The Second Disc

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Donald Fagen Gives “Cheap XMas” Gift with Career-Spanning Digital Compilation

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In preparation for Steely Dan singer Donald Fagen’s fourth solo album, Sunken Condos,   Reprise is releasing a compact digital compilation pairing the new album with the rest of Fagen’s solo discography.

Cheap XMas: Donald Fagen Complete is a digital box set featuring five discs worth of Fagen albums and non-LP material. The Nightfly (1982), Kamakiriad (1993) and Morph the Cat (2006), Fagen’s jazzy “Nightfly Trilogy,” will be included with the set, as well as the disc of non-LP material that appeared in Rhino’s Nightfly Trilogy CD/DVD box set, released in 2007 and long out of print.

The critically-acclaimed, Grammy-nominated The Nightfly was described by Fagen in the liner notes as “represent[ing] certain fantasies that might have been entertained by a young man growing up in the remote suburbs of a northeastern city during the late fifties and early sixties, i.e., one of my general height, weight and build.” It features a host of great session work from luminaries including Michael Brecker, Jeff Porcaro, Paul Shaffer, Rick Derringer, Greg Phillinganes and Michael Omartian, and the hit single “I.G.Y.”

Follow-up Kamakiriad, an eight-song cycle about an everyman’s trip in a futuristic car, was a major step in Fagen’s career, as it was produced by his Steely Dan partner Walter Becker. (It was the duo’s first collaboration since 1980; ultimately, the pair would reunite, releasing the Grammy-winning Two Against Nature in 2000.) Finally, the self-produced Morph the Cat was a self-produced rumination on aging and loss that closed Fagen’s trilogy, leading up to the considerably lighter Sunken Condos.

Cheap XMas hits digital retailers on October 16. Hit the jump to check out the track list.

Cheap XMas: Donald Fagen Complete (Reprise, 2012)

Disc 1: The Nightfly (originally released as Warner Bros. 23696, 1982)

  1. I.G.Y.
  2. Green Flower Street
  3. Ruby Baby
  4. Maxine
  5. New Frontier
  6. The Nightfly
  7. The Goodbye Look
  8. Walk Between Raindrops

Disc 2: Kamakiriad (originally released as Reprise 45230, 1993)

  1. Trans-Island Skyway
  2. Countermoon
  3. Springtime
  4. Snowbound
  5. Tomorrow’s Girls
  6. Florida Room
  7. On the Dunes
  8. Teahouse on the Tracks

Disc 3: Morph the Cat (originally released as Reprise 49975, 2006)

  1. Morph the Cat
  2. H Gang
  3. What I Do
  4. Brite Nitegown
  5. The Great Pagoda of Funn
  6. Security Joan
  7. The Night Belongs to Mona
  8. Mary Shut the Garden Door
  9. Morph the Cat (Reprise)

Disc 4: Sunken Condos (originally released as Reprise 532287, 2012)

  1. Slinky Thing
  2. I’m Not the Same Without You
  3. Memorabilia
  4. Weather in My Head
  5. The New Breed
  6. Out of the Ghetto
  7. Miss Marlene
  8. Good Stuff
  9. Planet D’Rhonda

Disc 5: Bonus material

  1. Rhymes (from Nightfly Trilogy box set – Reprise 43325, 2007)
  2. Big Noise New York (B-side to Reprise single W-0196 (U.K.), 1993)
  3. True Companion (from Heavy Metal: Music from the Motion Picture – Asylum DP-90004, 1981)
  4. Confide in Me (B-side to Reprise single 7-18502, 1993)
  5. Blue Lou (from Nightfly Trilogy box set – Reprise 43325, 2007)
  6. Shanghai Confidential (B-side to Warner Bros. single 7-27972, 1988)
  7. Green Flower Street (Live at the Beacon) (from Nightfly Trilogy box set – Reprise 43325, 2007)
  8. Century’s End (from Bright Lights, Big City: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Warner Bros. 25688, 1988)
  9. Hank’s Pad (Live) (from Nightfly Trilogy box set – Reprise 43325, 2007)
  10. Viva Rock ‘N’ Roll (Live) (from Nightfly Trilogy box set – Reprise 43325, 2007)

Written by Mike Duquette

October 8, 2012 at 14:10

5 Responses

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  1. Not remastered 😦 not interested 😐


    October 8, 2012 at 16:29

  2. Why does the dude always looks he just crapped his pants?


    October 8, 2012 at 19:32

  3. And yet again The Finer Things is not included. A song Fagen wrote for the film KIng of Comedy and played by David Sanborn.

    Thomas Roth

    October 9, 2012 at 05:36

  4. Definitely understand where vikerii’s coming from – but is it definite that there’s been no updated remastering? I never trawled to find out, but I think some people also thought Trilogy wasn’t re-mastered. I’d be delighted to see some definitive advice on all these audio aspects. I couldn’t find a retail price for the Xmas Box, so can’t judge if it’s priced in recognition of no re-mastering and/or a lot of fans having already bought Trilogy….Need some answers before criticising – can anyone help?


    October 9, 2012 at 06:49

    • I’ll see what I can find out, Des. That said, I highly doubt this has been remastered seeing as it’s a digital-only release, and therefore only available in substandard sound, anyway. (I don’t see high-resolution downloads among the offerings for “Cheap X-Mas.”) This is particularly disappointing to me as he’s had a history of releasing material in high-resolution. Fagen’s THE NIGHTFLY, as mixed by Elliot Scheiner, is one of my surround sound “go-to” discs on DVD-A, and sounds pretty remarkable in high-res stereo, too!

      Joe Marchese

      October 9, 2012 at 10:14

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