Donald Jay Fagen

Donald Fagen

Donald Fagen (Photo credit: podbay)

Donald Jay Fagen (born January 10, 1948[2]) is an Jewish musician and songwriter, based in US America, best known as the co-founder (along with partner Walter Becker) and lead singer of the rock band Steely Dan. Especially the first, 1982 published , and produced by Jew Gary Katz album The Nightfly gained great popularity and hitted place 11 in the US-Charts.

Donald Jay Fagen is known for his use of jazz harmonies, elaborate arrangements, and attention to detail. Following the initial breakup of Steely Dan in 1981, he launched a long-running, if sporadic, solo career in 1982, spawning three albums to date, with a fourth to be released on October 16, 2012. In 1993, Fagen and Becker reunited and have since toured together as Steely Dan.

Steely Dan in concert in Luzerne, Switzerland,...

Steely Dan in concert in Luzerne, Switzerland, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jewish Donald Jay Fagen was born in Passaic, New Jersey, on January 10, 1948 to Joseph „Jerry“ Fagen, an accountant and his wife Elinor Fagan.  From the age of 12 to 17, Elinor sang in a hotel band in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains until bouts of stage fright (a condition her son would later be afflicted with) forced her to discontinue performing live. Donald Jay Fagen would later recall: „I can’t ever remember when there was silence around the house. She was either playing records or singing.“

The Very Best of Steely Dan: Reelin' In the Years

The Very Best of Steely Dan: Reelin‘ In the Years (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Around 1958, the Fagen family moved from Passaic first to the suburb of Fair Lawn, and then quickly moved and settled into a ranch-style house in Kendall Park, New Jersey. The transition greatly upset Donald: he detested living in the suburbs. Donald Jay Fagen would later recall to an interviewer that it „was like a prison. I think I lost faith in [my parents‘] judgment… It was probably the first time I realised I had my own view of life.“

His life in Kendall Park would later inspire tracks on his album The Nightfly.

In the late 1950s, Donald Jay Fagen became interested in rock and R&B music; his first record purchase being Chuck Berry’s „Reelin‘ and Rockin‚“. Around age 11, after receiving musical recommendations from a cousin and attending the Newport Jazz Festival, he quickly became a self-declared „jazz snob. I lost interest in rock n‘ roll and started developing an anti-social personality.“ Donald Jay Fagen would regularly take the bus to Manhattan to see Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, and Miles Davis perform. Soon afterwards, he learned to play the piano, and also played baritone horn in the in high school marching band. Donald Jay Fagen also began a lifelong fondness for table tennis during his teenage years.

20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collectio...

20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Steely Dan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After graduating from South Brunswick High School in 1965, Fagen enrolled at Bard College to study English literature, having been inspired by Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. While at Bard, Donald Jay Fagen met musician Walter Becker. The duo, along with a revolving assortment of musicians which included future actor Chevy Chase, formed various groups called The Leather Canary, The Don Fagen Jazz Trio, and the Bad Rock Band. Fagen would later describe his college bands as sounding like „The Kingsmen performing Frank Zappa material“. None of the groups lasted long, but the partnership between Fagen and Becker would continue for decades. The duo’s early career included a stint with Jay and the Americans (where they went by pseudonyms), and in the early 1970s, as pop songwriters for ABC/Dunhill Records, which would go on to release all of Steely Dan’s 1970s output.

Steely Dan - Boston, MA - Bank of America Pavi...

Steely Dan – Boston, MA – Bank of America Pavilion, 6/23/08 (Photo credit: Meuzic)

Responding to an ad in The Village Voice in the summer of 1970, Fagen and Becker met guitarist Denny Dias and started a musical partnership that formed the basis of what would eventually become Steely Dan. However, the original group’s line-up would only be assembled in full around December 1971 in Los Angeles, California, to where Becker and Fagen had relocated, initially to work as staff song writers for ABC/Dunhill. Fagen and Becker formed the core of the band and co-wrote all the group’s music; on tour and record, Becker played bass (and later lead guitar) and Fagen played keyboards, as well as performing almost all of the lead vocals on their recordings.

Katy Lied

Katy Lied (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After releasing their third LP in 1974, the other members gradually left (or were fired from) the band, which gradually evolved into a studio project headed by Becker and Fagen. From the mid-1970s onwards, Steely Dan recorded their albums exclusively with top-notch jazz and rock session musicians. They scored their biggest success in 1977 with the platinum-selling album Aja.

