Donald Fagen :: The Nightfly

Donald Fagen :: The NightflySteely Dan have sparked more heated debates than any other artist I consider myself a loyal, and ardent, fan of. People just love to hate on The Dan. And when I say love, I mean they looove to. And Donald Fagen’s solo work? Shee-it, that’s just even more bizarre to the non-Dan faithful than the proper canon. Luckily, I could give a fuck.

The beauty of Steely Dan, is that if you get it, it’s as if you are part of one big, sarcastic, inside joke. If you don’t, then it reportedly sounds like a bastard hybrid of lounge music crossed with ’70s yacht-rock. But, I wouldn’t know.

Anyway, this brings us to Donald Fagen’s 1982 solo debut, The Nightfly. I am presently spinning an aged vinyl copy that I scored years ago at a used record store.

My imagination informs me the album’s jacket was most definitely used to cut bad coke, in lieu of a mirror, back in the early ’80s, somewhere in West Hollywood. But that is neither here nor there.

On The Nightfly, not unlike his main gig, Fagen employs an equal use of social commentary, sarcasm, humor, and perversion to spin tales of the boomer generation growing up in the shadow of the Cold War. All this is (of course) wrapped up with the Dan’s, typical, hyper-studio production values.

This one goes out to “Lester the Nightly,” “WJAZ,” and all you Steely Dan/Fagen obsessives, and completists, out there. Oh, and my wife…just kidding, she hates Steely Dan. Keep listening.

MP3: Donald Fagen :: I.G.Y.
MP3: Donald Fagen :: The Nightfly

12 thoughts on “Donald Fagen :: The Nightfly

  1. Huh. That’s an interesting fact, Travis. I remember that the first ‘cassingle’ was released by Bryan Adams. 🙂 But I didn’t know that about cds..

    I’ll stick up for ‘the Dan.’ I’ve never listened to Fagan’s solo work (other than that video that Beavis and Butt-head watched one time), but it sounds pretty similar to Steely Dan. Which I like.

  2. I’ve always been a big Steely Dan fan too. I took a lot of shit from my punk friends back in the day because of that. “Nightfly” was/is awesome (as is the live album credited to the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble, which featuried Fagen doing several of these songs).

  3. Steely Dan were really pioneers in the studio, and I’m a big fan of the cd above, and of Aja and Gaucho. That said, I feel the music never really progressed after those recordings – it’s well produced, but the new stuff sounds the same.

  4. i came to the dan pretty late after being a hater and a non-believer for years – can’t remember what turned me round, but i do remember hearing the last track from The Nightfly and thinking it was the biggest crock I’d ever heard. Needless to say I’ve been playing these two tracks in heavy rotation for the last day and will be picking up a copy at the next opportunity.

    incidentally, my wife likes some Dan (“Can’t Buy a Thrill” and “Aja” in particular) but actually ran from the room screaming (honestly) as I played these last night…

  5. Any Dan lovers really need to pick up Walter Becker’s solo album “11 Tracks of Whack”. It is as good as any Fagen solo album, and though he took a partial lead vocal on only one Dan track (prior to the reunion) Becker is also a pretty good singer.

  6. When I was a little boy, I didnt get them at all. Too adult-contemporary, no edge, couldn’t skate nor get drunk to it. If there was one thing I did like about them back then was that I though they were a black R & B band that crossed-over. I couldnt understand why rock radio played Steely Dan, but i thought they were lame.

    Then a friend of mine sampled “Black Cow” for his own hiphop stuff on a greatest hits vinyl he had. He left it at my house and i all of a sudden got it.

    Don’t care for the new stuff, nor would I be interested in seeing them live, but they hit a cool-noir-hipster thing there in the mid-late 70s.

  7. When I went to see Steely Dan on their heavy Rollers tour (the best concert i have seen – the sound was unbelievable!!) I told one of my friends that my girlfriend doesn’t like Steely Dan. He said,” Doesn’t she like music?”. I think that pretty much sums it up.

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