Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be 50 fantastic first solo albums recorded by artists who departed—or simply took a temporary hiatus from—their respective groups, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Click “Next Album” below to explore each album or view the full album index here.
Donald Fagen | The Nightfly
Warner Bros. (1982)
Selected by Libby Cudmore
The most perfect album ever recorded, The Nightfly is the famously-shy Fagen on full display, a love letter to the Atomic Age that’s tinged with cyanide. Songs like “IGY” and “New Frontier” sound romantic until you realize we’re never going to get those spandex jackets and that the threat of nuclear holocaust still looms ever-present.
The title track is pure Fagen majesty, but I will never be convinced that there isn’t just a little bit of Walter Becker’s darkness hovering around the edges of “The Goodbye Look.” Bonus points for having an absolutely gorgeous cover.