Talk:Steely Dan

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Former featured article candidate Steely Dan is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Steely Dan:
  1. Nominate for Good Article at WP:GAC.
  2. Address issues.
  3. Re-nominate WP:GAC.
  4. Good Article.
  5. Obtain a free image of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen.

Trivia section[edit]

Trivia sections on Wikipedia are considered very bad form. All imformation within this section should be dispersed to apropriate places within the article. --The_stuart 18:55, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

  • Fagen and Becker decided to name the band "Steely Dan" after a steam-powered dildo in the William Burroughs novel "Naked Lunch", a nod to the two being avid readers of 1950's "Beat" literature. Fagen once explained, "We just wanted to give the band a little more thrust than most other bands." Fagen and Becker were introduced to Burroughs by a magazine interviewer and had a cordial tête-a-tête, although Burroughs later confided that he was less impressed with their artistry than they were with his. In the excerpt of Naked Lunch in which Steely Dan is introduced to readers, the song "East St. Louis Toodle-oo" is playing.
  • On 1976's "Everything You Did," a lyric says to "turn up The Eagles, the neighbors are listening." Interpreting the reference as a compliment (the actual intent was less positive), the next year the Eagles penned the lyrics, "They stab it with their steely knives but they just can't kill the beast" in their hit "Hotel California" as a nod back to Steely Dan for the free publicity. However, the "steely knives" could also be interpreted to mean hypodermic syringes stabbing "the beast" of drug addiction, or as the establishment politicians of California ("in the master's chambers, they gather for the feast") looting California but failing to win. (*they stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast").
They've got a name for the winners in the world,
I want a name when I lose.
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide,
Call me "Deacon Blues".
The song has been part of the school marching band's repertoire ever since.
According to urban legend, the song was actually written about the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons, but in a Rolling Stone interview, Donald Fagen said "Walter and I had been working on that song at a house in Malibu. I played him that line, and he said, "You mean it's like, 'They call these cracker assholes this grandiose name like the Crimson Tide, and I'm this loser, so they call me this other grandiose name, Deacon Blues?' " And I said, "Yeah!" He said, "Cool! Let's finish it!"[1]
  • The Scottish band Deacon Blue took their name from the Steely Dan song.
  • The obscure and sometimes teasing Dan lyrics have given rise to sometimes considerable efforts by fans to explain the "inner meaning" of certain songs. Even the actual words used are fought over; the track "Show Biz Kids" on Countdown to Ecstasy contains a chorus line that has variously been interpreted as "Lost Wages", "Las Vegas" (a Dan favourite), "Las Wages", "Not Sweetest" and "Not Sleeping". The Dan themselves appear reluctant to make a final ruling on the matter.
  • In its March 24, 2006 edition, Entertainment Weekly details a return trip to Bard College by Fagen, in which he describes a raid by sheriff's deputies. Fagen, his girlfriend, Becker, and some 50 other students were arrested. Charges were dropped, but the harassment was the origin of the grudge alluded to in "My Old School". The same article speculates that a Bard professor's wife, Rikki Ducornet, was the inspiration for "Rikki Don't Lose That Number".
  • Mark Knopfler plays guitar in Steely Dan's Time Out of Mind featured on the album Gaucho. Knopfler and Victor Feldman are the only British-born musicians to appear on a Steely Dan recording.

Everything Must Go is also an album by the Manic Street Preachers and the link from this page has now over-ridden the link on their page.

Personally I would think that the Manics are more likely to be looked at than Steely Dan


That is absolute bollocks. Steely Dan have not only sold more albums worldwide, but also have fans in America - the toughest nut to crack. The Manics haven't been big since 2000 - pinners88.

Anyone who would look at the Manic Street Preachers before Steely Dan needs to get some priorities straight.

"Interestingly, it included the only other song in the entire Steely Dan oeuvre that was not written by Becker and/or Fagen—a cover of Leiber and Stoller's Ruby Baby."

What about East St. Louis Toodle-oo?

"Ruby Baby" was on Fagen's "The Nightfly"; not on "Everything Must Go".


