Good morning everyone. Happy Friday.
Why don’t we close out the week with your track of the day. Do you want to take a guess at what it is? I’ll give you a hint: If you listened to yesterday’s Track of the Day you’ll notice the opening notes (one commenter spoiled it).
Here it is as a refresher:
If that doesn’t help you, let me explain a little bit more.
In 1971 Donald Fagen and Walter Becker formed the band Steely Dan at Bard College. Steely Dan gets thrown into the classic-rock cliche simply because of the years they were active, but this group was so diverse in its music fomulation.
They incorporated R&B, Latin music and the blues into their music. The music provided a distinct, artsy structure that became the perfect canvas for their sardonic lyrics such as Deacon Blues and Do it Again.
Steely Dan also loved jazz. They are much more of a jazz-rock band than they are classic rock.
Jazz enthusiasts that they are, Steely Dan naturally heard of Horace Silver’s Song for My Father, released in 1965. That song actually inspired a couple other hits including Earth, Wind & Fire’s Clover and Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing.
That’s how they came up with the opening riff to Rikki Don’t Lose that Number: They sampled Horace Silver’s bossa nova. It’s almost an exact copy of it, actually.
“We’re basically all jazz fans and most of the records we listen to are jazz — the people who made them are dead or they were recorded so long ago that they’ve been forgotten” Fagen said in 1975.
Steely Dan were so sarcastic in their writing that many presumed the song to about a lost piece of smoking equipment. For years I thought it was about prostitution. But it was actually simply a lost love song about a woman whom Fagen once coveted.
And the song became Steely Dan’s most successful single, peaking at No. 4 in the Billboard Top 100 in 1974.
Fagen and Becker were also drawn to jazz and so often fused the two together. It made their writing important. Don Henley wrote Hotel California trying to imitate Steely Dan’s style. The pair were so adept, though, at sliding jazz into pop that they made it more accessible than it would be otherwise. That’s quite an accomplishment for two obscurantists.
Fitzie’s track of the day: Rikki Don’t Lose that Number, by Steely Dan
And now for your links:
Inquest jury concludes plane on which Emiliano Sala died was operating without correct license
Investment firm Aethel Partners latest group to submit bid for Chelsea FC
England name squad for games against Switzerland and Cote d’Ivore
St Louis City SC looks to MLS future by remembering ‘hard truths of the past’
Frank Lampard breaks his hand celebrating Everton’s late winner
Blackpool to build new 4,600 seater East Stand at stadium by 2025