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Thread: Donald Fagen - The Solo Albums

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    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Donald Fagen - The Solo Albums

    This morning, while cleaning up the kitchen, I felt the need for something optimistic and yet doomed, so I told that witch Alexa to serve up I.G.Y. by Donald Fagen. Then another Fagen tune. Then another. Like a lot of the bands I follow where I've played the entire catalog to death, sometimes it is a refreshing break to play solo albums to cleanse the palate. I turn to Fagen's solo discs a lot to scratch that SD itch with songs that aren't completely hard-wired into my brain. The Nightfly remains my favorite but they all have their merits.

    Your thoughts?
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    I like Nightfly , but Kamakiriad IMHO has more bounce to the ounce. Morph the Cat has some gems too.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
    -- Aristotle
    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
    “A Man Who Does Not Read Has No Appreciable Advantage Over the Man Who Cannot Read” - Unknown

  3. #3
    I'm glad I bought the Nightfly Trilogy when it was released. This music is so good in 5.1. And when it comes to favs, I guess I like The Nightfly the best because I know it the best.

    PS. Jez Rowden also goes into the solo-albums in his book On Track...Steely Dan: https://www.amazon.com/Steely-Dan-Ev.../dp/1789520436

  4. #4
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by interbellum View Post
    I'm glad I bought the Nightfly Trilogy when it was released.
    I bought Nighfly thru Sunken Condos. I love The Nighfly and Kamakiriad but can take or leave Morph The Cat. All three of those first albums are so divergent they don't sound like part of a set for me. Which is fine, I don't need them to be similar. But if there's a common theme among those first three albums it eludes me.

  5. #5
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    The Nightfly
    Kamakiriad
    Morph The Cat
    Sunken Condos

    I'd probably rank them in the order they were released. Thoroughly enjoyed each when they were new. I think Morph is probably the best sounding one, from an engineering angle.

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    Love Morph and Nightfly, and own Kamakiriad but it never really got its hooks into me. Sunken Condos is nice, but to me it's like extra tracks from the Morph sessions (I feel the same way about Everything Must Go vis-a-vis Two Against Nature). Agree with Sean - the production on Morph is outstanding; it's a stereo system reference disc for me.
    David
    Happy with what I have to be happy with.

  7. #7
    I had Nightfly and Kamakiriad from release, and so they are ones I’m most familiar with and go to more regularly. I picked up a bargain price box set of the lot a few years back, so Morph and Sunken reveal new things to me when I play them because they are not scorched into my memory. All are pretty great though.

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    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proggy_jazzer View Post
    Love Morph and Nightfly, and own Kamakiriad but it never really got its hooks into me. Sunken Condos is nice, but to me it's like extra tracks from the Morph sessions (I feel the same way about Everything Must Go vis-a-vis Two Against Nature). Agree with Sean - the production on Morph is outstanding; it's a stereo system reference disc for me.
    And it's funny because Nightfly was the reference for many years. But modern production offered up a wider sound spectrum and Morph totally showcases that added depth.

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    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    ^ it's not like you'd expect any recording involving Fagen to sound less than impeccable

  10. #10
    Big fan and great sounding records. My favourite is my vinyl copy of Nightfly.

  11. #11
    Member Bungalow Bill's Avatar
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    I have them all, and none are bad, but I think The Nightfly is head-and-shoulders the best - the lost Steely Dan album.
    For that which is not,
    there is no coming into being
    and for that which is,
    there is no ceasing to be;
    yea of both of these the lookers into truth have seen an end.
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    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    "I'm Not the Same Without You" from Sunken Condos is a great song.
    Chad

  13. #13
    Back before Sunken Condos, there was a four-CD box, The Nightfly Trilogy, with an added disc of bonus material. You can read my review of that box, over at All About Jazz, here.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  14. #14
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    That's a solid review, John. You note in there that Fagen seems a little more romantic in his solo work. I have a hunch that a good part of Steely Dan's acerbic lyrical sense came from Walter but I've never read any proof of that. I believe that The Nightfly Trilogy is OOP, but now there's the Cheap Xmas box which has all four solo albums plus the bonus disc that was in the Nightfly Trilogy.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    lots of good stuff. i got the whole package in a box set called Cheap Christmas, 5cd's for $25

  16. #16
    Honestly love The Nightfly and Kamakiriad as much as any Steely Dan record. They're brilliant, IMO.

    Morph the Cat has some real gems on it too, but is more uneven I think. I haven't really listened to Sunken Condos enough to compare to the previous three but I like it too.

  17. #17
    If I could fit only one song onto a mixed-artist iPod playlist, it would be "The Goodbye Look."

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    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Nice one!

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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    Honestly love The Nightfly and Kamakiriad as much as any Steely Dan record. They're brilliant, IMO.
    Or even more than most SD depending on my mood. A truly unique positive sunny sensibility that I have never heard on any one else's records save maybe China Crisis' Flaunt the Imperfection.

  20. #20
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Donald on life in quarantine - Bird, Diz, and Clorox

    https://www.rollingstone.com/music/m...antine-991723/
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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