Steely Dan Tickets
American jazz rock band, Steely Dan centers on the core members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. In 1967, they met at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York and began playing in local groups.
Between 1968 and 1971, while under contract to Vance, a series of demos made. Some unofficial CDs feature this collection of approximately twenty-five tracks and are known as 'The Proto-Dan' or simply, 'The Demos'.
Steely Dan released six music albums that blended together elements of jazz, rock, funk, R&B, and pop at the peak of their popularity in the 1970s. Complex jazz-influenced structures and harmonies, literate lyrics and adroit musicianship characterize their music.
Steely Dan's debut album, Can't Buy A Thrill, was released in 1972. Produced by Katz and recorded by Roger Nichols at ABC Studios, made an immediate impression with the hit singles 'Do It Again', the Palmer-sung 'Dirty Work' (later covered by Max Merritt), and 'Reelin' In The Years'.
Their third LP 'Pretzel Logic' returned them to prominence in early 1974 and produced another hit single, 'Rikki Don't Lose That Number', a US Top Ten hit (#4 on the Billboard chart) which became yet another enduring FM rock radio staple. Only a Steely Dan album can have a song by another composer - their cover of Duke Ellington's 'East St Louis Toodle-oo'.
Favoring a distinctly soul-influenced style of backing vocals, the first few albums were almost always performed by a female chorus. They also used session players such as Michael McDonald on their recordings and he features prominently on several tracks, including 'Black Friday' (1975) and 'Peg' (1977). The session trio of Venetta Fields, Shirley Matthews, and Clydie King appear on several albums.
The Steely Dan group's most guitar-oriented record, 'The Royal Scam' released in 1976 featuring legendary session drummer Bernard 'Pretty' Purdie. Even without the strength of a real hit single, it sold well making 'Kid Charlemagne' and 'The Fez', fan favorites.
Steely Dan toured from 1972 to 1974 as a group but from 1975 to 1980 they became a purely studio-based act. They took time out in 1978 and then wrote songs for the follow-up to Aja but the project became plagued by technical, legal, and personal problems. After a period of inactivity from 1981 through 1992 Becker and Fagen parted ways.
The Steely Dan band reunited with the 2000 release 'Two Against Nature' and follow-up, 2003's 'Everything Must Go'. They toured America thereafter going for a looser approach in the studio and attempted to capture a more live feel. 'Slang of Ages' was Walter Becker's first lead vocal and the album featured drummer, Keith Carlock on every track.
The summer of 2006 came with the band embarking on a 33-date tour following Donald Fagen's 2006 spring tour in support of his first solo album in 13 years, 'Morph the Cat'. The Fab-Originees Tour was an homage to the fictional 'inventor of the blues' presumably created by Becker and Fagen.
Steely Dan's songwriting team of Becker and Fagen is respected for their distinctive style complete with enigmatic, sardonically humorous and topical lyrics that add to the appeal of the songs. Characters appear in their songs that evoke the feel of Los Angeles or New York. Themes of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll appear, but never in a straightforward manner, neither encouraging nor discouraging, and many (if not all) of their songs are tinged with an ironic edge.
Steely Dan's Heavy Rollers Tour is scheduled to begin May 5, 2007, the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, TN and will further include North America, Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
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