STEELY DAN – ” Katy Lied ” Released March 1975

Posted: October 20, 2018 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

Katy Lied

Katy Lied is the fourth album by Steely Dan, released in 1975 by ABC Records, Building from the jazz fusion foundation of Pretzel Logic Steely Dan created an alluringly sophisticated album of jazzy pop with Katy Lied. With this record,Walter Becker and Donald Fagen began relying solely on studio musicians, which is evident from the immaculate sound of the album. Usually, such a studied recording method would drain the life out of each song, but that’s not the case with Katy Lied, which actually benefits from the duo’s perfectionist tendencies.

Sandwiched between Pretzel Logic and The Royal Scam, Steely Dan’s 1975 release Katy Lied wasn’t about breaking new ground. It was about holding on to the territory they had staked out for themselves over the past few years as one of rock’s brightest, smartest and smart-assiest bands. Recorded over a three-month period in late 1974 and early 1975 in Los Angeles, the album can’t help but to absorb the sounds of the city where it was birthed. It’s cool, it’s laid back, it’s impeccably played and it’s kinda smarter than you, even though it may not come out and say it. Fagen and Becker played it that way from the start and were increasing these moods and feelings with each passing album.

Each song is given a glossy sheen, one that accentuates not only the stronger pop hooks, but also the precise technical skill of the professional musicians drafted to play the solos. Essentially,Katy Lied is a smoother version of Pretzel Logic, featuring the same cross-section of jazz-pop and blues-rock. The lack of innovations doesn’t hurt the record, since the songs are uniformly brilliant. Less overtly cynical than previous Dan albums, the album still has its share of lyrical stingers, but what’s really notable are the melodies, from the seductive jazzy soul of “Doctor Wu” and the lazy blues of “Chain Lightning” to the terse “Black Friday” and mock calypso of “Everyone’s Gone to the Movies.” It’s another excellent record in one of the most distinguished rock & roll catalogs of the ’70s.

Steely Dan were making their usual strides up the American album chart on 24th May 1975, as they paid another of their visits to the singles scene. As their fourth LP “Katy Lied” moved towards a No. 13 peak and eventual platinum certification in the US, the single  “Black Friday” jumped onto the Hot 100. The phrase that the Walter Becker/Donald Fagen song was named after has come in recent years to denote a date on the retail calendar. It had traditionally denoted a day of collective crisis, particularly of a financial nature, as with Steely Dan’s fictitious tale — which, with typical inventiveness, was set in Australia.

Their story of a crooked speculator who makes off with his ill-gotten gains had him absconding to Muswellbrook, a town in New South Wales that lies some 150 miles north of Sydney. “Gonna wear no socks and shoes,” sings Fagen, “with nothing to do but feed all the kangaroos…when Black Friday comes I’ll be on that hill, you know I will.”

‘Black Friday’ entered the US chart, as the highest newcomer of the week, at No. 76, and garnered enough top 40 radio support to peak at No. 37. As Brian Sweet’s biography of the band, Reelin’ In The Years, recounts, that was “not bad for an act that wasn’t touring, wasn’t about to tour and wasn’t making any secret of it either.”

As for locating the song in Australia? “It was the place most far away from L.A. we could think of,” said Fagen

Best Song on ‘Katy Lied’ (1975): “Any World (That I’m Welcome To)”

One of Steely Dan’s most brilliant casting moments is also one of their best-written songs. “Any World (That I’m Welcome To)” immediately signals its intention to explore the depths of alienation, as Fagen sighs: “If I had my way, I would move to another lifetime.” Hal Blaine’s old-pro cadence draws us ever further in, as Becker and Fagen continued the practice of asking musical heroes over for guest appearances. (Jazz bassist Ray Brown appeared on the earlier “Razor Boy”; saxist Wayne Shorter later sat in on “Aja.”) Blaine, who played on a stunning 40 chart-topping songs, makes a wonderfully complex contribution – moving with ease from the low-key verses to more uptempo choruses and then into eruptive fills, and back again. That’s why Steely Dan asked the brilliant Jeff Porcaro, one of Blaine’s clearest heirs, to step aside.

Black Friday Dawns For Steely Dan

Steely Dan – 1975 outtakes and demos from Katy Lied sessions Soundboard recordings, excellent quality Here’s some of their session outtakes, which is only appropriate because for most of their existence, they were exclusively a product of the painstaking studio sessions conducted by Fagen & Becker & a host of session musicians. Fagen, in particular was a perfectionist and spent hour after hour making sure that every sound on the record was just right. Here then are some of the earlier versions, Fagen’s piano demos, alternate versions, and outtakes from the Katy Lied sessions, which also includes a couple of very early versions of 2 songs that would eventually end up on Aja, ‘Black Cow’ and ‘I Got the News’. So, here, in particular, we can hear the precision and detail that went into the backing and rhythm track, before adding the finishing touches. So, enjoy some behind the scenes looks at Steely Dan in the Studio. (by BBKron)

00:00 Black Friday 03:28 Bad Sneakers 06:36 Rose Darling 09:36 Daddy Don’t Live In That New York City No More 12:30 Dr. Wu 15:59 Everyone’s Gone To The Movies 19:24 Your Gold Teeth II 23:10 Chain Lightning 25:46 Throw Back The Little Ones 28:49 Mr. Sam (unreleased song) 32:14 Gullywater (unreleased instrumental) 34:35 Black Cow [Take 1] (piano demo) 39:08 Black Cow [Take 2] 43:09 I Got The News (early version) 45:52 Black Friday 49:03 Rose Darling 52:11 Daddy Don’t Live In That New York City No More 55:17 Dr. Wu 59:18 Your Gold Teeth II 1:03:32 Chain Lightning 1:06:29 Throw Back The Little Ones

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.