Simon and Garfunkel

(Redirected from Simon & Garfunkel) Bridge Over Troubled Water was Simon and Garfunkel's last album; the title track was one of three number one hits in the United States but their only number one hit in the United Kingdom.

Simon and Garfunkel were a popular music duo comprised of Paul Simon and Arthur "Art" Garfunkel. Simon and Garfunkel were among the most popular recording artists of the 1960s, and are best known for their songs, "The Sound of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water". They have received several Grammys and are inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Early history

In 1956, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were juniors at Forest Hills High School in New York City who began playing together as a group called Tom and Jerry, with Simon as Jerry Landis and Garfunkel as Tom Graph — so called because he always liked to track "graph" hits on the pop charts. As seniors in 1957, they started writing their own songs in the Everly Brothers' rock and roll style. They managed to record one of their first songs, Hey, Schoolgirl, for Sid Prosen of Big Records. Released on 45 and 78 rpm records, the single — backed with "Dancin' Wild" — sold 100,000 copies, hitting #49 on the Billboard charts.



They later performed their hit on American Bandstand, right after Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire".

Subsequent efforts in 1958 did not reach near their initial success, and after high school the duo split, with Simon enrolling at Queens College and Garfunkel matriculating into Columbia University.

In 1963 they found prominence as part of the same New York City folk music scene as Bob Dylan, with close harmony singing inspired by the Everly Brothers, combined with Simon's acoustic guitar playing. Simon, who had finished college but dropped out of Brooklyn Law School, had — like Garfunkel — developed an interest in the folk scene. Simon showed Garfunkel a few songs that he had written in the folk style: "Sparrow", "Bleecker Street", and "He Was My Brother" — which was later dedicated to Andrew Goodman, a friend of both Simon and Garfunkel, and a classmate of Simon's at Queen's College, who was one of three civil rights workers murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, on June 21, 1964.

These three efforts were among five original songs by Simon included on their first album for Columbia Records, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., which initially flopped upon its release on October 19, 1964.

First breakup

Shortly after finishing recording, the duo effectively split again and Simon moved to England, where he recorded his solo The Paul Simon Song Book in May 1965. Recorded on three different dates in June and July at Levy's Studio, London, and featuring only Simon and his guitar, it is a refreshing souvenir of the early folk work of Paul Simon. The album was supposedly deleted about 1979 at Simon's request, but was re-introduced on CD with bonus tracks in 2004.

While Simon was in England that summer of 1965, radio stations around Cocoa Beach and Gainesville, Florida, began to receive requests for a song from the album Wednesday Morning, 3 A. M. called "The Sound of Silence". The song also began to receive radio airplay in Boston. Seizing the chance, the duo's U.S. producer, Tom Wilson, who had heard The Byrds' early folk records, dubbed an electric guitar and drums into "The Sound of Silence" track, and released it as a single, backed with "We've Got a Groovey Thing Goin'". The dubbing turned folk into folk-rock, the debut of a new genre for the Top 40, much to Simon's surprise.

In September 1965, Simon first learned that it had entered the pop charts while about to go on stage in a Danish folk club. It hit number 1 on the pop charts by December.

Reunification

Simon immediately returned to the United States and the group re-formed for the second time to record more tracks in a similar style, though neither approved of what Wilson had done with "The Sound of Silence."

The result was a sequence of folk-rock records, which have endured as well as any in the genre. Simon's lyrics were often insightful and picturesque, but leavened by a consistent dry humour.

On January 17, 1966, the duo released the album Sounds of Silence, which – helped by the title track's success – hit #21, while Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. was re-released and reached #30.

Among the tracks on The Paul Simon Song Book that were rerecorded with electric backing for "Sounds of Silence" were "I Am A Rock" (which as a single reached US #3 in the summer of 1966), "Leaves That Are Green", "April Come She Will", and "Kathy's Song".

Further hit singles came, including "Scarborough Fair/Canticle", based on a traditional English ballad with an original counter-melody, and "Homeward Bound" (later US #5), about life on the road while Simon was touring in England in 1965.

More tracks from The Paul Simon Song Book were included with recent compositions on their October 10, 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, which refined the folk-rock sound hastily released on Sounds of Silence.

In 1967, Simon and Garfunkel contributed heavily to the soundtrack to Mike Nichols' film The Graduate, which was released on January 21, 1968, and instantly rose to #1 as an album.

As their albums became progressively more adventurous, The Graduate Original Soundtrack was immediately followed in April 1968 at the top of the charts by Bookends, which dealt with increasingly complex themes of old age and loss. It features the top-25 hit singles "A Hazy Shade Of Winter", "Fakin' It", "At The Zoo", "America", and "Mrs. Robinson", the classic from the Graduate soundtrack, which became #1 as a single.

