The tenor saxophone is a medium-sized member of the saxophone family, a group of instruments invented by Adolphe Sax in the 1840s. The tenor and the alto are the two most used saxophones; the tenor is pitched in the key of B♭, written as a transposing instrument in the treble clef, sounding an octave and a major second lower than the written pitch. Modern tenor saxophones which have a high F♯ key have a range from A♭2 to E5 and are therefore pitched one octave below the soprano saxophone. People who play the tenor saxophone are known as "tenor saxophonists", "tenor sax players", or "saxophonists"; the tenor saxophone uses a larger mouthpiece and ligature than the alto and soprano saxophones. Visually, it is distinguished by the bend in its neck, or its crook, near the mouthpiece; the alto saxophone lacks its neck goes straight to the mouthpiece. The tenor saxophone is most recognized for its ability to blend well with the soprano and baritone saxophones, with its "husky" yet "bright" tone; the tenor saxophone is used in classical music, military bands, marching bands and jazz.
It is included in pieces written for symphony orchestra. In concert bands, the tenor plays a supporting role, sometimes sharing parts with the euphonium and trombone. In jazz ensembles, the tenor plays a more prominent role as a member of a section that includes the alto and baritone saxes. Many of the most innovative and influential jazz musicians have been tenor saxophonists; these include Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter. The work of younger players such as Michael Brecker and Chris Potter has been an important influence in more recent jazz; the tenor saxophone is one of a family of fourteen instruments designed and constructed in 1846 by Adolphe Sax, a Belgian-born instrument maker and clarinetist. Based on an amalgam of ideas drawn from the clarinet, flute and ophicleide, the saxophone was intended to form a tonal link between the woodwinds and brass instruments found in military bands, an area that Sax considered sorely lacking.
Sax's patent, granted on 28 June 1846, divided the family into two groups of seven instruments, each ranging from alto down to contrabass. One family, pitched alternatively in B♭ and E♭, was designed to integrate with the other instruments common in military bands; the tenor saxophone, pitched in B♭, is the fourth member of this family. The tenor saxophone, like all saxophones, consists of an conical tube of thin brass, a type of metal; the wider end of the tube is flared to form a bell, while the narrower end is connected to a single reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. At intervals down the bore are placed between 23 tone holes. There are two small speaker holes which, when opened, disrupt the lower harmonics of the instrument and cause it to overblow into an upper register; the pads are controlled by pressing a number of keys with the fingers of the left and right hands. The original design of tenor saxophone had a separate octave key for each speaker hole, in the manner of the bassoon.
Although a handful of novelty tenors have been constructed'straight', like the smaller members of the saxophone family, the unwieldy length of the straight configuration means that all tenor saxophones feature a'U-bend' above the third-lowest tone hole, characteristic of the saxophone family. The tenor saxophone is curved at the top, above the highest tone-hole but below the highest speaker hole. While the alto is bent only through 80–90° to make the mouthpiece fit more in the mouth, the tenor is bent a little more in this section, incorporating a slight S-bend; the mouthpiece of the tenor saxophone is similar to that of the clarinet, an wedge-shaped tube, open along one face and covered in use by a thin strip of material prepared from the stem of the giant cane known as a reed. The reed is shaved to come to an thin point, is clamped over the mouthpiece by the use of a ligature; when air is blown through the mouthpiece, the reed vibrates and generates the acoustic resonances required to produce a sound from the instrument.
The mouthpiece is the area of the saxophone with the greatest flexibility in shape and style, so the timbre of the instrument is determined by the dimensions of its mouthpiece. The design of the mouthpiece and reed play a big role in. Classical mouthpieces help produce a warmer and rounder tone, while jazz mouthpieces help produce a brighter and edgier tone. Materials used in mouthpiece construction include plastic and various metals e.g. bronze and stainless steel. The mouthpiece of the tenor saxophone is proportionally larger than that of the alto, necessitating a larger reed; the increased stiffness of the reed and the greater airflow required to establish resonance in the larger body means the tenor sax requires greater lung power but a looser embouchure than the higher-pitched member
Synth-pop is a subgenre of new wave music that first became prominent in the late 1970s and features the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, art rock and the "Krautrock" of bands like Kraftwerk, it arose as a distinct genre in Japan and the United Kingdom in the post-punk era as part of the new wave movement of the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. Electronic musical synthesizers that could be used in a recording studio became available in the mid-1960s, while the mid-1970s saw the rise of electronic art musicians. After the breakthrough of Gary Numan in the UK Singles Chart in 1979, large numbers of artists began to enjoy success with a synthesizer-based sound in the early 1980s. In Japan, Yellow Magic Orchestra introduced the TR-808 rhythm machine to popular music, the band would be a major influence on early British synth-pop acts; the development of inexpensive polyphonic synthesizers, the definition of MIDI and the use of dance beats, led to a more commercial and accessible sound for synth-pop.
