Music In The Air Of The Night

(a playlist)

There is music that captures the night.

That long car ride on a dark highway where the stars don’t move and you feel like you’re not making any distance at all despite the drone of the engine and occasional bump taken by the wheels. The cool windows fog up with condensation when you get too close to peer at the shadows drifting by. The passing white lines of the road are really your only clue that you’re moving, but even their monotony numbs you as your world shrinks down to the steering wheel and various faint lights of the dashboard.

The lagoon-ish blue glow of a swimming pool shimmering up through the water’s night mist…

The mysterious lights of far away houses twinkling on the surface of a lake or flickering through the trees…

The deep loneliness, the claustrophobic illusion, the mystery veil of darkness denying your vision…

The sensual thrill of forced intimacy, the seductive dark colors…

There is music that captures the night.

It is usually an atmospheric type of music with long echoes and sinister simplicity.

Electronica has captured it best, but the key word is “electric” and it started way before that genre with the lonely heartbreak of an electric blues guitar. There are too many blues songs to list, so let’s just say all of them.

But the journey into the night is what we’re looking for, so we have to leave the smoky bar and let the the forever and eternal aloneness of Miles’ trumpet fade away in the club or in the alley and head out on the road.

Add a driving beat and switch out for a stark keyboard, like The Doors’ Riders On The Storm, and the ride is forever into the night.

Love On A Real Train by Tangerine Dream. In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins, or even his more hopeful Take Me Home. These captured that sexy late night 80’s kitsch of Risky Business and Miami Vice.

Don’t forget Moving in Stereo by The Cars, I’m On Fire by Bruce Springsteen, and Burning Down The House by Talking Heads.

Then there’s Dark & Long by Underworld — probably the ultimate night driving song. Or the equally seductive In The Waiting Line by Zero 7.

Days Gone By by Dirty Vegas. Wicked Game by Chris Isaak.

The Lights by Robbie Robertson, a haunting spiritual journey you can’t shake. The propulsive I Dream About You by Yuka Honda.

Goodnight Moon by Shivaree details what’s left behind. Heaven by The Rolling Stones promises what’s ahead.

Don’t Give Up by Peter Gabriel moves on to another town, but his Digging In The Dirt gets you there.

Summer Madness by Kool & The Gang. Right Down The Line by Gerry Rafferty. All Of You by Don Felder.

So Alive by Love And Rockets. West End Girls by the Pet Shop Boys.

Happy Dreamer by Laidback. Gold by Chet Faker. Bela Lugosi’s Dead by Bauhaus.

Army of Me by Bjork. Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes. Cry by Creme & Godley. Criminal by Fiona Apple.

2Wicky by Hooverphonic. Quaking Giant by Los Cenzontles.

There is music that captures the night. The atmosphere of the night journey is eternal and there is no end.

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Jerry James

Jerry James

husband, father, RN, music lover, kindness fan