Steely Dan / Donald Fagen / Gary Katz Productions | The Popjustice Forum

Steely Dan / Donald Fagen / Gary Katz Productions

Discussion in 'Comeback corner' started by Bleu Noir, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. Now this is one for the anoraks!

    i have become obsessed with Steely Dan and all things associated.

    10 albums by themselves which are all more or less perfect. Four by Donald Fagen, The Nightly being the obvious stand-out.

    Gary Katz produced almost all of the albums but also Rosie Vela's 'Zazu' and Love & Money's "Strange Kind Of Love' which I've always loved.

    I adore the glossy production which sounds amazing but also belies the sometimes darker subject matter of the tunes.

    Anyone heard of a group called to Eye To Eye (also produced by Katz) who had a very brief synth pop career in the early 80s in the US. The CD albums are impossible to find as were only available in Japan (Wounded Bird re-released the albums but I've read that they are a bit dodgy) so I've opted for the records.

    'Nice Girls' by Eye To Eye does sound vaguely familiar, it was a No.37 hit in the US!

    (Edit - Eye To Eye released Am I Normal prior to any Gary Katz involvement - nice tune - 12" sounds pretty good too.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  2. A thread perfectly suited to my tastes!

    I've loved the Steely Dan/Katz sound for as long as I can remember...The Nightfly is one of my top albums of all-time and everything they had a hand in during the 80s seems to have stood the test of time better than most music from that decade.
  3. Gary Katz produced a number of songs on Diana Ross' Ross '83 album (which I love).
  4. I love the YT sell the mp3 album for 4.99....wonder what the quality is like?
  5. I had a listen to all the samples for three of the albums (I hate doing this normally, it's so random in the way it cuts in and out), but I am hooked. If anything, the 2006 album Clean Slate (back with Rhett Davies as producer) has the most pleasing vibe, as the female vocals are a little less shrill (think: younger Kate Bush) than they were in the 80s. Love the sound they have.

    It's amazing how many(old) acts I've discovered this month!
  6. A few days ago I listened to some Steely Dan records for the first time in a long time, and I'm still impressed by the craftmanship and attention to detail. I can understand if people don't like that kind of music, but the quality is definitely there. And if you do like it then it's of course a joy to listen to. I'm quite jealous of people who have seen them live. There are good clips available on YouTube though.
  7. Got the Eye To Eye albums on vinyl - the first one is definitely a lost classic of sorts - minimal, cool, left of centre and a touch Steely Dan-esque. The woman's voice is very Kate Bush in parts (the early albums) and wouldn't sound amiss on an Air or Zero 7 album. Haven't played the second album yet.

    Edit : Just spent £30 on the Japanese CD on eBay (it's over £60 on discogs so I've convinced myself it's a bargain!)
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  8. I downloaded them both (I hate mp3 albums really, but c'est la vie!).....yeah, the first is the strongest material-wise, but the second has some great stuff as well. The 3rd album, for me, is where her vocals are at their best, but then 20 years had passed so it's not surprising her voice had matured and changed.
  9. Isn't it great to find something over 30 years after it was released and find it amazing. It's such a cool sound.
  10. It's one of many wonderful finds this month for me, along with Al Stewart, Nan Vernon, Blossom Dearie and Virna Lindt!
  11. I'm unfamiliar with Steely Dan aside from the Aja album and The Royal Scam (song), and I like them both a lot. Where would y'all recommend I go from here, were I to dive into their discography a little more?
  12. Oh, tough one....I'd say Pretzel Logic next. They're all supreme records...I like Countdown To Ecstacy a lot, even though I think it was a flop on release.
  13. Every single Steely Dan album has something recommend it. I did them in order and I think that's a good way to go, because then you get to savour the detached majesty of Gaucho at the end.
  14. Yeah, I bought them all for 4.99 in the summer of 2003, just after Everything Must Go was released, and listened to them in order. There's not a dud among them. The Nightfly is also a perfect album.
  15. I started off wth Can't Buy a Thrill too, which I had borrowed from the girlfriend of a friend together with Katy Lied, and that's good if you intend to explore further. But if you only hear that album you don't get a sense of their capacity, and it's their least good one by a wide margin. It's saved by tracks like Reelin' in the Years and Do It Again. Which I prefer David Palmer singing anyway, like here:
  16. What, no love for Katy Lied? That, for me, is the turning point of their discography, where Fagen and Becker stopped trying to conform to the yacht-rock audience and set off down their own path. Awesome album, though I'd still put The Royal Scam as their peak. (Never got into Gaucho, for some reason - it just seemed kind of antiseptic to me.)

    I won't even talk about my days attempting to replicate the "Kid Charlemagne" solo as a would-be bedroom shredder...
  17. I think Katy Lied is the weakest of the first run of Dan albums...but it's still very good.
  18. I just received the Japanese original CD release of Eye To Eye's 'Shakespeare Stole My Baby' - hurrah! Life complete etc.
    Eric Generic likes this.
  19. Never clicked that Walter Becker produced Flying Cowboys by Rickie Lee Jones, lovely album.
    Eric Generic likes this.
  20. It is, I hadn't really noticed or remembered that either. I like most of RLJ's albums, especially the debut and Pirates, but Flying Cowboys is very close behind them. A bit of a grower, too, at first some of the songs seem very slight and too subtle, but they really do get under your skin after a while.
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