This article needs a serious dose of NPOV (gushing, etc. common in music articles). neckro 06:20, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hear, hear. Pjmorse 02:20, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

NPOV-ectomy definitely required but I'm afraid the majority of the article would be gutted thus resulting in a cry from fans. I can take them or leave them but this article is more of a shrine than a NPOV assessment. --Wgfinley 18:54, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Admittedly the article is overly worshipful, but I don't think it needs gutting -- overall it's quite well-written and informative. The gushy tone can be fixed with fairly minor revisions (removing certain modifiers, etc.). I've made some such revisions, but more work needs to be done. dbtfztalk 01:50, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree, it's mostly informative but definitely too gushy. (And this is coming from a huge fan.) I've made similar revisions to tone it down. User:Kuleebaba 16 April 2006

I think you've made a great start Kuleebaba, in fact, could be most of the issues, will take a closer look when I have time. My initial reaction about gutting it may be related to the sugar overdose from the article, you've toned it down substnatially. --Wgfinley 13:50, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Is it not time to remove the NPOV box from the article? I think suitable revisions have been made, and the time has indeed arrived. User:Steveo_h 19 May 2006 07.42 (BST)

Surely this is no more gushing than many another rock legend article on wikipedia. I've removed the NPOV label. MarkThomas 08:27, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Who the hell are the Manic Street Preachers?  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:21, 16 March 2009 (UTC) 

Related band[edit]

I think the Hoops McCann Band qualifies as "related" band. See the write-up at

About Mu Major[edit]

Steely Dan are also known for their sense of humor. The "mu major chord" aka the "Steely Dan chord" is a case in point. This is just a joke folks! They're making fun of themselves. And you've fallen for it again, some 25 years later. LOL!

Please read either of these interviews:

No. If you had read the interview you link to you would have seen that the Mu major chord is indeed a "real" chord that was popularized by the band. The only "joke" was in their act of deciding to name the chord, satirizing their ego. --Bungopolis 12:29, 8 May 2006 (UTC)


Thanks to the contributors to this article. You guys really got it. Ikkyu2 06:54, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Katy Lied Singles[edit]

To my knowledge, Bad Sneakers was never released as a single, although the producers at ABC and Becker/Fagen have said that they regretted not releasing it as a single. The word "singles" in that sentence has been changed to "songs" to reflect this. Crotchviolence 05:03, 9 February 2006 (UTC)


Hey, I made a Steely Dan Userbox. To display your undying love for the Dan, add {{User:UBX/Steely Dan}} to your user page.

Steely Dan - Donald Fagen - Luzern 2007.jpg This user got the Steely Dan t-shirt.


-Big Smooth 18:39, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Entertainment Weekly Article[edit]

The March 24, 2006 article, "Back to Annandale", gives the name of the band featuring Fagen, Becker, and Chevy Chase as The Leather Canary. The wikipedia article mentions The Bad Rock Band. Were these two different bands, or is one source mistaken? Rsmoore 04:53, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Apparenly the band went by various names, including both The Leather Canary and The Bad Rock Band. See e.g. this Mojo interview (from dbtfztalk 05:38, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Greatest Hits[edit]

For some reason I've got it in my head that one of Steely Dan's "Best Of"s is the longest pop music CD ever released, running for over 80 minutes. Is it true? Nice bit of trivia if it is. --Bonalaw 11:25, 16 May 2006 (UTC)


This seems like a somewhat decent article, but there are tons of weasel words and super-fan type passages. Also, there's almost no references cited at all on the page. "External links" doesn't cut it. I tagged this for references. Shamrox 18:38, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Musical and Lyrical Style[edit]

The lyric analysis belongs in separate articles regarding the songs. Taking care of that. Fenrir2000 12:35, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

OK, I created stubs for "Kid Charlemagne" and "Janie Runaway" (anyone cares to wikify?), and edited out the rest of it. If somebody vetoes my editing, I recommed to restore the paragraphs in new articles concerning the songs. A modest step towards Featured Article... Fenrir2000 13:06, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Cousin Dupree[edit]

I'd like an explanation as to why the story about the purported connection between the song Cousin Dupree and the movie You, Me and Dupree keeps getting deleted. The story is absurd, and is, more than anything, an indication of Donald and Walter's skewed sense of humor, it is well documented, and it should stay in the article. ---Charles 04:22, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

This is part of some illusion that Featured Articles should not have trivia sections. (see below) I move we revert it back in. MarkThomas 17:57, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Remastering scandal?[edit]