After a lengthy period of inactivity as a band which began in the early 1980s, the duo of Becker and Fagen revived Steely Dan in the mid 1990s, and have since produced two more Steely Dan studio albums: 2000s Two Against Nature which won several Grammys, Everything Must Go (2003), as well as the live CD Alive in America (1995) and a live concert DVD entitled Two Against Nature, which included material spanning much of the band’s history.

Walter Becker

Walter Becker (Photo credit: podbay)

After Steely Dan’s breakup in 1981, Fagen released his critically acclaimed solo debut album, The Nightfly, in October 1982. It reached #11 on the Billboard album chart and was certified Platinum for sales of over a million copies in the United States alone. Its premiere single was „I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World)“. The song hit the Adult Contemporary Top 10 and peaked at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. The follow-up single, „New Frontier“ peaked at #34 AC and #70 Pop and was aided by a popular MTV music video. The Nightfly was nominated for several Grammy Awards including Album Of The Year. It was significantly more jazz-based than Fagen’s Steely Dan work. Rhino Records released a special DVD Audio version of The Nightfly in honor of the album’s 20th anniversary in 2002.

Everything Must Go (Steely Dan album)

Everything Must Go (Steely Dan album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fagen’s second solo album, 1993’s Kamakiriad, was produced by Becker. It climbed into Billboard’s Top 10 but sold fewer copies than The Nightfly, topping off at 900,000 in sales. Kamakiriad was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Album Of The Year.

Recording sessions for Fagen’s third solo album, Morph the Cat, began in August 2004 and the album was released March 14, 2006. Performing on the album are Wayne Krantz (guitar), Jon Herington (guitar), Keith Carlock (drums), Freddy Washington (bass), Ted Baker (piano), and Walt Weiskopf (sax). Upon its release, Morph the Cat received universal acclaim[citation needed] and was later named Album of the Year by Mix magazine. Fagen was also given ‚Producer of the Year‘ award.[citation needed]The 5.1 mix of Morph the Cat won the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Surround Sound Album.

Citizen Steely Dan

Citizen Steely Dan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All three of Fagen’s albums previously released on the DVDA format have now been released in Warner’s latest format MVI (Music Video Interactive) as a boxed set. Each album features a DTS 5.1, Dolby 5.1 and PCM Stereo mix but no MLP encoded track, along with bonus audio and video content. Customers will also be able to select any track or any portion of a track and use it as their mobile phone ringtone.

In March 2006, Fagen embarked on his first-ever solo tour to support Morph the Cat. This theater tour of the Northeast (including one Canadian date in Toronto), the Midwest, and the West Coast played to sold-out houses and excellent reviews. Fagen’s management also sold VIP packages for the tour, which included a pre-show party, premium seats, and access to the band’s sound checks. This was mocked on his song-writing partner Walter Becker’s website.[12] Fagen joined Becker for a Steely Dan/Michael McDonald tour the following summer of 2007.

Steely Dan

Steely Dan (Photo credit: Marco Raaphorst)

Donald Jay Fagen also toured with the New York Rock and Soul Revue. The 1986 debut album by Rosie Vela, Zazu, inspired the first collaboration between Fagen and Becker following the disbanding of Steely Dan. This led to their reunion as a writing team and the creation of a new touring version of Steely Dan. The following year Fagen co-produced Becker’s solo debut, 11 Tracks of Whack.

In the spring of 2010, Fagen stated plans to record a fourth solo album which will be lighter in tone and not an extension of the Nightfly trilogy, anticipating a 2012 release. On August 13, 2012, the album title was revealed to be Sunken Condos and the release date October 16.

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz with Steely Dan

Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz with Steely Dan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2012, Fagen also started a second tour with The Dukes of September Rhythm Revue which includes Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs.

Fagen has classified himself as both a self-taught pianist and self-taught vocalist. He is said to have taken some vocal lessons in the mid 1970s as a precaution after feeling the straining effects of years of touring. Although he learned to become a consummate entertainer, early on Fagen suffered from severe stage fright which originally prompted Steely Dan producer Gary Katz to hire David Palmer to sing two songs on Steely Dan’s debut album Can’t Buy a Thrill. This also lead to the hiring of Royce Jones and Michael McDonald as additional singers in the band’s early 1970s‘ tours. Eventually, Becker, Katz, and the rest of the band convinced Fagen that he was the only one capable of delivering Steely Dan songs with the attitude they needed and by the mid 1970s his confidence in his voice had grown immensely. Jeff Baxter once went on to call Fagen one of the greatest rock voices of all time. Fagen’s name routinely appears on all time underrated lists when talking about rock singers and his influence and phrasing can be heard in artists such as Joe Jackson, Ben Folds, and Elvis Costello who have all paid tribute to him with Steely Dan covers.