This, its adoption by the style-conscious acts from the New Romantic movement, together with the rise of MTV, led to success for large numbers of British synth-pop acts in the US. "Synth-pop" is sometimes used interchangeably with "electropop", but "electropop" may denote a variant of synth-pop that places more emphasis on a harder, more electronic sound. In the mid to late 1980s, duos such as Erasure and Pet Shop Boys adopted a style, successful on the US dance charts, but by the end of the decade, the'new wave' synth-pop of bands such as A-ha and Alphaville was giving way to house music and techno. Interest in new wave synth-pop began to revive in the indietronica and electroclash movements in the late 1990s, in the 2000s synth-pop enjoyed a widespread revival and commercial success; the genre has received criticism for alleged lack of musicianship. Synth-pop music has established a place for the synthesizer as a major element of pop and rock music, directly influencing subsequent genres and has indirectly influenced many other genres, as well as individual recordings.
Synth-pop was defined by its primary use of synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers, sometimes using them to replace all other instruments. Borthwick and Moy have described the genre as diverse but "...characterised by a broad set of values that eschewed rock playing styles and structures", which were replaced by "synthetic textures" and "robotic rigidity" defined by the limitations of the new technology, including monophonic synthesizers. Many synth-pop musicians had limited musical skills, relying on the technology to produce or reproduce the music; the result was minimalist, with grooves that were "typically woven together from simple repeated riffs with no harmonic'progression' to speak of". Early synth-pop has been described as "eerie and vaguely menacing", using droning electronics with little change in inflection. Common lyrical themes of synth-pop songs were isolation, urban anomie, feelings of being cold and hollow. In its second phase in the 1980s, the introduction of dance beats and more conventional rock instrumentation made the music warmer and catchier and contained within the conventions of three-minute pop.
Synthesizers were used to imitate the conventional and clichéd sound of orchestras and horns. Thin, treble-dominant, synthesized melodies and simple drum programmes gave way to thick, compressed production, a more conventional drum sound. Lyrics were more optimistic, dealing with more traditional subject matter for pop music such as romance and aspiration. According to music writer Simon Reynolds, the hallmark of 1980s synth-pop was its "emotional, at times operatic singers" such as Marc Almond, Alison Moyet and Annie Lennox; because synthesizers removed the need for large groups of musicians, these singers were part of a duo where their partner played all the instrumentation. Although synth-pop in part arose from punk rock, it abandoned punk's emphasis on authenticity and pursued a deliberate artificiality, drawing on the critically derided forms such as disco and glam rock, it owed little to the foundations of early popular music in jazz, folk music or the blues, instead of looking to America, in its early stages, it consciously focused on European and Eastern European influences, which were reflected in band names like Spandau Ballet and songs like Ultravox's "Vienna".
