Steely Dan Sunday, "Green Flower Street" (1982)

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“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.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on,, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at
S. Victor Aaron
  • Preston

    Don’t forget Chuck Rainey’s only (bass) performance on the Nightfly! He and Jeff Porcaro are tight!