Steely Dan is an American jazz rock band which formed in 1972. In April, they played the 12-date Reelin' In the Chips residency in Las Vegas and Southern California. Read Full Biography. [43], To complete his Nightfly trilogy, Fagen issued Morph the Cat in 2006. Becker and Fagen recruited a diverse group of session players for Katy Lied (1975), including Porcaro, Paich, and McDonald, as well as guitarist Elliott Randall, jazz saxophonist Phil Woods, saxophonist/bass-guitarist Wilton Felder, percussionist/vibraphonist/keyboardist Victor Feldman, keyboardist (and later producer) Michael Omartian, and guitarist Larry Carlton—Dias, Becker, and Fagen being Steely Dan's only original members. [citation needed]. Its hit singles "Do It Again" and "Reelin' In the Years" reached No. In March 2001, Steely Dan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[5][6]. The band was formed by Donald Fagen (vocals, keyboards) and Walter Becker (guitar, bass), who met in 1967 while both attended Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, and began a songwriting partnership shortly thereafter. [57], In 2018, Steely Dan performed on a summer tour of the United States with The Doobie Brothers as co-headliners. Released in 1973, Countdown to Ecstasy was not as commercially successful as Steely Dan's first album. Gaucho was finally released in November 1980. [46] Steely Dan's Shuffle Diplomacy Tour that year included an expanded set list and dates in Australia and New Zealand. The band also featured singers like Patti Austin and Valerie Simpson on later projects such as Gaucho. Blending elements of rock, jazz, latin music, R&B, blues[3] and sophisticated studio production with cryptic and ironic lyrics, the band enjoyed critical and commercial success starting from the early 1970s until breaking up in 1981. 82 on their list of the 100 Greatest Musical Artists of All Time. Official Steely Dan website, including tour dates, news and updates. The song was written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagan. [42] On October 23, 1991, Becker attended a concert by New York Rock and Soul Revue, co-founded by Fagen and producer/singer Libby Titus (who was for many years the partner of Levon Helm of The Band and would later become Fagen's wife), and spontaneously performed with the group. The tour featured guitarist Jon Herington, who would go on to play with the band over the next two decades. [23], Pretzel Logic was the first Steely Dan album to feature Walter Becker on guitar. The song "My Old School" is an example, referring to Annandale (Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, is home to Bard College, which both attended and where they met), and the Two Against Nature album (2000) contains numerous references to the duo's original region, the New York metro area, including the district of Gramercy Park, the Strand Bookstore, and the upscale food store Dean & DeLuca. ", The band also often name-checks drinks, typically alcoholic, in their songs: rum and cokes ("Daddy Don't Live in That New York City No More"), piña coladas ("Bad Sneakers"), zombies ("Haitian Divorce"), black cows ("Black Cow"), Scotch whisky ("Deacon Blues"), retsina ("Home at Last"), grapefruit wine ("FM"), cherry wine ("Time Out of Mind"), Cuervo Gold ("Hey Nineteen"), kirschwasser ("Babylon Sisters"), Tanqueray ("Lunch with Gina"), Cuban breeze (Fagen's solo track "The Goodbye Look"), and margaritas ("Everything Must Go") are all mentioned in Steely Dan lyrics. The album's first single, "Hey Nineteen", reached No. A diverse set, it includes the group's most successful single, "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" (No. It is Steely Dan's first live album. 11 respectively on the Billboard singles chart. Initially the band had a core lineup, but in 1974, Becker and Fagen retired the band from live performances altogether to become a studio-only band, opting to record wit However, Dias remained with the group until 1980's Gaucho and Michael McDonald contributed vocals until the group's twenty-year hiatus after Gaucho. The Art Crimes Tour followed, including dates in the United States, Japan, and their first European shows in 22 years. [44] Despite much fluctuation in membership, the live band featured mainstays Herington, Carlock, bassist Freddie Washington, the horn section of Michael Leonhart, Jim Pugh, Roger Rosenberg, and Walt Weiskopf, and backing vocalists Carolyn Leonhart and Cindy Mizelle. The obscure and sometimes teasing lyrics have given rise to considerable efforts by fans to explain the "inner meaning" of certain songs. Venetta Fields, Sherlie Matthews and Clydie King were the preferred trio for backing