Although "Baker Street" (which appears on City to City) is his most famous song, for me this is his best all-round album. There really isn't anything which could be thought of as filler, anywhere from start to finish. Starting off with "Days Gone Down" and moving seemlessly to "It's Gonna Be A Long Night" it's a constantly high standard for 50 minutes or so. These 2 tracks offer all that is best from Gerry Rafferty, great melody, great arragement, great lyrics. Add to that a fine backing band which includes the backing vocals of Barbara Dickson on 3 tracks, the sax of Raphael Ravenscroft on 4 tracks, plus Richard & Linda Thompson showing up here and there and some great guitar from Hugh Burns & Richard Brunton. It is no surprise that things come out so wonderfully . . . The classics just roll off the tongue - "Already Gone", "Why Won't You Talk To Me" (Brilliant!), "Get It Right Next Time" (man, even typing this makes me smile!), "Already Gone" and the souring sax of RR on "The Tourist". A sure-fire classic from someone who is now sadly ignored by those who should know better. Just buy it - you will never stop thanking yourself(!)
I am finding it very difficult to write this review objectively. It was an album one of my older siblings bought back in the 1970s and was played often when I was young. I recently heard the title track Night Owl on the radio and it reminded me of this album which I hadn't heard in years and had completely forgotten about. So I immediately ordered it, and have listened to it multiple times over the last couple of days. I absolutely love it. And this is the problem: I already knew and loved every track - so is my enjoyment due to the nostalgia of happy childhood memories, or is it actually a really good album?
Well I am trying to be as critical as possible, but the inevitable conclusion is that it is quite simply a brilliant album. Every track stands proud on its on merits, but more importantly, the tracks go together and make a great album. It was written in the days that artists thought in terms of creating a coherent collection of tracks to paint a picture, whereas today, so many more tracks are sold as individual MP3s, that albums are often just a couple of hits bunged together with a load of filler tracks with no view of how they go together.
Night Owl (the album) at its best, is listened to in one sitting. Looking at the popularity of each track really surprised me. yes Night Owl and Already Gone are good tracks, but to see Days Gone Down and Its Gonna Be A Long Night score so lowly seems mad. I cannot find anything to criticise these tracks on. They are great songs with wonderful melodies, catchy riffs and interesting lyrics. Days Gone Down is possibly my favourite track!
Maybe I really do know this album too well to be objective, but I cannot recommend this enough. If you liked bands from this era such as Supertramp, The Eagles, Jean Michel Jarre, Cream, Yes, ELO or even Jackson Brown, you will love this album too.
Awww I sooo love this album, I'm saying album as I also have it on vinyl from many years ago. He's sadly gone now, the wonderful Gerry Rafferty but his songs will live on forever. Songs like Baker Street which was one of my all time favourites. I have that as a single on vinyl too!!! Oh those were the days eh? I got this single for a party I was having and it was played many times over that night, and many many more at other times, till I nearly wore it out.
If you liked Gerry, you'll love this. It's so good to have it on CD and Mp3 now too, so we can enjoy this wonderful artist all over again, in the car...anywhere in fact! Listening to this stirs up such wonderful memories of very happy times. Can't recommend it enough! Buy it now! I got this in mp3, downloaded no problem, and Amazon is far cheaper than itunes for downloads in any genre! Keep it up Amazon. I wouldn't consider itunes now for downloads. I learned the hard way I'm afraid and cost myself a fortune for lot's of music from times gone by. Amazon only now! lol!
Although Baker Street, from Gerry Rafferty's previous album, City To City, was a better lead single than the title track of Night Owl, this is an equally good and perhaps better album. It was as if Gerry Rafferty had a whole stack of top quality songs ready to spill out and all he needed was studio time. It seemed to me at the time that Gerry Rafferty had succeeded an increasingly bland McCartney as Britain's greatest writer of beautiful melodies and Rafferty went on to produce several top notch albums after this.
Night Owl is slightly less folk rock than its predecessor and has a slightly tougher sound. The album is filled with fantastic songs from start to finish, especially the opener, Days Gone Down, Take The Money and Run, Already Gone, The Way That You Do It, Why Don't You Talk To Me, The Tourist and the charming folky, Family Tree which, from recollection, has Richard Thompson on guitar.
Rafferty was undoubtedly one of Britain's greatest songwriters of the last 50 years. if you are considering exploring his music and choose to start here, you will not be disappointed.
This must be Gerry Rafferty's finest album. It comes from a man who is in the throes of a relationship with all of it's highs and lows. Love, alcoholism, insomnia, guilt, family recollections and self doubt all play a part in this fine collection of songs from a man in the prime of his career. This follows on from his much celebrated album City to City which contained the award winning single Baker Street. This is perhaps his most mature collection of songs celebrating family history, relationships, his battles with alcohol and insomnia and his disdain of the music industry to boot. The album is filled with great tunes, mature songs and a night time comfort. Listen to this album when you are having a wee dram with your other half or new love and you will be filled with a glow of warmth and sense of home, love and family history. What more can I say................Brilliant album!