guess what – this same song translated to any other non-English European language and sung by any of the stars of schlager music would perfectly pass as a standard tune of that – we must be honest now – not very prestigious music (despite the substantial success of schlager music which regularly surpasses any other music style).

Of course, we don´t see Tina Turner as a schlager music singer and we would always like to connect her to “first RnB/soul and then pop/rock music” but especially “Why Must We Wait Until Tonight” contains all the notorious elements of schlager in the lyrics and is only saved – so to speak – from being completely classified as schlager by the musical arrangement. Here at least, it is still a pop song.

Tina Turner

But there is one last thought we would like to share with you and which helps to forget about “Why Must We Wait Until Tonight” being a bit too simple, kitschy or even schlager music. If we don´t forget that the song is sung by Tina Turner who was 53 in 1993 and if we take into consideration that we can hear the much younger Bryan Adams on the background track, we have a very unusual situation: an older woman seems to seduce a younger man. Maybe we should not overstretch that thought by saying that she is about to teach him how to make love but there are many hints in the last two stanzas where we can see this image as well. Apparently, she already realized that he “like(s) to take it real slow” and that the likes to “take a little love and watch it grow” but she demands more than that as she wants to “lay with you darling, right now” – without any more hesitation  and without losing any more time.

You like to take it real slow

Show me every little move you know

Take a little love and watch it grow

But I wanna lay with you darling, right now

The last stanza then shows quite clearly that she has very concrete expectations of sex and that she is willing and determined to teach him – maybe a younger man? – how she wants it to be done.

Make love all day with you baby

And show you how

Take my body don’t take my time

Take your lips and make them mine

Video clips

Tina Turner did not include “Why Must We Wait Until Tonight” in her regular concerts in 1993 like she did it with “I Don´t Wanna Fight” and “Disco Inferno” (although the latter one was not a constant part of the set list). Therefore, we only have two video clips of that song: one is a semi-live recording from the concert in San Bernardino at the Blockbuster Pavilion which was released both as a music video and on the video cassette and laser disc from that event. The other clip is the official music video shot in black-and-white. It was only released on the laser-disc and video CD of the “Simply The Best” video collection in 1994. It shows Tina Turner singing in a very dark studio with intercut detail shots of hands caressing bodies and opening corsages, kissing lips and semi-naked bodies which illustrate the lyrics. An unusual detail in the video is a scene with two women kissing and touching each other. But homosexuality is restricted to this scene and the production team was not courageous enough to use a similar scene with two men.

Tina Turner - Why Must We Wait Until Tonight - Video Clip Stills
Why Must We Wait Until Tonight – Video Clip Stills

19 Replies to “Why Must We Wait Until Tonight”



    1. Dear Jerry,

      As written, we are not directly in contact with Tina Turner and her management (which is shame judging by the amount of email we receive of people trying to contact her or management).
      Mr Roger Davies, if you read this…


  2. Great article! You guys really know how freshen up an old song. 🙂 I love how you lay/ tell the story of this song with class and dignity. I think Tina will love this Article too! Kudos! >3


  3. What i don’t realize is in truth how you are not actually a lot more neatly-appreciated than you may
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