January 22

My next at bat from my recent RRR Auctions score, 1982s solo debut called The Nightfly from Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen.


As a former volunteer DJ, I was struck first by the cover art on this LP. I can remember many a late evening, stuck in a nearly windowless room, talking into a live mic to… who knows! Having been in that situation and on the receiving end of some random late night DJ, I can relate. As a DJ, and an insomniac listener, you hope… no, PRAY… for a connection through those airwaves.

Here’s where I tell you about an all night drive through South Dakota and me, picking up a college radio station somewhere near Rapid City, and being totally re-energized for the hour or so I could receive the signal. Going from “I just want to close my eyes…” to “What’s next! What’s next!” is a weird experience. Another weird experience is trying to call said college radio station from a truck stop pay phone (pre cell, of course).

Anyhow, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about this album cover:

“The album’s cover artwork features a photo of Donald Fagen as a disc jockey, wearing a collared shirt and tie, speaking into a RCA 77DX microphone. In front of him is a turntable (16 inch ’50s model, with a Para-Flux A-16 tonearm), an ashtray, and a pack of Chesterfield King cigarettes. Visible on the table with the record player, is the cover of the 1958 jazz album Sonny Rollins and the Contemporary Leaders (credited in the liner notes). On the wall behind is a large clock, indicating that the time is 4:09.” Very cool…

I was not familiar with this record. The track listing only included one song I was could identify… New Frontier, which charted at #70.

After I cued up the vinyl, I had that “Hey! I know this song!” moment… The song is listed as I.G.Y. but I knew it as What a Beautiful World:

The next thing I noticed was just how clean this record was… it sounded beautiful! Great production, very Steely Dan like, just gorgeous sound… well worth the 1/100th of $5 i spent on it. The vinyl went into a pristine Disckeeper sleeve, and into the collection. Score one for me!

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