1982 Donald Fagen – The Nightfly

fagen-donald-1982The 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.

Unlike most of Fagen’s previous work, The Nightfly is almost blatantly autobiographical. Many of the songs relate to the cautiously optimistic mood of his suburban childhood in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and include such topics as late-night jazz disc jockeys, fallout shelters, and tropical vacations.

The Nightfly was recorded in 1981-82 at Soundworks Digital Audio/Video Recording Studios and Automated Sound in New York City, and at Village Recorders in Los Angeles. The producer was Gary Katz and the album engineer was Roger Nichols; both men had worked on all seven of the previous Steely Dan albums. Many of the musicians had also played on Steely Dan records, including Jeff Porcaro, Rick Derringer and Larry Carlton. Similar to the Aja and Gaucho albums, a large number of studio musicians were employed, with the liner notes crediting a total 31 musicians

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Tracks

I.G.Y. (What A Beautful World) (Donald Fagen) 6:04
2  Green Flower Street (Donald Fagen) 3:42
3  Ruby Baby (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) 5:39
4  Maxine (Donald Fagen) 3:50
New Frontier (Donald Fagen) 6:22
6  The Nightfly (Donald Fagen) 5:47
7  The Goodbye Look (Donald Fagen) 4:50
8  Walk Between Raindrops (Donald Fagen) 2:39

Musicians

1 I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World)

Bass Anthony Jackson
Drums James Gadson
Drums Jeffrey Porcaro
Guitar Hugh McCracken
Piano Greg Phillinganes
Synthesizer Donald Fagen
Synthesizer Rob Mounsey
Sax Dave Tofani
Sax Michael Brecker
Sax Ronnie Cuber
Trombone Dave Bargeron
Trumpet Randy Brecker
Percussion Starz Vanderlockett
Percussion Roger Nichols
Background Vocals Valerie Simpson
Background Vocals Zack Sanders
Background Vocals Frank Floyd
Background Vocals Gordon Grody


2 Green Flower Street

Bass Chuck Rainey
Drums Jeffrey Porcaro
Guitar Larry Carlton
Guitar Dean Parks
Guitar Rick Derringer
Clavinet Greg Phillinganes
Piano Greg Phillinganes
Synthesizer Donald Fagen
Synthesizer Rob Mounsey
Percussion Starz Vanderlockett
Background Vocals Valerie Simpson
Background Vocals Zack Sanders
Background Vocals Frank Floyd
Background Vocals Daniel Lazerus


3 Ruby Baby

Bass Anthony Jackson
Drums Jeffrey Porcaro
Drums James Gadson
Guitar Larry Carlton
Guitar Hugh McCracken
Organ Donald Fagen
Piano Greg Phillinganes
Piano Michael Omartian
Piano Donald Fagen
Synthesizer Donald Fagen
Horn Randy Kerber
Sax Michael Brecker
Trumpet Randy Kerber
Background Vocals Valerie Simpson


4 Maxine

Bass Marcus Miller
Drums Ed Greene
Guitar Larry Carlton
Organ Donald Fagen
Piano Greg Phillinganes
Piano Donald Fagen
Euphonium Dave Bargeron
Horn Randy Brecker
Sax Dave Tofani
Sax Michael Brecker
Sax Ronnie Cuber


5 New Frontier

Bass Abe Laboriel
Drums Ed Greene
Guitar Larry Carlton
Piano Michael Omartian
Harmonica Hugh McCracken
Percussion Starz Vanderlockett
Background Vocals Starz Vanderlockett

 

6 The Nightfly

Bass Marcus Miller
Drums Jeffrey Porcaro
Guitar Larry Carlton
Guitar Hugh McCracken
Guitar Rick Derringer
Piano Donald Fagen
Piano Michael Omartian
Synthesizer Donald Fagen
Synthesizer Rob Mounsey
Background Vocals Valerie Simpson
Background Vocals Zack Sanders
Background Vocals Frank Floyd


7 The Goodbye Look

Bass Marcus Miller
Drums Jeffrey Porcaro
Guitar Larry Carlton
Guitar Dean Parks
Guitar Steve Khan
Piano Greg Phillinganes
Synthesizer Greg Phillinganes
Percussion Starz Vanderlockett
Background Vocals Valerie Simpson


8 Walk Between Raindrops

Bass Will Lee
Drums Steve Jordan
Guitar Larry Carlton
Piano Donald Fagen
Synthesizer Donald Fagen
Background Vocals Leslie Miller

Liner Notes

Producer – Gary Katz
Arranged By – Donald Fagen
Arranged By (Horns) – Rob Mounsey, Donald Fagen
Engineer (Digital Maintenance) – Wayne Yurgelin
Engineer (Assistant) – Cheryl Smith, Michael Morongell, Robin Laine, Wayne Yurgelin
Engineer (Chief) – Roger Nichols
Engineer (Digital Maintenance, 3M) – Bill Roach, Jiri Donovsky
Engineer (Digital Maintenance, Soundworks) – Michael Morongell
Engineer (Overdub) – Daniel Lazerus
Engineer (Tracking & Mixdown) – Elliot Scheiner
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Mastered By (Original Mastering, Masterdisc N Y C) – Bob Ludwig

Liner Notes – Donald Fagen

Mastered At – Masterdisk
Pressed By – Specialty Records Corporation
Mastered At – Sheffield Lab Matrix
Recorded At – The Village Recorder
Recorded At – Automated Sound Studios
Recorded At – Soundworks Digital Audio/Video Studios
Mixed At – Soundworks Digital Audio/Video Studios
Mixed At – Automated Sound Studios
Mixed At – The Village Recorder