Steely Dan | Artist
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Steely Dan is an American rock band founded 1972 in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York by principal members Walter Becker (guitars, bass, backing vocals) and Donald Fagen (keyboards, lead vocals). The band blends elements of jazz, pop, R&B and sophisticated studio production with clever lyrics and hook-laden songs. Becker and Fagen met as students at Bard College, New York, and began playing in local groups. One of these groups, the Leather Canary, included future comedy star Chevy Chase on drums. After a period peddling their songs at the Brill Building NYC, the duo met Gary Ketz, a staff producer for ABC Records. He hired Becker and Fagen as staff songwriters and they flew to California. Katz would produce all their 1970s albums in collaboration with engineer Roger Nichols, and Nichols would go on to win six Grammy Awards for his work with the band from the 1970s to 2001. There were two long-term additional members who helped shape the band's sound; Denny Dias (guitar, electric sitar) and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (guitar, peddle steel), Baxter then went on to join the Doobie Brothers, where he was instrumental in re-shaping that band's sound in the late '70s. In 1974, Becker and Fagen retired the band from live performances altogether to become a studio-only band, opting to record with a revolving cast of session musicians. It was as a recording band that Steely Dan really shone, and between 1972-1980 released seven peerless albums back-to-back, which established Steely Dan as one of the leading 'album oriented rock' bands of all time. Outstanding albums include Can't Buy a Thrill, Countdown to Ecstasy, Pretzel Logic, Katy Lied, The Royal Scam, Aja and Gaucho. Donald Fagan has also released some excellent solo albums. Steely Dan have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2001. As a matter of interest, Fagen and Becker named the band after a revolutionary steam-powered dildo mentioned in the William S. Burroughs novel Naked Lunch.
Artist Website: steelydan.com
Featured Albums: Steely Dan