ALBUM OF THE MONTH

STEELY DAN "Katy Lied"


 

Album # 50 is Steely Dan - Katy Lied

The fourth album from the group was released in 1975. They had quit touring the year before and could now concentrate on studio work full time. This also meant that Steely Dan changed from a band to a duo; Donald Fagen and Walter Becker plus whatever musicians they thought fit a song.

Donald and Walter wasn't too happy about the album once it was finished. They tried a new recording studio and ran into trouble with the then new new noise-reduction system DBX.

In a 1979 interview Fagen said that "We had a problem with Katy Lied from a technical standpoint. We went through a noise-reduction system which had just come out on the market and it ruined our record; it broke our record and as Walter says, the moral is don't be so hasty to use the latest and the greatest piece of equipment."

The Liner notes to the album tell the story. Sort of.

Katy Lied saw Michael McDonald join the Steely Dan ranks. But he soon left to join the Doobie Brothers.
There's contributions from jazz musicians like saxophonist Phil Woods and guitarist Larry Carlton. But the long, jazzed up tunes are still a couple of albums away. Just like the previous album; Pretzel Logic, Katy Lied is a record filled with short songs. And whatever critics or fans might say I find a lot of great moments and music here.

Track listing:
Black Friday
Bad Sneakers
Rose Darling
Daddy Don't Live In That New York City No More
Dr Wu
Everyone's Gone To The Movies
Your Gold Teeth II
Chain Lightning
Any World (That I'm Welcome To)
Throw Back The Little Ones

Trivia: Dr Wu is a nod of the hat to one Jing Nuan Wu (1933-2002). An acupuncturist and artist that helped one of the band to overcome drug addiction in the mid-70s. Or so the story goes according to The Steely Dan Dictionary.

The cover features a photo by Fagen's then-girlfirend Dorothy White of a grasshopper part of a family of grasshoppers called katydid.

 

N.S.