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Steely Dan is an American jazz-rock band centered on core members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. The band reached a peak of popularity in the late 1970s, with the release of seven albums blending elements of jazz, rock, funk, R&B, and pop. Rolling Stone magazine has called them "the perfect musical antiheroes for the Seventies."

The band's music is characterized by complex jazz-influenced structures and harmonies played by Becker and Fagen along with a revolving cast of rock and pop studio musicians. Steely Dan's "cerebral," "wry" and "eccentric" lyrics are filled with sharp sarcasm which often touches upon such "dark" themes as drugs, crime, and their true-to-life "contempt of west coast hippies." The pair are well-known for their near-obsessive perfectionism in the recording studio, with one notable example being that Becker and Fagen used at least 42 different studio musicians, 11 engineers, and took over a year to record the tracks that resulted in 1980's Gaucho — an album that contains only seven songs.

Steely Dan toured from 1972 to 1974, but in 1975 became a purely studio-based act. The late 1970s saw the group release a series of extremely successful singles and albums. They disbanded in 1981, and throughout most of the next decade, the duo remained largely inactive in the music world. During this time, the group steadily built and maintained "a cult following." In 1993, the group resumed playing live concerts; the early 21st century saw Steely Dan release two albums of new material, the first of which earned a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. They have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.

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review by . June 17, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Donald Fagen of Steely Dan
Keep this in mind while reading this write up about Steely Dan:  The band went through a word machine of different names for the band that ranged from the likes of "Penis Whip" and "Leather Canary" before settling on Steely Dan which is named after a sex toy from the book Naked Lunch.    Just Saying.    Steely Dan is one of those weird enigmas of the music world that always comes up here and there.  They had some hits and some albums and dissapeared …
Quick Tip by . October 06, 2009
Eccentric and cryptic song lyrics and are powered by some great arrangements and an ever changing sound from rock to jazz.
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