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The Nightfly
Studio album by Donald Fagen
Released October 1982
Recorded 1982
Genre Jazz-Rock
Length 38:46
Label Warner Bros. Records
Producer Gary Katz
Professional reviews
Donald Fagen chronology
The Nightfly

The Nightfly is the first solo album by Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen, released in 1982. It was one of the first fully digital recordings of popular music. The album was certified Platinum for US sales of over 1 million copies and produced two popular hits with "IGY (What A Beautiful World)" and "New Frontier". It also received several 1983 Grammy Award nominations.

The common thread among the album's tracks is the cautiously optimistic mood of the late 1950s and early 1960s (i.e., Fagen's youth), particularly as reflected in "I.G.Y."'s lyrics. The liner notes describe the album's songs as representing "represent certain fantasies that might have been entertained by a young man growing up in the remote suburbs of a northeastern city during the late fifties and early sixties, i.e., one of my general height, weight and build."

In the UK the album was certified Platinum in 2004, despite only reaching #44 on the charts following its release. It has also gone Platinum in America. This relatively low-key but long-lived popularity led the Wall Street Journal to dub the album "one of pop music's sneakiest masterpieces" upon the release of a 25th anniversary edition of The Nightfly in late 2007.[1]

Paul White, editor-in-chief of Sound On Sound Magazine, said The Nightfly "is always a good reference for checking out monitoring systems and shows what good results could be obtained from those early digital recording systems in the right hands."[2]

The title song mentions WJAZ, an independent radio station in Pennsylvania.


Track listing

All songs by Donald Fagen, except where noted

  1. "I.G.Y. (International Geophysical Year)" – 6:05
  2. "Green Flower Street" – 3:40
  3. "Ruby Baby" (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) – 5:38
  4. "Maxine" – 3:50
  5. "New Frontier" – 6:23
  6. "The Nightfly" – 5:45
  7. "The Goodbye Look" – 4:47
  8. "Walk Between Raindrops" – 2:38

Bonus tracks:

  1. "True Companion" (Bonus Track, From The Nightfly Trilogy MVI Boxed Set) - 5:09
  2. "Green Flower Street (Live)" (Bonus Track, From The Nightfly Trilogy MVI Boxed Set) - 4:25
  3. "Century's End" (Bonus Track, From The Nightfly Trilogy MVI Boxed Set) - 5:32



  • Producer: Gary Katz
  • Engineers: Daniel Lazerus, Roger Nichols, Elliot Scheiner
  • Assistant engineers: Robin Lane, Mike Morongell, Cheryl Smith, Wayne Yurgelun
  • Mixing: Elliot Scheiner
  • Mastering: Bob Ludwig
  • Digital editing assistant: Mike Morongell, Wayne Yurgelun
  • Project assistant: Ginger Dettman, Steve Pokorny, Steve Woolard
  • Tracking: Elliot Scheiner
  • Authoring: David Dieckmann, George Lydecker
  • Sequencing: Roger Nichols
  • Overdub engineer: Daniel Lazerus
  • Horn arrangements: Donald Fagen, Rob Mounsey
  • Arranger: Donald Fagen
  • Design: Greg Allen
  • Art direction: Greg Allen, George Delmerico
  • Liner notes: Donald Fagen
  • Editorial supervision: Cory Frye
  • Photography: James Hamilton
  • Screen design: Andrew Thomas


The Nightfly was reissued on various disc formats three times in recent years: on DVD-Audio in 2002, on DualDisc in 2004 and on MVI in 2007. [3]



Year Chart Position
1982 Black Albums 24
1982 Pop Albums 11


Year Single Chart Position
1982 "I.G.Y. (International Geophysical Year)" Adult Contemporary 8
1982 "I.G.Y. (International Geophysical Year)" Black Singles 54
1982 "I.G.Y. (International Geophysical Year)" Mainstream Rock 17
1982 "I.G.Y. (International Geophysical Year)" Pop Singles 26
1983 "New Frontier" Adult Contemporary 34
1983 "New Frontier" Pop Singles 70


  1. ^ Wall Street Journal: "'The Nightfly' Still Lives at 25" by Robert J. Toth
  2. ^ BBC: Big George's Business of Sound - Industry Interview: Paul White
  3. ^ "Donald Fagen - The Nightfly re-releases"

External links



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