As we all know, Steely Dan recorded that one great album, completed a short tour, and then split up. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen had a huge falling out (apparently over the ownership of a Bill Evans album) and never spoke again.
Following Walter’s death, last year, Donald gave his blessing to producer Gary Katz to go through the tapes of those album sessions, to see if there was anything worth saving. What Katz found blew his mind.
“Man, we were all smoking so much weed back then that even I don’t remember one day to the next. I had a vague recollection of some song about pretzels but not much else. When I opened the box that Don had sent me the first thing I found was the final master tapes of the mixed album. Below them was another three reels of jams, conversations, rows and Skunk ordering pizzas. Lots of pizzas. Then, right at the bottom of the box was a blanket. I stacked all the tapes on my kitchen table and moved the empty box into the hallway. Man, it was heavy. Too heavy. I stopped and pulled at the blanket. Underneath, I got a glimpse of a tape reel. I pulled it out. On the label was a series of letters. There was POQ. Below that was RB and below that an R. I took the blanket out and there, at the bottom of the box, was another three reels.”
Katz has spent the last 4 months restoring, adding to and mixing the tapes and now has 10 songs that, he says, would have formed the 2nd disc of a double album.
“I thought about adding some of the outtakes but, when you’ve heard Skunk Baxter order a thin crust pepperoni & Bud, thirty times, you know? The fans don’t need it man.”
The 10 songs will be released in June as part of a remastered package of the original vinyl album, with the newly discovered songs forming the 2nd disc of the double album. However, we have been given permission to feature all 20 tracks, in the order they will appear, in this Spotify playlist.
Enjoy, Dan Fans.