“Green Flower Street” always reminds me of the similarly titled “Green Dolphin Street,” a song from the 1947 Lana Turner movie of the same name that Miles Davis turned in into a jazz standard when he first recorded it in the late 50s. Fagen must have been thinking about this song too when writing material for The Nightfly, since the album’s subject matter deals with the the late 50s/early 60s. But “Green Flower Street” could hardly sound more different.
Very much a modern song, this one has such a tightly integrated rhythm that even though it’s a disco beat underneath it all, its sophistication transcends that. A murderer’s row of guitarists are involved with this one, too: Dean Parks and Rick Derringer on rhythm, Larry Carlton on lead. The last part of of Carlton’s solo doubles with a synth, creating a pretty sweet sound. The vocals, which have outstanding arrangements throughout the album, shine on this song; I especially dig the overlaps in the final chorus.
A very snappy tune and in an album chock full of deep cuts, this is one of the best of them.