The Nightfly is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Donald Fagen. Produced by Gary Katz, it was released October 1, 1982 by Warner Bros. Records. Fagen was previously best known for his work in the group Steely Dan, with whom he enjoyed a successful career in the 1970s. The band separated in 1981, leading Fagen to pursue a solo career. Although The Nightfly includes a number of production staff and musicians who had played on Steely Dan records, it was 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 incorporate such topics as late-night jazz disc jockeys, fallout shelters, and tropical vacations. Recorded over eight months at various studios between New York City and Los Angeles, the album is an early example of a fully digital recording in popular music. The nascent technology, as well as the perfectionist nature of its engineers and musicians, made the album difficult to record.
The Nightfly was well-received, both critically and commercially. It was certified platinum in both the US and UK, and generated two popular singles with the top 40 hit "I.G.Y." and the MTV favorite "New Frontier". Among critics, The Nightfly gained widespread acclaim, and received seven nominations at the 1983 Grammy Awards. The relatively low-key but long-lived popularity of The Nightfly led Robert J. Toth of The Wall Street Journal in 2008 to dub the album "one of pop music's sneakiest masterpieces."
Label: Warner Bros. Records 530187-1
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue
Genre: Jazz, Rock, Pop
Style: Pop Rock, Fusion
A2 Green Flower Street
A3 Ruby Baby
B1 New Frontier
B2 The Nightfly
B3 The Goodbye Look
B4 Walk Between Raindrops