Showbiz Kids: The Steely Dan Story, 1972–1980

Showbiz Kids: The Steely Dan Story, 1972–1980 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fagen sings almost exclusively in a nasally tenor, usually with a thick North Jersey accent and many of his songs feature lead vocals sung in 3 or 4 part harmony with himself. Fagen plays keyboards on many of his own songs. He predominantly features the Fender Rhodes Electric Piano and Wurlitzer Electric Piano driving the chord progressions. He’s often a featured soloist as well contributing piano (Fire in the Hole), electric piano (Your Gold Teeth), organ (Do it Again, My Rival, etc.), synthesizer (Home at Last, Lunch with Gina, I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World), etc.), and even saxophone (East St. Louis Toodle-oo).
[edit]
Work for, and with, other artists

Mr. and Mrs. W.S. Marshall arrive for the conf...

Mr. and Mrs. W.S. Marshall arrive for the conference: Palm Beach, Florida (Photo credit: State Library and Archives of Florida)

In 1977, he played synthesizer on Poco’s Indian Summer album.

In 1978, he coproduced, with Walter Becker, „Apogee,“ an album of straight-ahead jazz featuring Warne Marsh and Pete Christlieb, both on Tenor, and Lou Levy on piano. Also co-wrote, with Walter Becker, „Rapunzel“, the third track on the album.

In 1983, he played synthesizer for the track „Love Will Make It Right“, which he also wrote, on Diana Ross’s solo album Ross.

Fagen wrote and co-arranged the track „Lazy Nina“ on Greg Phillinganes‘ 1984 album Pulse.

1948 Oldland Common railway station, Midland Line

1948 Oldland Common railway station, Midland Line (Photo credit: brizzle born and bred)

In 1986, he wrote the title track to the Yellowjackets‘ album Shades.

Also in 1986, Fagen and Becker contributed to Rosie Vela’s album Zazu.

In 1991, The Manhattan Transfer recorded Fagen’s song „Confide in Me“ on their album The Offbeat of Avenues.

In 1992, Jennifer Warnes recorded „Big Noise New York“ (co-written by Fagen and Marcelle Clements) on her solo album The Hunter.

Fagen’s own versions of both „Confide in Me“ and „Big Noise New York“ were released as ‚B‘ sides for the CD singles of the Kamakiriad tracks „Tomorrow’s Girls“ and „Snowbound,“ respectively. They were subsequently made available on the Bonus CD of The Nightfly Trilogy boxed set in 2007.

Occupy Wall Street Dogs Animals Chihuahua Pets...

Occupy Wall Street Dogs Animals Chihuahua Pets 2011 (Photo credit: david_shankbone)

In 2008, Fagen played synthesizer on the album I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too by folk singer Martha Wainwright.

Starting in 2008, Fagen made regular appearances with the Levon Helm Band, performing at Helm’s Midnight Ramble concerts in Woodstock, New York. He plays keyboards and sings with his stepdaughter, Amy Helm (Amy’s mother is Fagen’s wife, Libby Titus).

The Huffington Post - David Wood's 'Beyond The...

The Huffington Post – David Wood’s ‚Beyond The Battlefield‘ (April 16, 2012) …item 3..THE DEVASTATION OF THE IED (October 10, 2011) .. (Photo credit: marsmet511)

In 1978 Steely Dan recorded „FM (No Static at All)“ (sometimes referred to as „FM“). It is the title theme to the film FM. The soundtrack to the film won the 1979 Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, with engineers Roger Nichols and Al Schmitt taking the honors. This was the first single Steely Dan released on MCA Records (which had released the soundtrack), predating MCA’s acquisition of ABC Records by one year.

Countdown to Ecstasy

Countdown to Ecstasy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He recorded „True Companion“ for the 1981 animated cult film Heavy Metal.

He wrote „The Finer Things“, which appeared on the soundtrack to the Martin Scorsese 1983 film The King of Comedy, as well as sang background vocals on the song. David Sanborn is given credit for the main part of the song.

He recorded „Century’s End“ for 1988’s Bright Lights, Big City.

He recorded „Reflections“, a Thelonious Monk cover, along with guitarist Steve Khan, for the film 1988 Arthur 2: On the Rocks.

