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4.8 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 1 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000046PUL
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,774 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. The Night
2. So Many Ways
3. Souvenir
4. Top Floor, Bottom Buzzer
5. Like A Mirror
6. A Good Woman Is Hard To Find
7. Rope On Fire
8. I'm Yours, You're Mine
9. The Way We Met
10. Slow Numbers
11. Take Me With You

Product Description


Singer-bassist-frontman Mark Sandman died July 3, 1999, onstage just outside Rome doing what he loved most. While it was never intended as a swan song, The Night, Morphine's fifth official studio album (not counting a B-sides collection or a projected live album), has all the dramatic hallmarks of a long, permanent goodbye. The band's "low-rock"--of bass, baritone sax, drums, and Sandman's own Leonard Cohen-afterworld vocals--always had a finality about it. The serious mix of blues fatalism and muted jazz hysteria filtered through the downbeat world of Tom Waits ("Like a Mirror" is gift-wrapped in his image) and other lingering beatniks always means it's 3 a.m. in Sandman's gypsy soul. The title track, "Top Floor, Bottom Buzzer," and "Rope on Fire" will stand among the finest in Morphine's catalog--which will seem deeper and increasingly profound as distance creates a greater mystery for a band that always presented itself as an enigma. --Rob O'Connor

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
The Night is almost the antithesis of Gerswhin's Rhapsody in Blue. Whereas the Rhapsody was a rather upbeat soundtrack for the hustle and bustle of the city, The Night provides the sountrack for the parts of the city that are tucked away. The back streets and alleys; the dead streets at 3 o'clock in the morning. Morphine had always aimed to capture this sort of sound, and they finally nail it with this, their last and greatest album.
Which is not to say it's an album actually ABOUT the city. It's about a lot of things. It's an album about sex (So Many Ways), memories (Souvenir), good times (Top Floor, Bottom Buzzer) and strength through love (The Night). It's an album about The Night and the people in it. It's full of darkness and fire. Mark Sandman, who wrote all the songs, is truly the Jim Jarmusch of the music world. He's a 'poet of the night'. "You're the night, Lilah/ a little girl, lost in the woods/ you're a folk tale/ The unexplainable."
This album also serves as a kind of farewell by the late Mark Sandman. The grim cacophony of saxophones, trombones and trumpets in the instrumental 'Come on Houston' assumes an added signficance considering he died before the album was finally published. Nobody could take his place. His smooth baritone was truly amazing. The Amazon reviewer should be praised for the brilliant quote "it's always three a.m. in Mark Sandman's gypsy soul." That about sums it up.
Buy this album. It gets better every time you listen to it.
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Format: Audio CD
"It's too dark to see the landmarks
And I don't want your good luck charms,
I hope you're waitin for me
Across your carpet of stars.
You're the night, Lilah,
You're everything that we can't see.
You're the possibility."
One is inclined to say the same of the late, great Mr. Sandman himself.
From the opening notes- sliding bass, subtle sax and spare (yet funky) drums, this CD grabs your hand, slips into your head, and takes hold of your soul. The opening title track- the first time I heard it- it's one of my favorite songs by any group. Damn I wish I knew what it is that he mutters at the end when the song fades out. In fact, I used to only listen to that one song, didn't think so much of the rest of the CD.
You might say it grew on me- or perhaps in me. The lyrics to 'Night,'are the most elegant that Sandman ever penned, in my opinion.
The saxophone- I use the verb 'floors' often in reviews, but that's because I tend to only review things that floor me. As in make me scrape my jaw off the floor like a Tim Burton hero and just stand in wonder. The sax floors me on this one.
The songs are superb. Lyrically- well, let's just say that The Night stands out. The rest are decent enough, the lyrics work well in each song's context, even the simplistic 'Top Floor, Bottom Buzzer,' doesn't grate. Sandman's voice is in fine form, working well in all it's sultry, monochromatic luxuriousness.
'A Good Woman is Hard to Find,' calls to mind the scene in Lynch's 'Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me,' in the odd bar/club (I remember it being a red scene) with naked and half-naked females gyrating around to a slow, psychedelic, rockabilly song. But played faster and with a bluesy guitar that really fits in.
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Format: Audio CD
Sadly, we can add Mark Sandman to that list of rock musicians who we lost in their primes. The throaty voice that was one of several elements that made the shady jazz-rock trio, Morphine, so unique was forever silenced when Mr. Sandman died of an unexpected heart attack in June of 1999. Shortly before his death, however, his band recorded some of their most exceptional work.
Like David Bowie's Low or The Doors' Strange Days, Morphine's final album, The Night, has a short, simple title that completely sums-up the disc's atmosphere. The Night is quintessential three AM music. Gloomy, slinky, devious and suave, these songs sound as if they were written specifically for a misty, mysterious night in New York City or Chicago. It is a sound that Morphine had been exploring ever since their formation in 1992. The band's instrumentation of Billy Conway's tightly-trimmed drumming, Dana Colley's wavy saxophone and Mr. Sandman's murky, two-string, slide bass, along with his deep, brooding voice and detached, downhearted lyrics have always echoed with full moons, lost souls and ambiguous intensions.
The Night improves upon everything Morphine has ever done. "Top Floor, Bottom Buzzer" is the capstone of their series of off-beat party tunes, defeating even their previous album's "Early to Bed" and "A Good Woman Is Hard to Find" is another superb addition to that cannon. "I'm Yours, You're Mine" and "The Way We Met" are Mr. Sandman's most interesting attempts to straighten out complicated relationships, even better than "Claire" and "Candy." The title track and "Take Me With You" are his best all-out odes to desperation, beating even "Cure for Pain," possibly the band's best song before the release of The Night. This is the sound of a band that had their style down to a science and was apt to do even better at what they do best. Sadly, we will not be hearing any new developments in this exceptional band, so sadly halted at its peak.
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Format: Audio CD
When I--and the rest of the world--first heard Morphine, the band seemed like a fantastic, alternitive rock sideshow. Back in that heady, 1992-'93 post-Nevermind heyday, when Cobain and Co. opened the major label gates for hundreds of little expermental bands, Morphine's hipster jazz rock seemed like just another wonderful herb to add to the underground stew. Their use of the baritone sax was quite a hook.
But after three or four albums, you couldn't help but think that Morphine had painted themselves into a corner. About forty different songs, about three different musical textures. The bartitone sax which had been their trademark was becomming an artistc ball and chain. It became difficult not to dismiss the band as a one trick beatnick pony: albeit an increadably enjoyable one.
The Night shows that Morphine had grander plans in mind: they were not only making their fans an album, but themselves an artistic future. For every surefire Morphine calling card ("Top Floor, Bottom Buzzer,") there was a daring experment: "Rope On Fire" uses an Oud. "I'm Yours, You're Mine" uses the sax not as a musical backbone, but to punctuate its daring rhythms and provide sonic variation. The title track, like some others on the album, uses a cello to provide an extra texture.
Many bands begin to throw extra sounds into the mix when they have run out of ideas, and their contract says it's album time. But The Night is Morphine testing out a whole new vocabulary, not gasping for musical oxygen. For every old sound they use in these songs, they contrast it with a new one. The contrast is intensly dynamic.
The Night is gripping and expansive. Art-rock in the best sense of the term : a testing of new possibilities for a great band. Listening, you'll feel intensely fufilled, and then intensely cheated. If Sandman had lived, there was no limit to where Morphine could have gone next.
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