The "Steely Dan remastering scandal" is not mentioned on this article, but the article on Daniel Levitin says that he descovered it. What is it, and why is it significant? The Jade Knight 03:08, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, if you look at the Levitin article, you will find a link to two magazine articles, one by Roger Nichols, the other by Levitin, that explain this story. Definitely seems relevant and important. I've never heard anything about this, and it makes me wonder if I need to go out and buy new cds. ---Charles 03:54, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
We need to incorporate the information from -- Beardo 13:48, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Trivia move[edit]

I reverted the trivia move (a) because it's a crying shame - best part of the page! and (b) more importantly because it screws up the references and leaves a load of empty references on the moved page. If we're going to move it, at least let's do the refs. MarkThomas 14:53, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Some editors seem to think that Featured Articles should not have trivia. I would direct them to the relevant page. Wikipedia:What is a featured article? There is nothing in there to say you can't have trivia. I propose we re-introduce the formerly excellent trivia section. MarkThomas 17:35, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

I would ask you to take a look at User:AndyZ/Suggestions part of the Wikipedia:What is a featured article?. It is also a complaint which is partly stopping the article from reaching FA status (Wikipedia:Featured article candidates. You may also look at the music section of Wikipedia:Featured articles and see how many of the articles contain any trivia.

"Trivia by definition are trivial, and thus unencyclopediac; we need to keep Wikipedia focused on important information. Trivia sections should be removed, and any important facts should be added to the rest of the article." DrDevin 00:41, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

OK, well you could make a case that some, like for example Pink Floyd are the worse for not having it, but looking at those pages, they have effectively written the trivia into the main text, so it seems a largely presentational move and I can go with that. Can you give us some time to reshape the text? Trivia and urban legend is such a key part of understanding and empathising with the Dan and it would be a shame to just lose it all. MarkThomas 12:02, 10 October 2006 (UTC)


What evidence is there that the Eagles perceived the lyric from "Everything You Did" as a compliment? Their response "You can stab us with your steely knives, but you just can't kill the beast," seems to be clearly suggesting that Steely Dan is, uh, intending them harm. Isn't it? john k 18:41, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

The lyric in Hotel California is "They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast," which seems less pointed than your paraphrase. At any rate, the only way to tell what the Eagles meant would be to ask the Eagles... -GTBacchus(talk) 04:02, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

If you've heard the song in question you may or may not interpret it as a jab at the Eagles. The song is basically an unsympathetic man yelling at his wife, he believes that he has caught her in blazing offense. You can get the full list of lyrics on Steely Dan's website here: The first chorus reads as follows:

I never knew you You were a roller skater You gonna show me later Turn up the Eagles the neighbors are listening

This line can be interpreted as him trying drown out his confrontation with the only kind of music these unsympathetic characters would be listening to: The Eagles! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Can'tgetawaywithfiction (talkcontribs) 22:33, 8 September 2011 (UTC)


Something needs to be added about Fagen's distinguishable lisp. Weatherman90 02:59, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

ok, he has a 'DISTINGUISHABLE' LISP' [source probably some form of fetal event whilst in Mrs. Fagens' tummy] - but an immaculate command of the English language - would probably have been sufficiently literate to use the word 'discernible', or 'noticeable' himself, if athked. user:

WikiProject Steely Dan[edit]

Come to Wikipedia:WikiProject_Council/Proposals#Steely_Dan to sign up and visit the WikiProject-to-be's temporary page here! NauticaShades 14:10, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Failed GA[edit]

Fails 6.c of Wikipedia:What is a good article?, images need fair use rationale. Image:Steelydan.jpeg appears to really be in question. Also fails 3.b. The trivia section is too large. --SeizureDog 12:56, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

  • 2nd GA nom - don't wikilink single years. Should use cite php/web for ref format. Rlevse 23:36, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
GA on hold, refs come after punctuation, not in the middle of a sentence. See 2 Dec entry too. Hold status lasts 7 days.Rlevse 19:43, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
GA concerns not met, GA failed 2nd time.Rlevse 00:17, 20 December 2006 (UTC)