Synth-pop saw a shift to a style more influenced by other genres, such as soul music. Electronic musical synthesizers that could be used in a recording studio became available in the mid-1960s, around the same time as rock music began to emerge as a distinct musical genre; the Mellotron, an electro-mechanical, polyphonic sample-playback keyboard was overtaken by the Moog synthesizer, created by Robert Moog in 1964, which produced electronically generated sounds. The portable Minimoog, which allowed much easier use in live performance was adopted by progressive rock musicians such as Richard Wright of Pink Floyd and Rick Wakeman of Yes. Instrumental prog rock was significant in continental Europe, allowing bands like Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream and Faust to circumvent the language barrier, their synthesizer-heavy "Kraut rock", along with the work of Brian Eno (for a time the keyboard player with Roxy M
Audio mixing (recorded music)
In sound recording and reproduction, audio mixing is the process of combining multitrack recordings into a final mono, stereo or surround sound product. In the process of combining the separate tracks, their relative levels are adjusted and balanced and various processes such as equalization and compression are applied to individual tracks, groups of tracks, the overall mix. In stereo and surround sound mixing, the placement of the tracks within the stereo field are adjusted and balanced. Audio mixing techniques and approaches vary and have a significant influence on the final product. Audio mixing techniques depend on music genres and the quality of sound recordings involved; the process is carried out by a mixing engineer, though sometimes the record producer or recording artist may assist. After mixing, a mastering engineer prepares the final product for production. Audio mixing may be performed on digital audio workstation. In the late 19th century, Thomas Edison and Emile Berliner developed the first recording machines.
The recording and reproduction process itself was mechanical with little or no electrical parts. Edison's phonograph cylinder system utilized a small horn terminated in a stretched, flexible diaphragm attached to a stylus which cut a groove of varying depth into the malleable tin foil of the cylinder. Emile Berliner's gramophone system recorded music by inscribing spiraling lateral cuts onto a vinyl disc. Electronic recording became more used during the 1920s, it was based on the principles of electromagnetic transduction. The possibility for a microphone to be connected remotely to a recording machine meant that microphones could be positioned in more suitable places; the process was improved when outputs of the microphones could be mixed before being fed to the disc cutter, allowing greater flexibility in the balance. Before the introduction of multitrack recording, all sounds and effects that were to be part of a record were mixed at one time during a live performance. If the recorded mix wasn't satisfactory, or if one musician made a mistake, the selection had to be performed over until the desired balance and performance was obtained.
With the introduction of multi-track recording, the production of a modern recording changed into one that involves three stages: recording and mixing. Modern mixing emerged with the introduction of commercial multi-track tape machines, most notably when 8-track recorders were introduced during the 1960s; the ability to record sounds into separate channels meant that combining and treating these sounds could be postponed to the mixing stage. In the 1980s, home recording and mixing became more efficient; the 4-track Portastudio was introduced in 1979. Bruce Springsteen released the album Nebraska in 1982 using one; the Eurythmics topped the charts in 1983 with the song "Sweet Dreams", recorded by band member Dave Stewart on a makeshift 8-track recorder. In the mid-to-late 1990s, computers replaced tape-based recording for most home studios, with the Power Macintosh proving popular. At the same time, digital audio workstations, first used in the mid-1980s, began to replace tape in many professional recording studios.
A mixer is the operational heart of the mixing process. Mixers offer a multitude of inputs, each fed by a track from a multitrack recorder. Mixers have 2 main outputs or 8. Mixers offer three main functionalities. Summing signals together, done by a dedicated summing amplifier or, in the case of a digital mixer, by a simple algorithm. Routing of source signals to external processing units and effects. On-board processors with equalizers and compressors. Mixing consoles can be intimidating due to the exceptional number of controls. However, because many of these controls are duplicated, much of the console can be learned by studying one small part of it; the controls on a mixing console will fall into one of two categories: processing and configuration. Processing controls are used to manipulate the sound; these can vary in complexity, from simple level controls, to sophisticated outboard reverberation units. Configuration controls deal with the signal routing from the input to the output of the console through the various processes.
Digital audio workstations can perform many mixing features in addition to other processing. An audio control surface gives a DAW the same user interface as a mixing console; the distinction between a large console and a DAW equipped with a control surface is that a digital console will consist of dedicated digital signal processors for each channel. DAWs can dynamically assign resources like digital audio signal processing power, but may run out if too many signal processes are in simultaneous use; this overload can be solved by increasing the capacity of the DAW. Outboard gear and software plugins can be inserted into the signal path to extend processing possibilities. Outboard gear and plugins fall into two main categories: Processors – these devices are connected in series to the signal path, so the input signal is replaced with the processed signal. Examples include dynamic processing. However, some processors are used in parallel, as is the case in techniques such as parallel compression/limiting and sidechain equalization.
