Steely Dan Is Not a Band

In lots of discussions, the eclectic, ever-changing collective known as Steely Dan is discussed as if SD is or was a band that could be compared to, say, The Rolling Stones or Focus.

Here’s why Steely Dan, over most of its career, was not a band:

1. At best, Steely Dan was a duo, but has continued after Walter Becker’s death in 2017.

2. After 1974, Steely Dan fires its backing musicians and became a studio-only entity consisting of a Who’s Who of eminent pay-by-the-hour studio musicians.

3. The post-74 material (Katy Lied, The Royal Scam, Aja) is what SD is most celebrated for.

4. Studio perfectionists, Fagen and Becker did not want to recreate their production tricks onstage. Apparently, the tools became available by the time Becker and Fagen reunited for tours in 1993

5. Steely Dan’s army of musicians (not members) is massive:
Larry Carlton, Chuck Rainey, Victor Feldmen, Rick Derringer, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter Denny bias, Michael Omartian, Tom Scott, Wayne Shorter; Steve Khan, Randy Brecker, Anthony Jackson, Joe Sample, Hiram Bullock, Michael Brecker, Pete Christlieb, Don Grolnick, etc.

Counting just the drummers, you include Jim Hodder; Jim Gordon, Jeff Porcaro, Hal Blaine, Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, Steve Gadd, Paul Humphrey, Rick Marotta, Jim Keltner and Ed Greene.

As you reflect on this, Son of Vistalite Black insists you listen to Donny & Marie’s rendition of “Reeling in the Years.” It really capture what a cultural force Steely Dan had become during the 70s.

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Definition of the word band:

A band is just a group of musicians performing music. In no way does the group have to remain constant.
Definition of the word band:

A band is just a group of musicians performing music. In no way does the group have to remain constant.

or "large"....

but I get where the initial point is coming from, and at least to me, it doesn't matter what they are....
like that version
now you have repo bands

is what this reminds me off. Dan as you mention was a group till about 74
Dan and Steely then decided they could alone make a go of it utilizing hired hands
almost had a steady bass player in Chuck Rainey

Looking forward to the top 100 tribute band list
hope no one gets hurt (or worse) in gathering that list
could be the list that ends all lists
At the least the band names will be extremely entertaining
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Steely Dan certainly hired some of best hired guns for their projects, but their music to me sounds almost MOR. Radio friendly, not offensive, great for preppies. Kind of like eating vanilla ice cream while wearing sandals driving a Volvo.

I'll take Roxy Music or Genesis from '73-'77
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Well if thats the case there are a lot of Billboard artists that are not bands.

there are a lot of people on Billboard who are not artists either....don't get me started!!
The Nightfly (Live From The Beacon Theatre) · Donald Fagen - 2019
all 8->

Producer, Associated Performer, Vocalist, Rhodes, Melodica: Donald Fagen
Producer: Patrick Dillett
Associated Performer, Drums: Keith Carlock
Associated Performer, Bass: Freddie Washington
Associated Performer, Guitar, Rhythm Arranger: Jon Herington
Associated Performer, Percussion, Vocals: Jamie Leonhart
Associated Performer, Guitar: Connor Kennedy
Associated Performer, Piano, Keyboards: Jim Beard
Associated Performer, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Percussion, Horn Arranger: Michael Leonhart
Associated Performer, Trombone: Jim Pugh
Associated Performer, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone: Walt Weiskopf
Associated Performer, Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet: Roger Rosenberg
Associated Performer, Vocals, Percussion: Carolyn Leonhart
Associated Performer, Vocals, Percussion: Catherine Russell
Associated Performer, Vocals, Percussion: La Tanya R. Hall
Composer Lyricist: Donald Fagen

see? "associated performer"
lol Not band
He ran it more like' Big Band Jazz
He runs it like Big Band era

Like a big band for the late 60s hippie flower power educated intellectual counter-culture generation
which since Buddy Rich, Mel Lewis there hadn't been one.
I think that's been his goal (their goal) all-along role model a Duke Ellington big band soloists and casting players.

wow that show I didn't know they did that or hadn't listened to it- it's free on youtube
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After Countdown to Ecstasy to me, they became more of a brand than a band . Expertly crafted productions afterwards , very precise and .... sterile . In their pursuit of perfection ,studio nerds have this tremendous ability to polish off excellence.
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