Conceived as a sentimental remembrance of 1950's and early 1960's America, The Nighfly is now regarded as a classic, and further cemented Fagen's reputation as a songwriting genius and a studio perfectionist. The album is impeccably arranged and produced and the material is extremely strong.
The video for "New Frontier" is typical Fagen -- understated and lovingly crafted as a real work of art. No less a source than Allmusic states that it "was widely considered one of the great videos of the early MTV era." The attention to detail, down to the animation is remarkable. Fagen appears only in a poster seen in the video, underscoring him as the anti-celebrity.
Helped by the video, "New Frontier" rose to #70 on the charts, while the other single from The Nightfly, "I.G.Y." peaked at #26. The album hit #11 and went platinum.
Unfortunately, Fagen then developed a case of writers block; his next album was not released until 1993. He eventually reconciled with Walter Becker and has remained active as both a solo artist as as a member of Steely Dan in recent years.