Since it's failed the GA can we now transfer the trivia back into the page where it belongs? Especially since someone is currently seeking to delete the separate trivia page? The trivia section is the best resource on the web for this information and it's a crying shame to deprive users of it due to some bizarre Wikicult obsession with GAness. MarkThomas 12:38, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

turn it into prose and it won't get messed with.Rlevse 00:15, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Well done everyone for systematically screwing what used to be a very informative page! MarkThomas 13:30, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Are you aware this is up for GA? M3tal H3ad 05:41, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

some GA comments[edit]

I don't feel up to giving this article a full GA review, but I read it and I saw a few issues I think need improvement:

  • "Their enigmatic, sardonically humorous and topical lyrics add to the appeal of the songs." - For me, this is a strange sentence to start a section with. The way it is written it would seem to indicate that there are some previous sentences that have been erased.
  • Seems like too much use of adjectives such as deft, accomplished, adroit and respected which give the article a POV feel.
  • In the cord notation, can you link to an article that would explain what the notation means?

Good luck. ike9898 18:21, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

The use of "deft, accomplished, adroit and respected" might be POV if they hadn't won multiple Grammys, had several albums listed in Rolling Stone's Top 500 Albums of All Time, had multiple album reach multiple Platinum, and influenced a score of musicians in the past and present. Sometimes glowing praise is DESERVED. Supertheman (talk) 23:05, 12 February 2009 (UTC)


  • A trivia section, remove or incorporate it into the body.
  • History should be before all the other information, tell us about the band before going into style and lyrics
  • The image in the infobox shouldn't be fair-use. You need an image under a CC, CC-SA, or PD license, look at some fan sites and ask for permission by sending an e-mail, then upload the picture to wikipedia commons.
  • Too many external links, lyric links are copyright infringement, i see a fan site
  • Alphabetize categories
  • The layout has problems, three images on the right, four images on the left, one image on the right then two images on the right
  • With Discography, make a list of all the albums they have made
  • Time off, Everything Must Go (2003) and other sections have no references, try get at least one reference for each paragraph.
  • Finally, in 2000, remove finally
  • Origin of the Name this section can be removed, why? you have it in the lead and its referenced, it's also just a one sentence section.
  • popular, success, influenced are overused and are POV

Note, this will never be an FA with so much Free-use images, also why is the FAC a red-link? did this try for FA or is the link broken. Once these issues are addressed it will only be the text, which i will look at. M3tal H3ad 05:26, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

It's fair use, not free use. By the way, the things you are mentioning are FA critiques, not GA ones. Please check WP:WIAGA. NauticaShades 13:54, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Check criterion 2. a., 2. b. and 4 of WP:WIAGA, which are clearly GA critiques, and critiques the reviewer has made. LuciferMorgan 00:36, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I didn't say they were all FA critiques, just a lot of them. I'll try to fix 2a, 2b, and 4 then. NauticaShades 08:34, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Mmm someone tagged the image. Sorry but I'm failing this, for a 33kb article and only 17 references, its needs a lot more, try one each paragraph. Also an external link in the text (See this lyrical tribute) , too many short paragraphs (first paragraph of history is 1 sentence). Feel free to re-nominate when issues are addressed. M3tal H3ad 07:03, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Origin of the band's name[edit]

I like a good in-joke as much as anybody else, but it shouldn't be tucked into an encyclopedia article as if it were true. This explanation of the origin of the band's name is ridiculous:

In 1973, with the help of record company executive Jack Tafoya and a Windsor Unimax 5000, Becker and Fagen used thousands of other names in a test market research investigation. After generating more than 9,000 names, they chose #50 on the list: 'Steely Dan'...

The references presented, namely the page on, are clearly satirical. The author of the page, Tom Schiller, assuming it's this Tom Schiller, was a comedy writer. There was a record producer named Jack Tafoya, but there is no 'Windsor Unimax 5000' computer. Neither can I find any evidence of the existence of 'Arnold Jeevis', nor his book, nor his publisher. I'm reverting this paragraph to the usual explanation, as it was before:

Fagen and Becker named the band for a steam-powered dildo in the William Burroughs novel Naked Lunch.

I'll retain the reference to Mojo Magazine, and add one to the more serious FAQ on that treats the same question.The Phantom Blot 10:31, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


While I myself am not going to do much work on this article, I am really impressed by the overall quality of it. If a new photo for the top of the article is going to be added, I think it should reflect what Becker & Fagen look like currently. However, I feel it's important to have a photo of the band (either the earlier incarnations, or just Becker & Fagen) in the 70's, especially with that crazy long hair Becker had.

