because it is donald fagen’s burthday, i will proceed to pleasure myself with these fish:
my favorite tracks from each one of his solo albums with some tiny suck text about what i think about the track
i have zero experience in writing and so a lot of this probably dry and insipid but i’m doing this mostly for my own sake because i love my donny boy. also run on sentences.
The Nightfly | The Nightfly (1982)
because this is the first album donald fagen produced under a completely different brand and label (aka not steely dan), he seems to have exercised his newly acquired flexibility by incorporating themes and lyrics which don’t primarily serve to deride his own subculture or the pop culture of his era, but to weave a delightfully nostalgic tapestry of the feelings he once had growing up in the suburbs of passaic and listening to the radio by placing himself in the shoes of an after-dark radio show host aptly named “the nightfly”. in this vignette, the titular protagonist bemoans the ridiculous and mundane calls about “men in the trees” (conspiracy theorists) and “tough legislation” (probably right wingers) and a failed relationship/marriage. this is my favorite track on the album because no matter how far removed i am from the lonely suburbia of the ‘60s, i still get a clear image of fagen’s affinity of radio from the time. coupled with the slick and sophisticated hipster imagery that rings throughout the fagen/steely dan oeuvre, the narrative is extremely captivating and coats your palate with a thin, flavorful jazzy film.
MORE UNDER THE CUT!