Working the Night Shift

I heard “Nightshift” at the Price Chopper this afternoon.

I don’t think that I can name any other post-Lionel Richie Commodores songs.  I like how this song sutures a tribute to these two recently passed (at the time) singers, Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson to working class listening practice. The feeling that it tries to evoke—the importance of the radio’s company to getting through a long lonely night shift—is powerful.

The song reinforces the notion that these two artists will live on in those crucial late night listens, which is sweet, but I think there is also a mournfulness in it, a compressed and softened form of blues-moan that assuages grief through its expression, that, in its mechanistic undertones, echoes with worker alienation—ghost voices put to work long after the bodies that produced them are dust.

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