I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World)
|"I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World)"|
|Single by Donald Fagen|
|from the album The Nightfly|
|B-side||"Walk Between Raindrops"|
|Label||Warner - 29900|
|Donald Fagen singles chronology|
"I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World)" is a song written and performed by American songwriter, singer and musician Donald Fagen. It was the first track of his debut solo album The Nightfly, and was released in September 1982 as its first single, charting on the Billboard Hot 100, Mainstream Rock, R&B Singles and Adult Contemporary charts.
Fagen, along with musician Walter Becker, led the rock band Steely Dan during the 1970s. Between 1972 and 1981, Steely Dan had ten Top-40 singles, including the top-ten hits "Do It Again" (1972), "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" (1974) and "Hey Nineteen" (1980).:600 In 1981, Becker and Fagen parted ways. Fagen's first album as a solo artist, The Nightfly, was released the next year.
- Donald Fagen - Vocals, Synthesizer, Synth-harmonica
- Greg Phillinganes - Electric Piano
- Rob Mounsey - Synthesizer
- Anthony Jackson - Bass
- Hugh McCracken - Guitar
- James Gadson - Drums
- Jeff Porcaro - Additional Drums
- Roger Nichols - Drum/Percussion Programming
- Starz Vanderlocket - Percussion
- Randy Brecker - Trumpet
- Dave Tofani - Alto Sax
- Michael Brecker - Tenor Sax
- Ronnie Cuber - Baritone Sax
- Dave Bargeron - Trombone
- Valerie Simpson, Zack Sanders, Frank Floyd, Gordon Grody - Backup Vocals
Title and lyrics
The "I.G.Y." of the title refers to the "International Geophysical Year", an event that ran from July 1957 to December 1958.:217 The I.G.Y. was an international scientific project promoting collaboration among the world's scientists. Fagen's lyrics reference, from the point of view of that time, an optimistic vision of futuristic concepts such as solar-powered cities, a transatlantic tunnel, permanent space stations, and spandex jackets.
Chart performance and cover versions
"I.G.Y." debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 on October 9, 1982 at number 56. It reached the top 40 on October 30 and eventually peaked at number 26 on November 27, 1982.:217 It also reached number 8 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, number 17 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, and number 54 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart. It was Fagen's only solo Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1983, losing to "Always on My Mind".
The gospel a cappella group Take 6 covered "I.G.Y." as the title track on their 2002 release Beautiful World. The lyrics of Fagen's original song were modified to recast the song with a gospel message.
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