Steely Dan marries jazz with social consciousness: crime, drugs, gambling - the band blends big issues with even bigger licks. Punctuated with soothing saxophones and gentle guitar riffs, the group's albums have sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, and they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2001.
After the sad death of co-founder Walter Becker in 2017, the group's future was thrown into some doubt. However, Donald Fagen will be joined by special guest Steve Winwood for five UK and Ireland dates in 2018, kicking off at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro on 20 February and wrapping up with a set at Dublin's 3Arena. Buy Steely Dan tickets now at StubHub UK, assured under our industry-first FanProtect Guarantee.
Founded by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen in 1972, several other musicians have featured in the Steely Dan line-up over the years, including Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Denny Dias, Jim Hodder and Royce Jones. Overall, the group released six studio albums throughout the 1970s, and were one of the most popular and biggest-selling acts of the decade. At the height of glam rock, when musicians wore flamboyant costumes and experimented with bold aesthetics, Steely Dan kept things simple, and their brand of mellow jazz proved a popular alternative to more out-there musical trends. Cited as a major influence by modern jazz acts, Steely Dan is credited with bringing jazz-rock to the mainstream.
Steely Dan released their first album, Can't Buy a Thrill, in 1972. With its jazz-rock stylings, the album introduced the group's signature sound: soaring sax solos, tender guitar strums and Latin-infused beats. Including the tracks "Reelin in the Years," "Fire in the Hole," "Do It Again" and "Turn That Heartbeat Over Again", Can't Buy a Thrill reached number 38 on the UK Albums Chart and number 17 on the US Billboard Top 200.
Countdown to Ecstasy, the group's sophomore effort, continued in a similar vein, with Fagen's tranquil vocals layered over meaty jazz flourishes. The eight-song collection, which was released in 1973, features tracks like "Show Biz Kids," "My Old School" and "Pearl of the Quarter". Follow up records Pretzel Logic, Katy Lied and The Royal Scam all certified platinum in the United States, before the group's biggest hit, came in 1977. Even by Steely Dan's lofty standards, sixth album Aja was a major success, with critics often citing it as one of the best albums of all time. It was also a commercial smash, catapulting to number five on the UK Albums Chart and number three on the Billboard Top 200 - the group's highest chart positions yet. Aja was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003 and features songs such as "Deacon Blues," "Jose" and "Home at Last."
The group disbanded in 1981, but Baxter and Fagen reunited in 1993; touring regularly and releasing two albums of new material - including 2000's Two Against Nature which earned the duo a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Today, only Fagen (vocals, piano, synthesiser and sax) remains, after Becker died in 2017. Despite the loss of Becker, Steely Dan will go on in 2018, with Fagen drafting in Steve Winwood as a special guest.
Once you've sorted your Steely Dan tickets, take a look at some of the other artists listed at StubHub UK. Elton John says he will 'go out with a bang' on his farewell tour, while Jethro Tull always put on a fantastic show.
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