Bridges first recorded for the Nashville-based Mega Records with two 1973 single releases of her original material: both singles flopped but Bridges came to the attention of the president of the publisher of her songs: Bill Lowery, who signed as her manager, subsidizing Bridges over a roughly two year period of canvassing record labels which ended when she was signed to Polydor in 1977.
Bridges’ self-titled debut album was the inaugural production by Steve Buckingham who was assigned to produce Bridges after playing guitar on one of her earliest sessions. Bridges and her personal and songwriting partner Susan Hutcheson had written a song entitled “Disco ‘Round” which at Buckingham’s suggestion was recorded as “I Love the Nightlife” as Buckingham felt the song was R&B rather than disco (“Disco ‘Round” was retained as the song’s subtitle): Bridges herself would later admit she’d had hopes that the song would be received as a Memphis soul number, calling it “something Al Green might sing”. However club support was a key factor in the success of the track which became a “sleeper” Top 40 hit spending 27 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 with a peak of number five, and also appearing on several international hit parades as evinced by the Billboard’s “Hits of the World” chart. The song was also in the #5 position on the Record World and Cash Box charts. It was also a “crossover” hit, receiving play even on country music stations. The cover of the 1978 self-titled LP features an early skyline picture of Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1978 Bridges was a Grammy nominee and was the opening act, performing “I Love the Nightlife”. Bridges’ self-titled LP, Alicia Bridges, was also rising on the Billboard, Cash Box and Record World charts and the LP remained on the charts for up to 35 weeks. Both the LP and the single release were international successes, and “I Love the Nightlife” went top 40 in the UK and Germany, Spain and other European countries. Bridges’ music was especially popular in Japan. She received an RIAA Certified Gold Record for the sale of over one million copies of her hit single in the USA, as well as a gold record from Canada.
Contrary to the impression created by her success with “I Love the Nightlife”, Bridges was primarily a singer of R&B, rock, blues and love songs. “I Love the Nightlife” has a definite back beat and organ similar to early 1970s R&B; the original intention was for “I Love the Nightlife” to be an R&B song, but when Bill Lowery first heard the song, he saw its disco potential: subsequently a 12″ single remix was created by Jim Burgess, ultimately becoming a worldwide club smash.
“I Love the Nightlife” has been featured in several movies, including Love at First Bite, The Last Days of Disco and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. source