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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Nightwing - 1980 Something In The Air
Nightwing - 1980 Something In The Air

ARTIST: Nightwing
ALBUM: Something In The Air
LABEL: Ovation
YEAR: 1980


LINEUP: Gordon Rowley - bass, lead & harmony vocals * Kenny Newton - keyboards, lead & harmony vocals * Eric Percival - lead & rhythm guitar * Alec Johnson - lead & rhythm guitar * Steve Bartley - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fantasia/ Nightwing * 02 Cold Love * 03 Edge Of A Knife * 04 Something In The Air * 05 Barrel Of Pain * 06 Boogie Woman * 07 You Keep Me Hanging On/Fantasia Reprise

Often mistakenly associated with the NWOBHM movement, Nightwing, like fellow countrymen Magnum musically had more in common with US pompsters Kansas and Styx, than Iron Maiden or Saxon. Rising out of the ashes of Strife a band who recorded two albums that no one bought other than the punters who attended their endless live shows, bassist Gordon Rowley formed Nightwing releasing 'Something in the Air' in 1980 on the U.S based Ovation label.

The Songs
Kicking the album off with a tasty classical keyboard intro via former Nutz man Kenny Newton (who also shares production credits for those who care) 'Fantasia/ Nightwing' is a nice a start as any bringing to mind Rainbow at their most majestic. Both Newton and Rowley share lead vocal chores, but my copy of this album does not tell me in the liner notes who sings what and where. In other words, your guess is as good as mine! 'Cold Love' and 'Edge of a Knife' are standard hard rock fare a la Status Quo with a few Southern rock influences believe it or not, while the title song is a nice slice of pomp rock which could almost be a long lost Trillion cut and pushing home the point Nightwing come across as more American than British. 'Barrel of Pain' was written by Rowley's old friend Graham Nash who also recorded the song for his 1980 solo 'Earth & Sky'. The most overtly political song on the album and its first single, the tune really does nothing for me and it's not surprising it flopped. Last but not least and taking a page from Vanilla Fudge, Nightwing attempt to cover The Supremes 'You Keep Me Hanging On' with mixed results, leaving this listener scratching my head as to why they thought it was a necessary inclusion. Maybe they thought it would have gone over well in the pubs?

In Summary
Nightwing have always held a special place in my collection, especially their classic second album 'Black Summer' after which much lauded vocalist Max Bacon (Bronz, GTR) would join the ranks bringing a more commercial and polished sound to the band. Truly one of the best of the era, picking up a copy of 'Something in the Air' should be a 'no brainer' for fans of Magnum, Grand Prix and the mighty Saracen. Cool cover art too!

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#1 | gdazegod on December 03 2011 01:04:59
Great album, great band. Magnum, Grand Prix and Saracen similarities are dead on!
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