When ‘Summer Night City’ was released in the UK in September 1978, there were reports around the world of an alleged radio airplay ban of due to “bad language” in the fadeout, coyly described at the time as “love making love in the moonlight”.
This is, of course, reference to the now infamous final chorus repeat as the song fades out, when the line “walking in the moonlight” sounds suspiciously like “fucking in the moonlight”.
It appears that the stories of a “ban” were exagerated, but at the time the news spread regardless.
In an apparent effort to counteract the problem, Epic Records released a promotional single with an edited version of ‘Summer Night City’, running 3.10 and fading out before the contentious line. The promotional single carries the original release date 8 September, but it was probably released later.
Whether it was due to the bad publicity, the long break since the previous ABBA single (‘Take A Chance On Me’ in February), or the new and very different musical style for ABBA, ‘Summer Night City’ was ABBA’s lowest charting UK single since 1975, peaking at number 5.