Steely Dan

Night By Night

Song Review by

In interviews since the release of Pretzel Logic, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker have suggested that "Night By Night" was written in part to assuage ABC Records after the comparative flop of the jazz-based, experimental Countdown to Ecstasy, being a return to the guitar-based rock of Can't Buy a Thrill. Indeed, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter's lengthy, fleet-fingered solo seems to be something of a retread of his outbursts in the hit "Reelin' in the Years," but this horn-driven rocker lacks the melodic invention and lyrical wit of its predecessor. Donald Fagen sings the relatively uninspired lyrics in a distracted manner, a combination that stalls any impetus the admittedly rocking swagger of the tune and its muscular arrangement can work up. As a result, despite the authors' intentions to write a potential hit, "Night By Night" was rejected in favor of the less derivative but far superior "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" as Pretzel Logic's first single.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Pretzel Logic 1974 MCA 3:40
No Image 1984 MCA
Citizen Steely Dan 1993 MCA 3:38
Showbiz Kids: The Steely Dan Story 1972-1980 2000 MCA 3:40
Can't Buy a Thrill/Pretzel Logic/The Royal Scam 2003 Universal Distribution 3:40
The Very Best of Steely Dan 2009 Universal Distribution / Universal Music TV 3:39