I woke up this morning feeling like I absolutely needed to hear the song “Night Begins to Shine” (aka, the song Cyborg from Teen Titans Go! is obsessed with). I don’t know why, exactly. It just popped into my head, and I couldn’t get it out.
This is not the first time this has happened. It seems like the song is playing on a loop in my head, and I merely manage to occasionally hit the pause button and push it away for a couple of days. It’s been this way for a month now, pretty much ever since the Teen Titans Go! episode “40%, 40%, 20%” premiered on October 21st. In the episode, Cyborg’s obsession with his favorite song, an obscure 80s hit with lyrics like “When I look at you I see the story in your eyes, when we’re dancing the night begins to shine,” annoys his fellow Titans (Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy and Raven).
However, they soon learn that his “real strength comes not from his robot parts, but from” the inspiration he gets from that damn song. When listening to it, his imagination runs wild and he views the world very differently, picturing himself riding a winged horse and wearing a wolf-skin coat while saving his fellow Titans from one of their enemies. Of course, we get to see exactly what he sees, and across the episode’s 11-minute running time “Night Begins to Shine” plays practically non-stop.
The first time I saw the episode, which is actually the second appearance of “Night Begins to Shine” on the show since it was used far more sparingly in “Slumber Party,” I looked forward to finding out which 80s group wrote the song. I couldn’t wait to track them down on Spotify and take a deep dive into their catalog.
Yeah, funny thing about that: “Night Begins to Shine” seems to have been written specifically for Teen Titans Go! It’s not some obscure, old song. In fact, it’s only given to us in pieces in “40%, 40%, 20%.” Before iTunes put it up on Oct. 30th, you couldn’t really buy it anywhere. It’s now credited to the band B.E.R., and it’s their only song on iTunes. There are now countless fan-made music videos using the footage from “40%, 40%, 20%, and I was actually listening to one of those in the background while writing the intro of my Hunger Games article this morning. Why not pay it forward?
Here’s “Night Begins to Shine” and the Heavy Metal-esque imagery Cyborg imagines, with my favorite part being when an attacking wolf is simply absorbed into his costume and becomes a kick-ass coat (it’s so beautifully bonkers):