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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Nite City - 1977 Nite City
Nite City - 1977 Nite City

ARTIST: Nite City
ALBUM: Nite City
LABEL: 20th Century Records
YEAR: 1977


LINEUP: Noah James - vocals * Paul Warren - guitar, vocals * Ray Manzarek - keyboards, vocals * Nigel Harrison - bass * Jimmy Hunter - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Summer Eyes * 02 Nite City * 03 Love Will Make You Mellow * 04 Angel With No Freedom * 05 Midnight Queen * 06 Bitter Sky Blue * 07 Caught In A Panic * 08 In The Pyramid * 09 Game Of Skill

Nite City's debut is one of the better mid-70's rock albums you will hear and unfortunately is one of the lesser known. Keyboard player Ray Manzarek should be a familiar name as a member of seminal 60's legends The Doors and here he hooks up with former Rare Earth guitarist Paul Warren and future Blondie bassist Nigel Harrison. The group played extensively throughout the U.S in support of the record opening shows for The Kinks, Heart and The Ramones as well as several club dates headlining on their own, but 20th Century Records - with ever increasing financial difficulties never really gave the album the promotion it deserved. A second release 'Golden Days and Diamond Nights' saw Nite City on a new label - PolyGram, but it was only released in West Germany and import copies were never easy to find.

The Songs
This is a dark hard rock record, some might say street smart and even a little sleazy, with a moody desperation found in much of the lyrical content conjuring up images of barflies, one night stands and cocaine induced psychedelia. Imagine the New York Dolls and Aerosmith meeting up with Jim Morrison on a night long bender and you get a pretty good idea where the music is headed. Vocalist Noah James sounds uncannily like Eric Burdon on the opening track 'Summer Eyes', but it's Manzarek's surreal keyboard work that pulls the song together. The track 'Nite City' is as seductive as it is scary with near suicidal lyrics playing counterpoint to the almost happy J. Geils Band influenced chorus and hook. Weird, but great and the remaining album is just as off beat and interesting with never a dull moment, including the trippy psych-out freakiness of the curiously spelled 'Angel W/No Freedom'. The Lizard King would have been proud.

In Summary
Journey and Foreigner fans who like their AOR clean and straight might have a tough go with this one, but if you enjoy any of the references mentioned above (throw in a little Hanoi Rocks and The Cult too), Nite City's debut will be a most rewarding listen. Recommended!

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#1 | Eric on April 08 2009 23:26:59
I neglected to mention in this review bassist Nigel Harrisson was a member of glam rock idols- Silverhead. Forgive me. helpless
#2 | super80boy on October 17 2015 17:13:04
Nite City is a forgotten little gem of an album with its talented line up who bring top drawer musicianship and entertaining arrangements to the show. The opening 'Summer Eyes' is a sweeping gloom stricken rocker. Keyboards take a front seat in 'Love Will Make You Mellow', a great driving track! Standout 'Caught In A Panic' is straight up stellar period rock. 'Bitter Sky Blue' is another creative change up…And of course there's the psych tinged, Doorsy 'Angel W/No Freedom', which is a favorite. The only misstep is the short instrumental filler 'In The Pyramid'. Comes with a custom insert, lyrics on one side and a cool black and white band picture on the other side.
#3 | reyno-roxx on March 13 2016 16:59:28
Finally found the 2 on 1 CD of this and the second album for a good price on Amazon France. Really enjoyable mid 70s rock.
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