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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply a Popular Music Masterpiece.
As with other great composers of the past , if Donald Fagen never does anything else again before he departs this life , in 'The Nightfly' he has left his mark.Everything about this album is right, the concept of the songs centred around a late night DJ in late 50's or early 60's in a northeastern USA city tells a social history story of that period USA in itself -...
Published on 6 Mar 2002 by D. Lambert

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good numbers but many are rather basic blues or swing
Some good numbers but many are rather basic blues or swing. I feel that later more complex work is better.
Published 1 month ago by Rabin


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply a Popular Music Masterpiece., 6 Mar 2002
By 
D. Lambert "Dave Lambert" (Preston , Lancashire , England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Nightfly (Audio CD)
As with other great composers of the past , if Donald Fagen never does anything else again before he departs this life , in 'The Nightfly' he has left his mark.Everything about this album is right, the concept of the songs centred around a late night DJ in late 50's or early 60's in a northeastern USA city tells a social history story of that period USA in itself - brilliantly brought back to life by the genius of Donald Fagens songs and the one cover song(Ruby Baby), and what absolutely marvellous songs they are too! 'IGY'(International Geophsical Year) for instance is absoluely brilliant.IGY was something that actually took place in the years 1957/1958.But then again,without exception the rest of the album is brilliant to! Add to this the stunning musicianship of all the musicians involved and the top notch production, well,it's the complete package.
The album cover is also marvellous at conveying visually what 'The Nightfly' story concept is.As DF has stated himself, in the suburbia where teenagers were growing up then, there was not much to do. But they did have radio(many pirate) stations that played jazz music,that they could tune in to.The front cover shows the 'DJ'(posed by DF himself) with a copy of the album by the saxophanist Sonny Rollins -'The Contemporary Leaders'. This visually depicts the jazz music of what 'The Nightfly' is about, and an influential artist and record of that period of American Jazz.I can envisage someone in future doing the same with 'The Nightfly' Album' and placing it on their album cover!The back cover shows a typical suburban house (in the night) of that period, showing a lit room/window, suggesting where the radio show and 'The Nightfly' is transmitting from. Quite simply 'The Nightfly'is a popular music masterpiece of an album , that will endure through the years, and is a benchmark on which others who follow will be judged against.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When 5 stars just aren't enough...., 18 Mar 2006
By 
Kevin Sloane (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Nightfly (Audio CD)
Fabulous, sublime, a magnificent collection, still great after twenty years.

One or two details - may I just draw your attention to the wonderful Michael Brecker tenor solo on "Maxine"? or the little fragments of harmonica / electric piano at the end of "New Frontier"? Or the superb changes in the middle eight in "The Nightfly"?

Will he ever make another record as damn near perfect as this?

Listening to "Morph the Cat" twenty odd eyars later there are positive signs. Have a listen to the "The Great Pagoda of Funn"... he's nearly there!

