I thought that might get a few people’s attentions. Anthony Robustelli is a guy with serious muso chops who wrote a fairly definitive guide to Steely Dan in “The Steely Dan FAQ” which exhaustively gets down and nerdy on the Dan.
However, as if that wasn’t enough, he then took the various unfinished Dan demos which are knocking around on the internet and on shonky CD “releases” and recorded them properly with a seriously good set of musicians to create an album called “Steely Dan – Interpretations of Unrealised Classics”. And it’s really good!
There’s a good podcast where he talks about it at some length, but in a nutshell where the Dan demo was a clear statement of intent he was faithful to their arrangement etc, but where it is more of a sketch he took artistic liberties adding sections, lyrics and grooves to where he thought it would have gone had Walt and Don fully developed it. Then recorded it in Royal Scam/Aja style analogue sonic quality (i.e. avoiding the slightly glassy sound of Gaucho and to a degree Two Against Nature).
Those who know the demos will recognise them here and spot the additions, and if you know the Dan albums you spot ideas which re-emerged in different songs later.
Here’s a taster – the whole album is on YouTube but I’m investing in hard copy!
PS – Mr. Robustelli also does a super nerdy Beatles podcast called The Beatles Multi Track Meltdown where he digs out soloed parts from well known and rare Beatles tracks and puts them out with commentary. It’s a treat for Beatles nerds who need to hear everything.