vocals on the group's late 1970s albums. They played covers of songs by The Rolling Stones ("Dandelion"), Moby Grape ("Hey Grandma"), and Willie Dixon ("Spoonful"), as well as some original compositions. Steely Dan is an American rock band founded in 1972 by core members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. Can't Buy a Thrill, Steely Dan's debut album, was released in 1972. [56] Fagen filed a counter suit, arguing that the band had drawn up plans in 1972 stating that band members leaving the band or dying relinquish shares of the band's output to the surviving members. The Mood Swings: 8 Miles to Pancake Day Tour began in July 2013 and featured an eight-night run at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. In particular, they are known for their use of the add 2 chord, a type of added tone chord, which they nicknamed the mu major. As Fagen passed by a café, The Red Balloon, he heard Becker practicing the electric guitar. Fagen’s first solo album, The Nightfly (1982), recaptured many of Steely Dan’s strengths; Becker produced albums for various artists. Partly because of Carlton's prominent contributions, it is the band's most guitar-oriented album. With Becker playing lead and rhythm guitar, the pair assembled a band that included a second keyboard player, second lead guitarist, bassist, drummer, vibraphonist, three female backing singers, and four-piece saxophone section. Becker and Fagen joined the touring band of Jay and the Americans for about a year and a half. [35] Becker and his family moved to Maui, where he became an "avocado rancher and self-styled critic of the contemporary scene. Rehearsal ended and the tour was canceled when backing musicians began comparing pay. [71] However, some of their demo-era recordings show Fagen and Becker expressing romance, including "This Seat's Been Taken", "Oh, Wow, It's You" and "Come Back Baby". Becker later said bluntly, "We did it for the money. [49] Becker's final performance came on May 27 at the Greenwich Town Party in Greenwich, Connecticut. The other members gradually left the band, discouraged by this and by their diminishing roles in the studio. Striving for perfection, Becker and Fagen sometimes asked musicians to record as many as forty takes of each track. [26] In the UK the single "Haitian Divorce" (Top 20) drove album sales, becoming Steely Dan's first major hit there. Becker produced Fagen's second solo album, Kamakiriad, in 1993. The musicianship is 1st-class, & the sum-of-the-whole may even place it above "Alive in America" in terms of outright listening pleasure, performance, & song selection. Katz would produce all their 1970s albums in collaboration with engineer Roger Nichols. During the previous album's tour, the band had added vocalist-percussionist Royce Jones, vocalist-keyboardist Michael McDonald, and session drummer Jeff Porcaro. Steely Dan returned to annual touring that year with the Steelyard "Sugartooth" McDan and The Fab-Originees.com Tour. Find concert tickets for Steely Dan upcoming 2020 shows. The most prominent of these were two albums Becker produced for the British sophisti-pop group China Crisis, who were strongly influenced by Steely Dan. However, on these two discs Steely Dan is very much a BAND, with the personnel remaining for the most part stable for those first three albums. For example, expressed "love" is actually about prostitution ("Pearl of the Quarter"), incest ("Cousin Dupree"), pornography ("Everyone's Gone to the Movies"), or some other socially unacceptable subject. Enjoy this live rendition of Steely Dan performing "Josie". In: E. Vanderheiden, & C.-H. Mayer (Eds. "Name dropping" is another Steely Dan lyrical device; references to real places and people abound in their songs. Pretzel Logic was released in early 1974. Horn arrangements have been used on songs from all Steely Dan albums. [47] Jamalot Ever After, their 2014 United States tour, ran from July 2 in Portland, Oregon to September 20 in Port Chester, New York. Fagen released his fourth album, Sunken Condos, in 2012. 6 and No. Along with "Dirty Work" (sung by David Palmer), the songs became staples on progressive radio. [54] In tribute to Becker, they performed his solo song "Book of Liars", with Fagen singing the lead vocals, at several concerts on the tour. Becker and Fagen met in 1967 at Bard College, in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. The tour was originally scheduled for 2020, but is now rescheduled for Summer 2021, which means you still have plenty of time to find some great seats! Album in 20 years: two Against Nature, they played the Reelin! 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