He recorded „Blue Lou“ an instrumental piece, for the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross.

The Best of Steely Dan: Then and Now

The Best of Steely Dan: Then and Now (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fagen wrote briefly in the 1980s for Premiere magazine, including a few witty pieces on Henry Mancini and Ennio Morricone. These are available online from his website. His website also features other articles he has written, such as ones for Slate.com.

In 1988, Fagen was a co-producer of the Broadway soundtrack album The Gospel at Colonus.

In the late 2000s, he appeared as the „Wise Man“ in a promotional video for the Electro-Harmonix Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai digital delay/looper. This short promo video was directed by frequent Steely Dan trumpet player Michael Leonhart.

Discography

Studio albumsYear Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)

Greatest Hits (Steely Dan album)

Greatest Hits (Steely Dan album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

US
[31] NLD
[32] NZ
[33] SWE
[34] UK
[35]
1982 The Nightfly
Released: October 29, 1982
Label: Warner Bros. 11 16 9 8 44 US: Platinum[36]
UK: Platinum[37]
1993 Kamakiriad
Released: May 25, 1993
Label: Reprise 10 13 30 9 3 US: Gold[36]
UK: Gold[37]
2006 Morph the Cat
Released: March 7, 2006
Label: Reprise 26 23 – 9 35
2012 Sunken Condos
To be released: October 16, 2012
Label: Reprise

Gaucho (album)

Gaucho (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Other releases
2007 The Nightfly Trilogy (3-MVI DVD + 4-CD Box Set)
[edit]
Awards

In 1984, Fagen was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree by his alma mater, Bard College.

In 2001, both Fagen and Becker received Honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Berklee College of Music. They both accepted their degrees in person.

In 2001, Steely Dan (Fagen and Becker) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Steely Dan

Steely Dan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1993, Fagen married fellow songwriter Libby Titus. Although the two of them had attended Bard College at around the same time, they did not become friends until 1987 when they were both going backstage after a Dr. John concert. Libby Titus co-wrote the song „Florida Room“, which appears on 1993’s album Kamakiriad.

Donald Jay Fagen is Jewish; his writings and interviews show a close identification with Jewish culture, but indicate skepticism about all religion.

Donald Jay Fagen celebrated his bar mitzvah at Kendall Park’s Congregation Beth Shalom in 1961, a synagogue his father helped found.

