Steely Dan is the band that everyone remembers, simply because it has been memed into our memory as being the band that every dad listens to, in order to relax. But, there is more to the band than just being remembered as the Dad band, a meme and a band that should be left to the ages. Steely Dan was an important milestone in American Culture, one that would be defined so much of the age, so much of what we think of as music and so much of what we hear wherever we go, starting from the elevators and going all the way to underground pop-rock bands. It would be a shame to leave these two men to be lost to history, without celebrating what Steely Dan. You can take a look at every song they have produced, even the best real money casinos favourite Blackjack song, Do it Again and see how much influence it has had on musicians today. So, like a bad tribute to a band that create some of the most meticulous, perfectionist music of their times, let us talk about what Steely Dan did, where the came from and why you should not forget them.
Out of nowhere into the limelight
Steely Dan was the child of two random dudes, two students at Bard College, who got together because they loved to make music. They would spend hours together, practising, but nobody really anticipated that they would become big. Although, because of their tenacity, they kept making bands and they kept playing and eventually, they became what we now know as Steely Dan. The two burst into the world of music, seemingly out of nowhere, despite the fact that they had spent so many months, years, practising and building a library of songs and skills. One that would be impressive enough to cause the world to wonder where these guys came from.
The skills they acquired in music were put to good use over the years of their performance. The two musicians would construct complex songs of pop-rock, but these songs would remain as too complex for the general audiences to pick up as popular music. Instead, the musicians remained a studio duo, beloved by a small group of people. But the band slowly grew in popularity, releasing their first single, Dallas with ABC. Then came to their first album “Can’t buy a thrill,” which had the song Do it again and suddenly, the band was at the centre of the world’s (or at least the US’s) attention. The band started reaching the most popular mark on the charts over, again and again, releasing a classic song after classic song. Thus, the Dad legend of Steely Dan was created.
What they brought
The two musicians, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen were quite exceptional in what they did. Not because they had an exceptional talent or some kind of unseen skill with their respective musical instruments, but because of the tenacity and the perfectionism with which they pursued the sound they wanted to produce. The two would spend months working on their songs, recording them and re-recording them so that they come as close to perfect as possible. They employed all kinds of studio techniques to keep their music clean and unique. The amount of work the two did introduce a new sort of inspiration for musicians from around the world. The act of creating a song became more than just simply writing a cool sound. It became an engineering feat in the pop-rock industry as well. These are the guys who took the guitar solo to the next level, who introduced the ten-minute long solo into their music. They are the ones who varied their music and created the roots for what now is known progressive.
Steely Dan became an inspiration for thousands of people to start working on their music in a similar manner. Now, bands and producers spend the amount of time mastering their songs and crafting their sound that is required to achieve perfection, rather than approaching music with a that’s good enough attitude. They are also the ones that created the pop-rock sound that you hear so many songs. The smooth tones, the beautiful lyricism and storytelling, have all managed to break so much more into the mainstream, simply because steely dan knew what they were doing.
To forget what Steely Dan did for modern music is to forget what good music is.