Although Nighthawks -- starring Sylvester Stallone, Billy Dee Williams, Lindsay Wagner, and Rutger Hauer -- was a rather contrived suspense film, Keith Emerson's soundtrack fit its need rather well. With his full assortment of keyboards, an orchestra, and a supporting cast including bassist Kendall Stubbs, drummer Neil Symonette, percussionist Frank Scully, trumpeter Greg Bowen, and the talented multi-reed player Jerome Richardson, Emerson keeps one's interest. The vocal tracks are mildly amusing, with Paulette Willimas singing "Nighthawking" (a piece that starts with some crisp solo piano before degenerating into a dance number with trite lyrics), and Emerson's tongue-in-cheek vocal on a cover of the Spencer Davis Group's "I'm a Man." All in all, it stands the test of time better than the movie.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden