For music lovers and techno geeks, this seven-disc set by the Steely Dan front man is a match made in heaven.
It includes CDs of all three Fagen solo albums, The Nightfly, Kamakiriad, and Morph The Cat, as well as a trio of MVI discs. They play DVD audio that sounds incredible. You can also pop them into your computer to hear, or for fun and games. And they contain Fagen videos and an interview from his promotion of Morph the Cat. A disc of extras has rare stuff that has only appeared as B-sides if it has been released at all.
Fans will know the music. 1982’s The Nightfly had Fagen stepping onto his own, with tales of a kid growing up in the ’50s and ’60s told via great songs and inspired guitar playing from Larry Carlton. Kamakiriad was 1993’s science fiction tale that while having odd storylines sounded wonderful; Walter Becker and Georg Wadenius supplied sublime guitar on cuts like “Snowbound.” And Morph the Cat (from ’06) was a brilliant take on America today, with unflinchingly brilliant songs and lead guitar from Jon Herrington and Wayne Krantz. And it’s nice to finally have stuff like “Big Noise New York,” “Century’s End,” “Confide in Me,” and “True Companion” on the bonus disc.
Also nice is the inclusion of the recently-released “Rhymes,” which was used to promote a proposed tour with Fagen and Al Green that never did happen. They all sound great, but the real star here is the DVDA (audio) on the MVI discs. If you haven’t taken the step to DVDA, try it! For music as dense and complicated as Fagen’s, it’s the perfect format. Every note is brilliantly presented.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Mar. ’08 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.