"Oooooooohhhhh Miami!"
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Total and utter perfection, 23 Feb 2006
This review is from: The Nightfly (Audio CD)
Superlatives just aren't enough sometimes. "The Nightfly" is such a magical combination of exquisite lyrics, impeccable harmony and flawless studio production that I can say that this is the only album that I know of that has no weaknesses at all. I've listened to the thing probably a thousand times in the last twenty years and it just gets better each time. Greg Phillinganes's piano solo on "Ruby Baby" is stunning; Michael Brecker's sax solo on "Maxine" is jaw-dropping : the list goes on an on.
A track that I particulary like is the eponymous "The Nightfly". It tells the story of a lonely, late-night radio host called Lester who runs a 'phone-in show:
"You say that there's a race
Of men in the trees.
You're for tough legislation.
Thanks for calling.
I wait all night for calls like these."
The chorus (and this is why Donald Fagen is a genius) is based around a radio jingle for the station WJAZ ("at the foot of Mount Belzoni"!). It's such a wonderful dove-tailing of theme and music. How many recording artists have ideas like this?
Total and utter perfection.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Album.....Ever!, 9 Jun 2009
By 
J. S. Parkin - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Nightfly (Audio CD)
In my humble opinion the greatest album ever made.I can play this every day and not get bored of it,there's always something new that you hear.
Every track a winner but my favourite is New Frontier-just love the harmonica at the end.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless and Perfect, 11 Nov 2008
By 
G. Don Fielder (Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Nightfly (Audio CD)
A stylish reference to the fifties and early sixties, but somehow timeless and perfect, this is one of those special albums that come along every so often to render the consideration of genre somewhat pointless. Made in the 80's, it's a touch short by modern standards but the cool groove of these songs, packed with melody and beautiful playing, really cannot be bettered and I'd hate to see it watered down by the addition of B-list "bonus" tracks. An uplifting album, definitely one for that desert-island short-list, there's really nothing more to add that hasn't already been said by the five-star reviews here.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 star excellence from one of the Dans....., 15 Nov 2005
By 
Scubaboy "sydwal" (Swansea, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Nightfly (Audio CD)
A great solo effort from (arguably) the more talented half of the excellent Steely Dan. An outstanding album from beginning to end, with the only crticisim being that it's too damn short! Love Don's cover of "Ruby Ruby", but my particular favourite is the well-observed "New Frontier".
Had this on a dreadful audio tape for years before spotting it on Amazon. The songs are still as strong as I remember them. No weak tracks at all - you have to sit through the whole 39 minutes! Reeks quality from start to finish. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't get any better than this, 1 Sep 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Nightfly (Audio CD)
Five stars really aren't enough, are they? Fagen and Steely Dan producer Gary Katz wrestled with early digital recording technology to create something that stands apart from every pop, rock and jazz album you've ever heard. It's not hard to tell from most other reviewers that this record has a very special emotional significance for a lot of people, and I'm among them. The supreme irony is that with sequencers, synths and primitive drum machines - plus the cream of 1970-80's session talent, or course - Fagen created a uniquely evocative mood piece where every note weighs heavy with nostalgia for a time that most of this album's fans have never even lived through. I won't add to the superlatives... I'll just re-state them. This ranks as one of the finest musical achievements of this or any decade.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great solo album from the 80's..., 26 Jan 2004
By 
Milt Ingarfield "milt_fm" (Arbroath, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Nightfly (Audio CD)
In between recording with "Walter Becker" the seminal albums "Aja" and "Gaucho" under the banner of "Steely Dan", Donald Fagen recorded this masterpiece of audio art.

The a fore mentioned album called the "The Nightfly" runs at less than 40 minutes long and has 7 self-penned tracks and has 1 track written by the legendary song-writing partnership of "Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, their song "Ruby Baby" is clearly the most commercial sounding on the whole album, the collection was arranged by "Donald Fagen" and on production duties was the same producer as the man who had produced all the "Steely Dan" recordings "Gary Katz".

As the album opens up with the track "I.G.Y." (International Geophysical Year) the "electric piano" playing of "Greg Phillinganes" he creates a retro sound that he manages to duplicate on all the tracks he plays on which is half of the tracks here.
The album if the sleeve notes are to be believed is the dreams of a young man growing up in a remote suburb of a northeastern city during the late 50's and early 60's about the same general height and weight and build as "Mr Fagen"

The problem I have with this album in its current incarnation on C.D. is that the disc that is currently available it has not been re-mastered; a lot of the delicate little touches have been lost that you were quite clearly able hear before on vinyl. I must put forward the case for the artist to go back to the studio and do some sonic renovation so that this classic from the early 80's can be heard as it's meant to be heard.

In closing a great album let down by the current pressing, which is a shame the album is superb and deserves better...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for your DVD Audio Collection, 23 Jan 2006
By 
R. Osborne "Wiseman" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This has to be one of the finest DVD albums out. Donald Fagen is a master musician and it shows in every track in this album.
Just sit back and chill out.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Album, 18 Nov 2006
This review is from: The Nightfly (Audio CD)
Such quality music is rare to find. Donald Fagen is the sound of Steely Dan and this album illustrates his rare talents beautifully. The first of his solo albums, it is difficult to single out individual tracks as stars - I.G.Y.; The Nightfly and The Goodbye Look are particularly good but actually the entire album is such a pleasure to listen to. If you are a Dan fan you will love this but it is a must for anyone's collection.

It says something that every review to date gives this recording 5 stars.
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