Effects – these can be considered as any unit that has an effect upon the signal, the term is used to describe units that are connected in parallel to the sig
Peter Ashworth is an English photographer. Ashworth specialized in music photography, between 1979 and 2000. In the 1980s, he worked with many UK artists including The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, Jimmy Page and The Associates, he has performed as a musician with various bands, including Marc and the Mambas, The Gadgets, The The. In 1980, Ashworth—using his Triash pseudonym—was a member of the band The The with Matt Johnson. In 1982–1983, he played drums as a member of Marc and the Mambas, he now works predominantly in fashion and style/culture photography, working with fashion designers such as Stephen Jones, Basso & Brooke and Atsuko Kudo. He is known in part for his photography of fetish subjects, for creating sets and shooting on location using lighting techniques that explore the textures and cut of his subjects. Ashworth’s work is featured in The National Portrait Gallery permanent collection archive, consisting of twelve images: Adam and the Ants - Kings Of The Wild Frontier. Ashworth’s work came to prominence in the 1980s when he worked with pop bands such as Soft Cell and The Associates.
Ashworth’s images have been used on album and single covers of the artists he has photographed, including Adam & The Ants’ Kings Of The Wild Frontier, The Associates’ Sulk, Soft Cell’s Non-stop Erotic Cabaret, Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Welcome to the Pleasuredome, Visage’s debut album Visage and Eurythmics Touch. Unusually for a rock photographer, Ashworth worked with the large, square format Hassalblad cameras because, as he reasoned, ‘album covers are square’. Through his initial work with musicians and designers in the eighties, Ashworth came into contact with fashion designers and moved into the area of fashion photography, working with designers such as British milliner Stephen Jones OBE, ) - Jones using Ashworth’s portrait on his first business card in 1979. Ashworth has worked and with British fetish designers Murray & Vern, Basso & Brooke, Atsuko Kudo. Ashworth’s photographic work with the avant-garde performance artist and fashion model Leigh Bowery was featured in a 2012 celebration of Bowery’s life entitled Xtravaganza: Staging Leigh Bowery, held at the Kunsthalle Wien museum in Vienna, Austria.
In 1980, Ashworth - using the pseudonym Triash - as a member of the band The The with Matt Johnson, appearing on the single ‘Controversial Subject’ as drummer and vocalist. In 1982–1983, he played drums as a member of Marc and the Mambas, appearing on their debut album Untitled and photographing the album’s cover; the ubiquity of Ashworth’s photographic work with music artists in the eighties led to him being mentioned in Mari Wilson’s UK Top 10 hit song ‘Just What I Always Wanted’ “I've got a mink from Paris, a ring from Rome A whole new wardrobe in my home A tune from Teddy, an Ashworth snap These are the landmarks on my map I've got just what I always wanted” Mavericks - Lever Gallery, London, 2018. Mavericks Photographic Show - The Gallery, Liverpool, 2018 Street Style: From Sidewalk to Catwalk - V&A, London Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones - V&A, London The House of Annie Lennox - V&A, London Otherness - Louis Vuitton Gallery, Paris Contributor Fetish: Masterpieces of Erotic Fantasy Photography by Michelle Olley Peter Ashworth Official website Facebook Official website The Guardian illustrated interview Official website
3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine known as ecstasy, is a psychoactive drug used as a recreational drug. The desired effects include altered sensations and increased energy and pleasure; when taken by mouth, effects begin after 30 -- last 3 -- 6 hours. Adverse effects include addiction, memory problems, difficulty sleeping, teeth grinding, blurred vision, a rapid heartbeat. Deaths have been reported due to dehydration. Following use people feel depressed and tired. MDMA acts by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitters serotonin and noradrenaline in parts of the brain, it belongs to the substituted amphetamine classes of drugs and has stimulant and hallucinogenic effects. MDMA is illegal in most countries and, has no approved medical uses. Limited exceptions are sometimes made for research. Researchers are investigating whether MDMA may assist in treating severe, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder with phase 3 clinical trials to look at effectiveness and safety expected to begin in 2018.
