London Nightlife

Album: ...As Midnight Approaches (1988)

Songfacts®:

  • It is paradox that people can be lonely in a crowd, and many songs have been written from this perspective, but few can have captured the anonymity and emptiness of a great city better than this track, which was recorded by the short lived progressive rock band White Lightning.

    At the time, "London Nightlife," which was not released as a single, received considerable airplay, and like the band deserved better success. The fifth track on ...As Midnight Approaches begins "Another night a radio station tuned to Channel One," which might be interpreted as listening to Radio One, the BBC's main "youth-oriented" station at the time, but which, as lead vocalist and lyricist Noel Jones explained in a 2009 interview with this website, "refers to the number one, being alone. The nightlife that goes on and everyone thinks is fab groovy [windswept] and interesting means nothing when you're alone."

    Guitarist Simon Pengilly doesn't overdo the soloing, complementing the vocals to a T, and the smattering of tortured violin towards the end of the 5 minute 49 second track improvised by the classically trained Susan Early is a masterstroke. Like the rest of the album, "London Nightlife" was recorded in the Staines bedroom of drummer Jeff Ward. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

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