At the March 1969 Grammy Awards, "Mrs. Robinson" was named Record of the Year, while Simon was also honored with the Grammy for Best Original Score for a Motion Picture.

Second breakup

By 1969, the duo's success began to take its toll. Garfunkel had begun to pursue a career in acting, in Nichols' follow-up to The Graduate, starring as Nately in the movie version of Catch-22. This increasingly frustrated Simon when Garfunkel's leave interfered with the recording of the duo's next album, and it didn't help that Simon's part in the film had been cut before filming actually began.

The duo's deteriorating personal relationship continued into their late 1969 tour, which featured performances at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio on November 11 and Carbondale, Illinois on November 8, recordings of which are supposedly widely bootlegged. Video footage of the tour was shown on their controversial November 30 television special Songs Of America, which TV sponsors refused to endorse because of its distinct anti-Vietnam War message.

Their long-delayed final album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, was at last released on January 26, 1970. Its title track, featuring Garfunkel's soaring vocals, was a massive hit and one of the best-selling records of the decade, staying #1 on the charts for six full weeks and on the charts for far longer thereafter. The album includes three other top-twenty hits, including "El Condor Pasa" (US #18), "Cecilia" (US #4), and "The Boxer" – which, finished in 1968, hit #7 on the charts the following year – as well as a live recording of the Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love" from Ames, Iowa, on their 1969 tour.

At the subsequent March 1971, Grammy Awards, the album and single were named Album and Record of The Year, respectively, winning Grammys as well for Best Engineered Record, Song of The Year, Best Contemporary Song, and Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists. Their 1972 Greatest Hits album peaked at US #5.

After the group split later in 1971, Simon went on to a very successful solo music career, recording several classic albums, including There Goes Rhymin' Simon (1973) and later on Graceland (1986). Garfunkel split his time between acting and musical releases, with various result. His most critical acclaimed album was the 1978 effort Watermark where almost all songs were written by Jimmy Webb.

Subsequent careers

The duo has reunited off and on since then, most notably for a free concert in New York's Central Park on September 19, 1981, which attracted a crowd around 500,000 people and was released on LP, CD, VHS, and DVD. The success of the 1981 concert prompted the duo to go on a world tour in 1982 (Europe & Japan) and 1983 (The U.S.), thought to be their final reunion. Their next public appearance was in 1990, when the two performed at a ceremony for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Simon and Garfunkel were seen together in 1993 in a few of Paul Simon's shows in New York, and at charity concerts later that year.

In July 2002, Columbia Legacy released a previously unreleased live recording of a Simon and Garfunkel concert, Live In New York City, 1967. It features an almost-complete recording of a performance given by the duo at Philharmonic Hall, the Lincoln Center in New York City on January 22 1967.

On February 23, 2003, Simon and Garfunkel reunited to perform in public for the first time since 1993, singing "The Sound Of Silence" as the opening act of the Grammy Awards. Before the show, the duo was presented with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring their musical contributions over the past four and a half decades.

Simon and Garfunkel held a two-month long reunion tour of the U.S. (and Toronto, Canada), running from October 16 to December 21, 2003. Entitled "Old Friends," their first tour in twenty years ran forty shows in twenty-eight cities and included surprise guests The Everly Brothers.

After that, they planned another Old Friends tour for June & July 2004 with over 25 shows, this time also in Europe.

In August 2004, they performed at the Colosseum in Rome to an audience which, according to news media reports, was probably even larger than the audience at the famous Central Park concert.

Discography

  • Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. (1964)
  • Sounds of Silence (1966)
  • Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966)
  • The Graduate Original Soundtrack (1968)
  • Bookends (1968)
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water (1968)
  • Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits (1972)
  • The Concert in Central Park (1982)
  • Live In New York City, 1967 (2002)
  • Old Friends: Live on Stage (2004)
  • And many other anthologies and compilations.

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In August 2004, they performed at the Colosseum in Rome to an audience which, according to news media reports, was probably even larger than the audience at the famous Central Park concert. For a full list, see the Steely Dan web site.. After that, they planned another Old Friends tour for June & July 2004 with over 25 shows, this time also in Europe. This is only a listing of "important" albums. (and Toronto, Canada), running from October 16 to December 21, 2003. Entitled "Old Friends," their first tour in twenty years ran forty shows in twenty-eight cities and included surprise guests The Everly Brothers. To sample a medley of mu major chord sounds, click on the following hyperlink: . Simon and Garfunkel held a two-month long reunion tour of the U.S. In particular, they are known for their use of the mu major chord, often simply known to musicians as the "Steely Dan chord".