Also, many band articles are going for the trend of having a band logo above the top photo. Suggest using either the "Can't Buy a Thrill" or "The Royal Scam" logos for this (no idea if these are copyrighted or not.)

Otherwise, keep up the great work. Not enough people my age are listening to these guys. --Insomniak 20:31, 21 January 2007 (UTC)


"legendary reputation for studio perfectionism."

This phrase (in the AJA section) is overly subjective, opinionated and unworthy of an encyclopedia article. If their reputation for studio perfectionism is "legendary" then perhaps it is worthy of some elaboration and a citation or two. Perhaps a more moderate phrase might be substituted. Also, AJA is NOT generally considered their best album or one of the great rock albums of the 70s, let alone of all time. Generally, among music critics, Steely Dan's first four albums are their most respected, particularly KATY LIED. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:12, 9 April 2007 (UTC).

Hmm. Awkward to say the least. I can personally attest that B&F's (Primarily Fagen) reputation for studio perfectionism is indeed legendary amongst those 'in the know', but about the only citation I can think of (It is after all not the sort of thing that gets mentioned in print by anyone except critics, who are only as subjective as the next guy), was in a TV documentary about the making of... whichever album 'Peg' was from... :)
As I recall 'Katy Lied' was the first Dan album to get a mixed reception from the critics. Many fans (Me included) feel it was one of their best, but I'd have to dispute that it was one of their most respected by music critics. Deke42 (talk) 02:55, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Brian Sweet's book is full of references to demands for perfection from musicians on Dan records - see page 118 - multiple guitarists for the Peg solo, page 165 for Donald Fagen's abuse of Michael Omartian for his solo album - there are hundreds more.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stacyrsmith (talkcontribs) 23:51, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Michael Mcdonald repetition[edit]

Michael Mcdonald is mentioned by name in two back to back sentences in the Music section. That seems redundant to me. Does he really need to be specifically mentioned a session musician considering the large number of other musicians who also acted as session musicians for the band? Ean Schuessler 07:34, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

New album?[edit]

I have removed the following assertion about a new album, and I bring it here for discussion:

In the November 2007 issue of Guitar World, Walter Becker stated that Steely Dan are recording once again. The new album scheduled to arrive in spring/summer 2008 has a working title of "Suffice It To Say...".

I did some research, and I can find no information about this on the web. There is no mention of it on the Steely Dan website, which would seem to be a good place to look for information about the band's projects. As this is unreferenced (it's had a fact tag for 2 months) and crystalballish, I would err on the side of caution, and leave it out. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 23:40, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Fan site label[edit]

Do I detect some anti-Dan bias in the Fan Site label at the top of the article? Compare this page for example with R.E.M.. Why is that article any less a fan site that this one? I propose the label be removed. The trivia section was long ago removed from this article, much to it's detriment - any article worth it's salt about the Dan would include lots of trivia, as that's half the context. (talk) 16:40, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Musical signature[edit]

