Nights Are Forever

by: England Dan & John Ford Coley

Nights Are Forever was the breakthrough album for Dan Seals and John Coley after some sincere and excellent work on A&M Records in the early '70s. Two of their biggest hits were the title track and the beautiful "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight." Those songs are a good indication of the fine performances this 1976 album contains. The duo's originals like "Long Way Home" and the Dan Fogelberg-ish "Westward Wind" could have been hits as well displaying superb musicianship and delicate vocals. This album is very much a companion piece to the Parker McGee album recorded around the same time, on the same label, with pretty much the same musicians. Producer Kyle Lehning has the sounds so similar a survey panel would probably not be able to figure out which song came from which album. What Nights Are Forever has that the Parker McGee album does not is "There'll Never Be Another For Me," a song co-written by Parker McGee, England Dan, and John Ford Coley -- it is a rare look at what a perfect synergy these musicians have, and it is an exceptional song. You can feel how cautious and serious the two singers are here. By the time Dowdy Ferry Road was released in 1977 they were settling in to a formula, and 1979's Dr. Heckle and Mr. Jive has low points that feel like fatigue offsetting the highs. Nights Are Forever does not suffer that hit or miss dilemma; it captures the band while in between the magical folk minstrel material they espoused earlier and while developing the refined sound that brought them into the Top 25 a half a dozen times. "Lady" is a collaboration by McGee, Coley, Seals, and producer Kyle Lehning. They all seemed motivated to put out a highly commercial and sincere recording. "It's Not the Same," "Prisoner," "Showboat Gambler," and "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" are all high-grade material, making Nights Are Forever perhaps the finest album produced by these talented vocalists. ~ Joe Viglione

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