In 2017 the FDA granted MDMA a breakthrough therapy designation for PTSD, meaning if studies show promise, a review for potential medical use could occur more quickly. MDMA was first made in 1912, it was used to improve psychotherapy beginning in the 1970s and became popular as a street drug in the 1980s. MDMA is associated with dance parties and electronic dance music, it is sold mixed with other substances such as ephedrine and methamphetamine. In 2016, about 21 million people between the ages of 15 and 64 used ecstasy; this was broadly similar to the percentage of people who use cocaine or amphetamines, but fewer than for cannabis or opioids. In the United States, as of 2017, about 7% of people have used MDMA at some point in their life and 0.9% have used in the last year. In general, MDMA users report feeling the onset of subjective effects within 30–60 minutes of MDMA consumption and reaching the peak effect at 75–120 minutes, which plateaus for about 3.5 hours. The desired short-term psychoactive effects of MDMA have been reported to include: Euphoria – a sense of general well-being and happiness Increased self-confidence and feelings of communication being easy or simple Entactogenic effects – increased empathy or feelings of closeness with others and oneself Relaxation and reduced anxiety Increased emotionality A sense of inner peace Mild hallucination Enhanced sensation, perception, or sexuality Altered sense of timeThe experience elicited by MDMA depends on the dose and user.
The variability of the induced altered state by MDMA is lower compared to other psychedelics. For example, MDMA used at parties is associated with high motor activity, reduced sense of self-identity as well as poor awareness of the background surroundings. Use of MDMA individually or in a small groups in a quiet environment and when concentrating, is associated with increased lucidity, capability of concentration, sensitivity of aesthetic aspects of the background and emotions, as well as greater capability of communication with others. In psychotherapeutic settings MDMA effects have been described by infantile ideas, alternating phases of mood, sometimes memories and moods connected with childhood experiences. Sometimes MDMA is labelled as an "empathogenic" drug, because of its empathy-producing effects. Results of different studies show its effects of powerful empathy with others; when testing the MDMA for medium and high dosage ranges it showed increase on hedonic as well as arousal continuum.
The effect of MDMA increasing sociability is consistent, however effects on empathy have been more mixed. MDMA is considered the drug of choice within the rave culture and is used at clubs and house parties. In the rave environment, the sensory effects from the music and lighting are highly synergistic with the drug; the psychedelic amphetamine quality of MDMA offers multiple reasons for its appeal to users in the rave setting. Some users enjoy the feeling of mass communion from the inhibition-reducing effects of the drug, while others use it as party fuel because of the drug's stimulatory effects. MDMA is used less than other stimulants less than once per week. MDMA is sometimes taken in conjunction with other psychoactive drugs such as LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, ketamine, an act called "candy-flipping"; as of 2017, MDMA has no accepted medical indications. Before it was banned, it saw limited use in therapy. A small number of therapists continue to use MDMA in therapy despite its illegal status.
Small doses of MDMA are used as an entheogen to enhance prayer or meditation by some religious practitioners. MDMA has been used as an adjunct to New Age spiritual practices. MDMA has become known as ecstasy referring to its tablet form, although this term may include the presence of possible adulterants or dilutants; the UK term "mandy" and the US term "molly" colloquially refer to MDMA in a crystalline powder form, thought to be free of adulterants. MDMA is sold in the form of the hydrochloride salt, either as loose crystals or in gelcaps. In part due to the global supply shortage of sassafras oil, substances that are sold as molly contain no MDMA and instead contain methylone, ethylone, MDPV, mephedrone, or any other of the group of compounds known as bath salts. Powdered MDMA ranges from pure MDMA to crushed tablets with 30–40% purity. MDMA tablets have low purity due to bulking agents that are added to dilute the drug and increase profits and binding agents. Tablets sold as ecstasy sometimes contain 3,4-m
Smash Hits was a British pop music magazine aimed at teenagers and young adults, published by EMAP. It ran from 1978 to 2006 and, after appearing monthly, was issued fortnightly during most of that time; the name survived as a brand for a spin-off digital television channel -now named Box Hits - and website. A digital radio station was available but shut on 5 August 2013. Smash Hits featured songwords of interviews with all the big names in music, it was published monthly went fortnightly. The style of the magazine was one of irreverence, its interviewing technique was novel at the time and, rather than looking up to the big names, it made fun of them, asking strange questions rather than talking about their music. Created by journalist Nick Logan, the title was launched in 1978 and appeared monthly for its first few months, he based the idea on a songwords magazine that his sister used to buy, but, of poor quality. His idea being to launch a glossy-looking magazine which contained songwords as its mainstay.