The musical signature section or whatever it's called needs to go. A Wiki is for short, succinct, useful information. Not only is this information misleading as the Add2 chord is extremely common in all forms of music, this information serves absolutely no purpose to the common non-musician individual reading it. If you're going to have modern myths and lores in a Wiki article, I should go ahead and add the Jimi Hendrix chord to his page, or the Phil Collins chord to Phil's page, or Elton John Style Chord Progressions to Elton's page. The idea that Steely Dan pretends to create a chord that's been used since the creation of music is truly cringe worthy and I'm removing it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:26, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you and will remove it.Holdyourhorseis (talk) 23:21, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
I have restored the section. This ersatz "discussion" provides no justification for the removal of cited information. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 03:34, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
I'd say there is plenty of information there. Just because a source is cited doesn't mean its correct. I'm removing it. I have a music degree from MI, so if you want to discuss this more, please bring something to justify keeping it to the table.Holdyourhorseis (talk) 23:02, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
No, that's not the way it works. You provide a justification for its removal, and allow discussion to occur before removing it again. Your degree doesn't mean a damn thing. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 23:42, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Read the discussion on Mu Major. Its the same thing. There is nothing to discuss because its just wrong. No one has defended it, so there you go. Justification is that its just a stupid joke that people are taking seriously. There is no way they invented this "new" chord. (talk) 00:48, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
The justification for it's removal is pretty cut n' dry. They didn't invent the chord, and for any classical trained musician that's plain as day to hear. Just because you aren't trained to hear it doesn't mean it's there. The idea that any band has coined any chord is completely ludicrous. There's only 12 notes in the musical scale that repeat infinitely. There are a finite number of permutations of those 12 notes. The add2 chord is as old as music itself. There's no discussion on it because apparently nobody on here but a few of us knows musical theory and if someone showed up that did, they too they would agree. It doesn't mean Steely Dan is a bad band, but their official Wiki to contains false information and it needs to be fixed. Speaking about discussion, where is yours? You just keep removing the revisiion like some power hungry child. Come up some factual musical evidence saying they invented this chord and that it didn't occur before them. Here's just one random search I did: The 'add 2 chord' is not invented by Steely Dan and many artists (notably Herbie Hancock and Roy Ayers) have been using this chord long before them, but the way and frequency Steely Dan has been using the chord in their music made the mu major chord a part of Steely Dan's signature sound and that's why it is known as one of the Steely Dan chords. The name 'Mu major' itself started as a joke, the exact reasons for calling it that way are forgotten. Getting any further evidence besides that would be a waste of time. The equivalent, to something you might understand, is like saying Star Wars invented stars. -Unsigned —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:03, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
The paragraph in question makes no claim regarding Steely Dan's having invented the add 2 chord, merely their having nicknamed and extensively utilized the chord, a rare trick for pop-rock composers. Herbie Hancock and Roy Ayers are not pop-rock composers, thus tying them to the chord is irrelevant to Steely Dan, who (as the passage notes) are introducing musical tensions common to jazz in into rock music. Thus your argument misunderstands the import of the passage - it is considering the unique aspects of Steely Dan's composition within rock music (and even names other chord structures the band favors in addition to the add 2,) but it is NOT claiming that they have invented any chords, including the add 2. I suggest you read the passage more closely. I should also say for the record that I am only considering the passage as it stood most recently before being removed, not any older version which might have been more relevant to your objections. Two further points - you claim that those with knowledge of music theory will categorically loathe and object to this passage, but I completely disagree. As someone with a modest understanding of music theory, I greatly appreciated the passage's inclusion, have found it helpful in my own research, and always enjoy Wiki articles on popular music that attempt to summarize or otherwise describe the music itself in more sophisticated language than simple sub-genre classification or meaningless non-musical terms like "heavy" or "mellow" or what have you. Secondly, while the previous sources may have been inadequate, the very link that you cite ( strikes me as completely qualified for use as the section's reference as it is external to the group, seems pretty reliable to me, and both explains Steely Dan's reputation with the chord and chord itself. So I say there's no excuse for removing the section, and I think the article benefits from its inclusion. Best, Colinclarksmith (talk) 02:37, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Royce Jones[edit]

Why has Jones been excluded from the list of previous members? I'd added him previously and now see that he's been deleted from the list. He was a touring member of Dan (along with McDonald and Porcaro) in '73-'74 and appears on the live version of "Bodhisattva." I won't re-add him, but it seems to me that the list of previous members is inaccurate excluding him, as he was considered a proper member of the band prior to its losing all elements of "band-dom." See [1]. Colinclarksmith (talk) 19:04, 19 July 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Colinclarksmith (talkcontribs) 19:01, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and added Jones to the article. Jones joined the band for touring behind Pretzel Logic at the same time as Porcaro and McDonald, and was treated as a member in the same capacity as these two musicians (as opposed to the many session musicians who worked with Steely Dan, but strictly as such.) The official Steely Dan timeline reinforces this - [2]. Thus, if the live incarnation of Dan from '74 is to be considered in evaluating the early band's member history, Jones must necessarily be included. Colinclarksmith (talk) 16:20, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Drastic edits to the opening paragraph[edit]

Let's talk about them here before implementing them! Shamrox (talk) 23:20, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Album Not Mentioned In The Article[edit]

Steely Dan produced an album called Sun Mountain which had substandard studio recordings of some previously unreleased meterial. I have not seen a copy of the album for quite some time, but would like to see some information on it in the article if anyone can find it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:41, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Keith Carlock[edit]