References

Kamakiriad

Kamakiriad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

^ „Morph The Cat“. AllAboutJazz.com. Retrieved 2010-05-09. „Fagen’s melodica features on the down-and-dirty ‚Mary Shut the Garden Door‘ [in his album, ‚Morph The Cat‘]“
^ The Times January 10, 2009, Retrieved January 9, 2010
^ „Donald Fagen to Release Sunken Condos, October 16 on Reprise Records“. BroadcastNewsroom. 2012-08-13. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
^ a b c d e f Steely Dan: Reelin in the Years by Brian Sweet – page 7
^ 10/14/1987 -Henry Mancini’s Anomie Deluxe – Premiere, October 1987
^ a b c Steely Dan: Reelin in the Years by Brian Sweet – page 8
^ Steely Dan: Reelin in the Years by Brian Sweet – page 9
^ Steely Dan: Reelin in the Years by Brian Sweet – page 10
^ Fruchter, Rena. I’m Chevy Chase…and You’re Not. Virgin Books, 2007.
^ Steely Dan: Reelin in the Years by Brian Sweet – page 12
^ GRAMMY.com 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards Winners List Grammy.com, retrieved May 7, 2008
^ walterbecker.com
^ broberg.pp.se Rosie Vela: Zazu
^ leveland.com
^ smoothjazztampabay.com
^ The Times January 10, 2009, Retrieved January 9, 2010
^ „Donald Fagen to Release Sunken Condos, October 16 on Reprise Records“. BroadcastNewsroom. 2012-08-13. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
^ a b c d e f Steely Dan: Reelin in the Years by Brian Sweet – page 7
^ 10/14/1987 -Henry Mancini’s Anomie Deluxe – Premiere, October 1987
^ a b c Steely Dan: Reelin in the Years by Brian Sweet – page 8
^ Steely Dan: Reelin in the Years by Brian Sweet – page 9
^ Steely Dan: Reelin in the Years by Brian Sweet – page 10
^ Fruchter, Rena. I’m Chevy Chase…and You’re Not. Virgin Books, 2007.
^ Steely Dan: Reelin in the Years by Brian Sweet – page 12
^ GRAMMY.com 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards Winners List Grammy.com, retrieved May 7, 2008
^ walterbecker.com
^ broberg.pp.se Rosie Vela: Zazu
^ leveland.com
^ smoothjazztampabay.com
^ a b „Donald Fagen to Release Sunken Condos, October 16 on Reprise Records“. Broadcast Newsroom. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
^ en.wikipedia.org
^ broberg.pp.se
^ a b c broberg.pp.se
^ Yellowjackets History yellowjackets.com, retrieved on 14-September 2009
^ google.com
^ Donald Fagen: The Nightfly Trilogy allaboutjazz.com, retrieved on 15-September 2009.
^ „Martha Wainwright:’I like old guys cos they like me!'“telegraph.co.uk, retrieved on 15-September 2009.
^ heavymetalmagazinefanpage.com
^ Outre Daniel
^ broberg.pp.se
^ Donald Fagen: The Nightfly Trilogy
^ donaldfagen.com, retrieved on 14-September 2009
^ barnesandnoble.com
^ Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai – Film by Michael Leonhart – Digital Delay/ Looper youtube.com
^ „Billboard Chart – Donald Fagen“. billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
^ „Dutch Charts – Donald Fagen“. dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
^ „New Zealand Chart – Donald Fagen“. charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
^ „Swedish Chart – Donald Fagen“. swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
^ The Times January 10, 2009, Retrieved January 9, 2010
^ „Donald Fagen to Release Sunken Condos, October 16 on Reprise Records“. BroadcastNewsroom. 2012-08-13. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
^ a b c d e f Steely Dan: Reelin in the Years by Brian Sweet – page 7
^ 10/14/1987 -Henry Mancini’s Anomie Deluxe – Premiere, October 1987
^ a b c Steely Dan: Reelin in the Years by Brian Sweet – page 8
^ Steely Dan: Reelin in the Years by Brian Sweet – page 9
^ Steely Dan: Reelin in the Years by Brian Sweet – page 10
^ Fruchter, Rena. I’m Chevy Chase…and You’re Not. Virgin Books, 2007.
^ Steely Dan: Reelin in the Years by Brian Sweet – page 12
^ GRAMMY.com 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards Winners List Grammy.com, retrieved May 7, 2008
^ walterbecker.com
^ broberg.pp.se Rosie Vela: Zazu
^ leveland.com
^ smoothjazztampabay.com
^ a b „Donald Fagen to Release Sunken Condos, October 16 on Reprise Records“. Broadcast Newsroom. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
^ en.wikipedia.org
^ broberg.pp.se
^ a b c broberg.pp.se
^ Yellowjackets History yellowjackets.com, retrieved on 14-September 2009
^ google.com
^ Donald Fagen: The Nightfly Trilogy allaboutjazz.com, retrieved on 15-September 2009.
^ „Martha Wainwright:’I like old guys cos they like me!'“telegraph.co.uk, retrieved on 15-September 2009.
^ heavymetalmagazinefanpage.com
^ Outre Daniel
^ broberg.pp.se
^ Donald Fagen: The Nightfly Trilogy
^ donaldfagen.com, retrieved on 14-September 2009
^ barnesandnoble.com
^ Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai – Film by Michael Leonhart – Digital Delay/ Looper youtube.com
^ „Billboard Chart – Donald Fagen“. billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
^ „Dutch Charts – Donald Fagen“. dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
^ „New Zealand Chart – Donald Fagen“. charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
^ „Swedish Chart – Donald Fagen“. swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
^ „UK Chart Company – Donald Fagen“. theofficialcharts.com. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
^ a b „Searchable Database“. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2011-09-22. Note: User must define ‚Artist‘ search parameter as „Donald Fagen“.
^ a b „Certified Awards Search“. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on 22 September 2011. Note: User needs to enter „Donald Fagen“ in the „Search“ field, „Artist“ in the „Search by“ field and click the „Go“ button. Select „More info“ next to the relevant entry to see full certification history.
^ Berklee College of Music: Commencement 2001 – Photographs, retrieved October 15, 2007
^ Steely Dan in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
^ Donald Fagen-Biography donaldfagen.com, retrieved on 2009-9-10.
^ Return of the Dark Brothers rollingstone.com, retrieved on 2009-9-10.
^ ‚Kamakiriad -Lyrics and Credits‘ from „Discography Section“ donaldfagen.com, retrieved on 2009-9-10
^ Flamingo Park, a tongue-in-cheek play believed to be written by Fagen
^ „What Rhymes With Orange Alert?,“ The New York Times, February 26, 2006: „I’m afraid of religious people in general — any adult who believes in magic.“
^ Bringing up Steely Dan [1] Retrieved on 14-September 2009
[edit]
External links
donaldfagen.com[show]
v · t · e
Donald Fagen