The publisher was Emap, a small-time publisher based in Peterborough and the magazine was titled Disco Fever, before they settled on Smash Hits. Smash Hits launched the career of many journalists including Radio Times editor Mark Frith. Other well-known writers have included Dave Rimmer, Ian Birch, Mark Ellen, Steve Beebee, Peter Martin, Chris Heath, Sylvia Patterson, Alex Kadis, Sian Pattenden, Tom Hibbert, Miranda Sawyer. Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys worked as a writer and assistant editor, once claimed that had he not become a pop star, he would have pursued his ambition to become editor; the magazine was available in Continental Europe in Germany where the issues could be bought at train stations or airports, whilst the title was licensed for a French version in the 1990s. There were other licensed versions in the magazine's history. In 1984, an Australian version was created and proved just as successful for that new market as the original had back in Britain, whilst in the United States, a version was published during the 1980s under the title Star Hits, drawing articles from the British version.
It was published by Emap, who use the name for one of their digital television services, for a digital radio station. The brand covered the annual Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, an awards ceremony voted for by readers of the magazine; the magazine's sales peaked during the late 1980s. In the early part of the decade it was selling 500,000 copies per issue, which had risen to over one million by 1989. Sales began to drop during the 1990s and by 1996 it was reported that sales were dropping 100,000 per year standing at 245,000. By the time of its demise, it was down to 120,000. In the 1990s, the magazine's circulation slumped and it was overtaken by the BBC's spin off magazine Top of the Pops. Emap's other biweekly teen magazine of the period Big! was closed and this celeb focus was shifted over to Smash Hits, which became less focused on teen pop and more of an entertainment magazine. The magazine shifted size a number of times in subsequent relaunches including one format, as big as an album with songwords to be clipped out on the card cover.
Television presenter and journalist Kate Thornton was editor for a short time. In February 2006, it was announced that the magazine would cease publication after the February 13 edition due to declining sales; the digital music video channel, digital radio, website services still continue. In July 2009, a one-off commemorative issue of the magazine was published as a tribute to singer Michael Jackson. Further one-off specials were released in November 2009 and December 2010. "Chris Hall" Ian Cranna David Hepworth Mark Ellen Steve Bush Barry McIlheney Richard Lowe Mike Soutar Mark Frith Kate Thornton Gavin Reeve Bob Monkhouse John McKie Emma Jones Lisa Smosarski Lara PalamoudianThe publication's Art Editor in the early 1990s was Phil Hawksworth, who guided the transition between traditional artwork to electronic artwork on the Mac, introducing many of the design/content features used until publication ceased in 2007. EMAP licensed the brand for a number of compilation albums, including a tie in with the Now That's What I Call Music brand for Now Smash Hits, a retrospective of the early 1980s.
The Australian edition of Smash Hits magazine began in November 1984 as a fortnightly edited by James Manning. The magazine blended some content from the parent publication with locally generated material. Eddy Sarafian, to edit the successful competitor TV Hits for Attic Futura Publications, was on staff at the time the magazine was founded. Robyn Doreian editor of Attic Futura's Hot Metal was graphic designer for Smash Hits and in the early 1990s Lisa Anthony editor of Attic Futura's Hit Songwords, would become Smash Hits' editor for a brief period. Australian Smash Hits was published by Fairfax Magazines and was purchased by Mason Stewart Publications. Over the years it became a monthly and a bi-monthly. In 2007 the magazine retailed for A$5.95 Inc. GST and NZ$6.50. On 30 March 2007 it was announced that the Australian edition would cease publication due to low readership; the editor at that time was Emma Bradshaw. The issue, scheduled to be released on 9 May 2007 was cancelled. Smash Hits
Steely Dan is an American rock band founded in 1972 by core members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. Blending jazz, traditional pop, R&B, sophisticated studio production with cryptic and ironic lyrics, the band enjoyed critical and commercial success starting from the early 1970s until breaking up in 1981. Throughout their career, the duo recorded with a revolving cast of session musicians, in 1974 retired from live performances to become a studio-only band. Rolling Stone has called them "the perfect musical antiheroes for the Seventies". After the group disbanded in 1981, Becker and Fagen were less active throughout most of the next decade, though a cult following remained devoted to the group. Since reuniting in 1993, Steely Dan has toured and released two albums of new material, the first of which, Two Against Nature, earned a Grammy Award for Album of the Year, they have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2001. VH1 ranked Steely Dan at #82 on their list of the 100 greatest musical artists of all time.
