Friday, March 03, 2006

Nights On Broadway (1975) – The Bee Gees

A stern piano bounds above a rock-oriented beat as a man struts through the streets of New York City en route to see the woman he loves, an elastic synth bass line underscoring his gumption. Except, in this case “see” literally means to “view,” not to rendezvous. She’s a Broadway singer whom he watches perform every weekend. As he publicly stalks her, it’s unclear if he ever actually had a relationship with her, or if it was wishful thinking. The true cunning of “Nights On Broadway” lies in the ambiguity of the chorus: where once they were a struggling young couple, her success in the big time led to a more upscale life that did not include him . . . or, perhaps he has only seen her on stage where he fell in love with her, but they’ve never even met. Does he blame the nights on Broadway for his loneliness—or for his pathological infatuation? He is either a sympathetic victim or pathetic erotomaniac. An instrument unto itself, Barry Gibbs’ falsetto, both ridiculous and ferocious, eventually swoops in, an insignia of romantic fervor. A subdued bridge settles in as a respite for him to declare lifelong devotion before releasing him into the night for continued brooding/plotting.

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