Keith Carlock is not really a member of Steely Dan. He has played in their tour band but has never been regarded as a member of the band. I feel he does not really sit well in the infobox of past members. Paul210 (talk) 09:25, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

I removed him. The section is intended for 'official' band members only - thus, musicians other than Becker and Fagen that began working with the group from 1974 onward are categorically excluded, as the group ceased being considered a band proper above and beyond the Becker/Fagen collaboration at this time. Everyone listed in the infobox was 'in' the band, not merely a frequent (or, in Carlock's case, near ubiquitous) collaborator with the group. Colinclarksmith (talk) 18:25, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Correct, its similar to Daltrey/Townshend being the only official members of The Who since Entwistle's death; people who tour with the groups aren't actual members. ~ DC (Talk|Edits) 18:32, 1 December 2009 (UTC)


Steely Dan are not, and never were "jazz-rock". "Weather Report", "Return to Forever", yes, but not SD. They were a pop/rock 'band' that was heavily influenced by jazz, but that's not the same thing as jazz-rock. ikrip | talk page 22:02, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Such labels are of no use whatsoever.The Dan were never 'jazz' at all. Sure,they had jazz musicians guesting and there were jazz touches but that was the extent of it all. 22:18, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
The "jazz-rock" link in the first paragraph isn't even a single link to something called "jazz-rock" - it's two separate links; one to jazz and another to rock! I just noticed this, as I'd assumed that there was an internal link to "jazz-rock". With this in mind, I feel the writer needs to explain exactly what they mean by the term. Like the poster in the previous paragraph, these terms are not particularly helpful, and need defining properly. I mentioned Weather Report and Return to Forever because these are two outfits I feel might, arguably, fall under that category. But SD: no way. ikrip | talk page 09:14, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

They are a rock band. Edited as such.Paul210 (talk) 22:54, 5 December 2009 (UTC)


I heard that they were named after someone named Dan Steele. AmericanLeMans (talk) 20:45, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

You heard wrong. Colinclarksmith (talk) 20:46, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

To summarize 5 years of discussion...[edit]

Do we need to leave Requests for Clarity and Neutrality and References up for 6 years? I see these tags from 2006 to present. If the discussion has not resolved the issue in all that time, remove the paragraph and the tag and move on! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:08, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Since there's been no further discussion of this after yet another year, I'm removing the tags. If someone feels strongly enough about them to reintroduce them, so be it, but we can start the discussion fresh and hopefully get any remaining concerns addressed in a timely manner. 6 years is way too long to expect something like this to brew. (talk) 05:55, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Who was the lead man?[edit]

Historical evidence leads me to take issue with the statement: . Denny Dias handled the rhythm guitar as well as the electric sitar solo on "Do It Again", and Jeff Baxter handled lead guitar duties. shows live performance ffrom 1973 on "Midnight Special" On "Reeling In the Years" it's Dias who plays lead and Baxter who plays a very simple rhythm that can hardly be heard in the mix. On the "Do It Again" Baxter doesn't play guitar at all, rather he bangs on the Conga drums. I think Dias should be given the credit for the lead man. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:00, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Lead sentence makes no sense[edit]

The sentence, "The pair is well-known for their near-obsessive perfectionism in the recording studio,[7][8] with one notable example being that Becker and Fagen used at least 42 different studio musicians, 11 engineers, and took over a year to record the tracks that resulted in 1980's Gaucho — an album that contains only seven songs." seems to be contradictory. Having 42 musicians, 11 engineers and one year for 7 songs sounds near-obsessive - so why is it "a notable exception"? Candy (talk) 08:38, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Actually, the lead says that it's a "notable example", which I think makes sense. Patricia Meadows (talk) 15:09, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Remove sub-chapter headings for each recent tour?[edit]

I really think we should remove all of those sub-chapter headings for each of the recent tours. All of that bulky black text surrounding short paragraphs about relatively insignificant tours seems superfluous and sloppy. I think some of the copy surrounding recent years could be streamlined a little additionally. Unless anyone objects, I'm going to go for it sometime within the next few days. CCS81 (talk) 21:59, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

I agree. All of the tours really could be one section. The mundane details of the tours aren't that relevant to an encyclopedic entry. Patricia Meadows (talk) 02:01, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. Okay, done. Hopefully that looks better. CCS81 (talk) 03:54, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
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