Founding member Walter Becker died on September 3, 2017. Becker and Fagen met in 1967 in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; as Fagen passed by a café, The Red Balloon, he heard Becker practicing the electric guitar. In an interview, Fagen recounted the experience: "I hear this guy practicing, it sounded professional and contemporary, it sounded like, you know, like a black person, really." He introduced himself to Becker and asked, "Do you want to be in a band?" Discovering that they enjoyed similar music, the two began writing songs together. Becker and Fagen began playing in local groups. One such group, known as the Don Fagen Jazz Trio, the Bad Rock Group and the Leather Canary, included future comedy star Chevy Chase on drums, they played covers of songs by The Rolling Stones, Moby Grape, Willie Dixon, as well as some original compositions. Terence Boylan, another Bard musician, remembered that Fagen took to the beatnik life while attending college: "They never came out of their room, they stayed up all night.
They looked like ghosts -- black turtlenecks and skin so white. No activity, chain-smoking Lucky Strikes and dope." Fagen himself would remember it as "probably the only time in my life that I had friends."After Fagen graduated in 1969, the two moved to Brooklyn and tried to peddle their tunes in the Brill Building in midtown Manhattan. Kenny Vance, who had a production office in the building, took an interest in their music, which led to work on the soundtrack of the low-budget Richard Pryor film You've Got to Walk It Like You Talk It or You'll Lose That Beat. Becker said bluntly, "We did it for the money." A series of demos from 1968 to 1971 are available in bootleg form. This collection features 25 tracks and is notable for its sparse arrangements and lo-fi production, a contrast with Steely Dan's work. Although some of these songs were re-recorded for Steely Dan albums, most were never released. Becker and Fagen joined the touring band of Jay and the Americans for a half, they were at first paid $100 per show, but partway through their tenure the band's tour manager cut their salaries in half.
The group's lead singer, Jay Black, dubbed Becker and Fagen "the Manson and Starkweather of rock'n' roll", referring to cult leader Charles Manson and spree killer Charles Starkweather. They had little success after moving to Brooklyn, although Barbra Streisand recorded their song "I Mean To Shine" on her 1971 Barbra Joan Streisand album, their fortunes changed when one of Vance's associates, Gary Katz, moved to Los Angeles to become a staff producer for ABC Records. He hired Fagen as staff songwriters. Katz would produce all their 1970s albums in collaboration with engineer Roger Nichols. Nichols would win six Grammy Awards for his work with the band from the 1970s to 2001. After realizing that their songs were too complex for other ABC artists, at Katz's suggestion Becker and Fagen formed their own band with guitarists Denny Dias and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, drummer Jim Hodder and singer David Palmer, Katz signed them to ABC as recording artists. Fans of Beat Generation literature and Becker named the band after a "revolutionary" steam-powered dildo mentioned in the William S. Burroughs novel Naked Lunch.
Palmer joined as a second lead vocalist because of Fagen's occasional stage fright, his reluctance to sing in front of an audience, because the label believed that his voice was not "commercial" enough. In 1972, ABC issued Steely Dan's first single, "Dallas", backed with "Sail the Waterway". Distribution of "stock" copies available to the general public was extremely limited; as of 2015, "Dallas" and "Sail the Waterway" are the only released Steely Dan tracks that have not been reissued on cassette or compact disc. In an interview and Fagen called the songs "stinko." "Dallas" was covered by Poco on their Head Over Heels album. Can't Buy a Thrill, Steely Dan's debut album, was released in 1972, its hit singles "Do It Again" and "Reelin' In the Years" reached No. 6 and No. 11 on the Billboard singles chart. Along with "Dirty Work", the songs became staples on classic rock radio; because of Fagen's reluctance to sing live, Palmer handled most of the vocal duties on stage. During the first tour