[show]

Categories: Steely Dan members
American male singers
American rock musicians
American rock pianists
Songwriters from New Jersey
Bard College alumni
Jewish American musicians
People from Passaic County, New Jersey
1948 births
Living people
Grammy Award-winning artists
Jewish composers and songwriters
People from Middlesex County, New Jersey
Melodica players

Gold (Steely Dan album)

Gold (Steely Dan album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Donald Jay Fagen (* 10. Januar 1948 in Passaic, New Jersey) ist der jüdische Sänger und Keyboarder des US-amerikanischen Duos Steely Dan.

Der Jude Donald Fagen und drer Jude Walter Carl Becker lernten einander in den 1960er Jahren am Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson (New York), kennen. 1972 gründeten sie die Gruppe Steely Dan. Fagen und Becker waren der Kern der Gruppe, und schrieben gemeinsam alle Titel. Bei Studioaufnahmen und Konzerten spielte Becker die Bass- und später die Leadgitarre. Fagen spielte die Tasteninstrumente und war in der Regel der Sänger der Gruppe.

Nachdem Steely Dan 1974 ihr drittes Album herausgebracht hatten, verließen die übrigen Musiker nach und nach die Gruppe, und sie wurde zu einem Duo-Projekt Beckers und Fagens, die von da an begannen, ihre Alben mit hervorragenden Studiomusikern des Jazz- und Rockgenres einzuspielen. Ihr größter Erfolg war das Album Aja von 1977, welches Platin-Status erreichte.

Steely Dan (album)

Steely Dan (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Zwischen der Auflösung der Band und ihrer Wiedervereinigung brachte Fagen zwei Soloalben heraus.

Besonders das erste, 1982 erschienene, von Gary Katz produzierte Konzeptalbum The Nightfly erlangte große Popularität und erreichte Platz 11 in den US-Charts

→ Hauptartikel: The Nightfly

1993 erschien Kamakiriad, an dem Steely-Dan-Partner Walter Becker als Musiker und Produzent mitwirkte und das zur Reunion der Band führte. Auch hierbei handelt es sich um ein „Konzeptalbum“, da sich sämtliche Songs um eine Figur drehen, die in ihrem neuen Öko-High-Tech-Auto, einem Kamakiri, um die Welt fährt. Das funkige Album, das keinen Titel umfaßt, der kürzer als fünf Minuten ist, bezeichneten einige Kritiker als wenig dynamisch sowie nicht mit der musikalischen und textlichen Ausgereiftheit seines Vorgängers zu vergleichen.

The Nightfly

The Nightfly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2006 erschien das dritte Solowerk Morph the Cat, das Fagen als letzten Teil einer Albentrilogie verstanden wissen will. Zwecks musikalischer Homogenität der drei Veröffentlichungen, so Donald Jay Fagen, sei auf diesem Album die von dessen Vorgängern bekannte Pop-Jazz-Mixtur zu hören. Textlich schneidet er politische Themen an, berichtet über Sicherheitskontrollen am Flughafen (Security Joan) und läßt im Titeltrack über Manhattan eine außerirdische Riesenkatze einschweben. Als Vorabsingle wurde in den USA H gang veröffentlicht.

Diskografie

1982: The Nightfly
1991: The New York Rock And Soul Revue – Live At The Beacon (Livekonzert einer Allstar-Band um Donald Fagen, u. a. mit Phoebe Snow, Michael McDonald und Boz Scaggs)
1993: Kamakiriad
1993: Tomorrows Girls (Maxi-CD, enthält zwei sonst unveröffentlichte Titel)
1993: Trans-Island Skyway (Maxi-CD, enthält zwei sonst unveröffentlichte Titel, darunter einen Outtake von „The New York Rock And Soul Revue“)
2006: Morph the Cat

A Decade of Steely Dan

A Decade of Steely Dan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nachweise

↑ The Nightfly in den US-Charts bei Allmusic (englisch)

Weblinks

Offizielle Website
Ausführliche Diskographie
Normdaten (Person): PND: 132095106 | LCCN: n91062892 | Wikipedia-Personensuche
Kategorien: Rocksänger
US-amerikanischer Musiker
Geboren 1948
Mann

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