Donald Fagen – The Nightfly is the first solo album by Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen, released in 1982. It was an early example of a fully digital recording in popular music. Although The Nightfly includes a number of production staff and musicians who had played on Steely Dan records, it is Fagen’s first release without longtime collaborator Walter Becker. The Nightfly was certified Platinum in both the US and UK, and produced two popular hits with “I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World)” and “New Frontier”. It also received several 1983 Grammy Award nominations. This relatively low-key but long-lived popularity led the Wall Street Journal in 2007 to dub the album, “one of pop music’s sneakiest masterpieces.
Jason Ankeny: ‘portrait of the artist as a young man, Donald Fagen – The Nightfly is a wonderfully evocative reminiscence of Kennedy-era American life; in the liner notes, Donald Fagen describes the songs as representative of the kinds of fantasies he entertained as an adolescent during the late ’50s/early ’60s, and he conveys the tenor of the times with some of his most personal and least obtuse material to date. Continuing in the smooth pop-jazz mode favored on the final Steely Dan records, The Nightfly is lush and shimmering, produced with cinematic flair by Gary Katz; romanticized but never sentimental, the songs are slices of suburbanite soap opera, tales of space-age hopes (the hit “I.G.Y.”) and Cold War fears (the wonderful “The New Frontier,” a memoir of fallout-shelter love) crafted with impeccable style and sophistication.’
Donald Fagen – The Nightfly Tracklist