Steely Dan, a distinctive blend of jazz, rock, pop and R&B, is essentially a two-man band backed by an endless parade of stellar session musicians. 42 dropped by to take part in the yearlong sessions for one Steely Dan album, Gaucho, a 1980 LP which contained only seven songs. Two of them, though, became hits: “Hey Nineteen” and “Time Out of Mind.”
Donald Fagen, born January 10, 1948 in Passaic, N.J., and Walter Becker born February 20, 1950 in Queens, N.Y. met as college students in a New York café in 1967. Their appreciation of the same kind of music launched their writing and playing together, even spending a year and a half in the touring band of Jay & the Americans. Forming their own group, Steely Dan was signed to ABC Records where the hits began in 1972 with “Do It Again” and went on to include “Reeling In The Years,” “Peg,” “Deacon Blues,” “FM (No Static At All),” “Josie” and “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” before Fagen and Becker split up in 1981.
Reforming in 1993, Steely Dan eventually won four Grammys — including “Album of the Year” — for their 2000 CD Two Against Nature. Having sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, Steely Dan was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
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