Before the show, the duo was presented with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring their musical contributions over the past four and a half decades. Steely Dan are famous for their use of chord sequences and harmonies that explore the area of musical tension between traditional pop music sounds and the sounds of avant-garde music. On February 23, 2003, Simon and Garfunkel reunited to perform in public for the first time since 1993, singing "The Sound Of Silence" as the opening act of the Grammy Awards. Sadly, long-serving Dan saxophonist Cornelius Bumpus (who previously played with The Doobie Brothers and Moby Grape) died of a heart attack in February 2004. It features an almost-complete recording of a performance given by the duo at Philharmonic Hall, the Lincoln Center in New York City on January 22 1967. In 2003 Steely Dan released another superb album, Everything Must Go and toured America. In July 2002, Columbia Legacy released a previously unreleased live recording of a Simon and Garfunkel concert, Live In New York City, 1967. In March 2001, the original members reunited on stage for the first time in decades when Steely Dan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Simon and Garfunkel were seen together in 1993 in a few of Paul Simon's shows in New York, and at charity concerts later that year. It was not only a brilliant return to form but proved to be one of the surprise successes of the year, and in February 2001, it earned them four coveted Grammy Awards. Their next public appearance was in 1990, when the two performed at a ceremony for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Finally in 2000 they released their first studio album in twenty years, Two Against Nature. The success of the 1981 concert prompted the duo to go on a world tour in 1982 (Europe & Japan) and 1983 (The U.S.), thought to be their final reunion. They toured to great acclaim in 1995-96, performing mainly songs from the later Steely Dan albums plus a selection of re-arranged Dan classics, and they released a live CD of the tour, Alive In America in 1997. The duo has reunited off and on since then, most notably for a free concert in New York's Central Park on September 19, 1981, which attracted a crowd around 500,000 people and was released on LP, CD, VHS, and DVD. With Becker now mainly playing lead and rhythm guitar, they put together a strong new backing band that included an additional keyboard player and guitarist, female backing singers and a horn section.

Garfunkel split his time between acting and musical releases, with various result. His most critical acclaimed album was the 1978 effort Watermark where almost all songs were written by Jimmy Webb. tour to support Fagen's album (which sold poorly, even though the concerts were extremely successful). After the group split later in 1971, Simon went on to a very successful solo music career, recording several classic albums, including There Goes Rhymin' Simon (1973) and later on Graceland (1986). These events finally led to a reformation, and to the surprise and delight of fans, they mounted a U.S. Their 1972 Greatest Hits album peaked at US #5. Returning the favour, Fagen then produced Becker's first solo album 11 Tracks Of Whack (1994). At the subsequent March 1971, Grammy Awards, the album and single were named Album and Record of The Year, respectively, winning Grammys as well for Best Engineered Record, Song of The Year, Best Contemporary Song, and Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists. (It also features Titus and Helms' daughter Amy on backing vocals).

The album includes three other top-twenty hits, including "El Condor Pasa" (US #18), "Cecilia" (US #4), and "The Boxer" – which, finished in 1968, hit #7 on the charts the following year – as well as a live recording of the Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love" from Ames, Iowa, on their 1969 tour. The second event was Becker's production of Fagen's second solo album Kamakiriad in 1993—a brilliant and hugely underrated work that ranks with any of Steely Dan's best recordings; Fagen later nominated it as the most satisfying recording experience of his career. Its title track, featuring Garfunkel's soaring vocals, was a massive hit and one of the best-selling records of the decade, staying #1 on the charts for six full weeks and on the charts for far longer thereafter. The first was on October 25, 1991, when Becker attended a concert by Fagen, who was at the time performing as part of the New York Rock and Soul Revue, which Fagen co-founded with his partner, producer and singer Libby Titus (who was for many years the partner of Levon Helm of The Band). Their long-delayed final album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, was at last released on January 26, 1970. Two key events led to Becker and Fagen getting back together as Steely Dan. Video footage of the tour was shown on their controversial November 30 television special Songs Of America, which TV sponsors refused to endorse because of its distinct anti-Vietnam War message. After the release of his album, Fagen began to suffer from writer's block, so he withdrew from writing and recording for several years, although he occasionally did production work for other artists, as did Becker; one notable credit was British group China Crisis, who were strongly influenced by Steely Dan.

The duo's deteriorating personal relationship continued into their late 1969 tour, which featured performances at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio on November 11 and Carbondale, Illinois on November 8, recordings of which are supposedly widely bootlegged. Interestingly, it included the only other song in the entire Steely Dan oeuvre that was not written by Becker and/or Fagen—a cover of Leiber and Stoller's Ruby Baby. This increasingly frustrated Simon when Garfunkel's leave interfered with the recording of the duo's next album, and it didn't help that Simon's part in the film had been cut before filming actually began. In 1982 Fagen released his groundbreaking solo album The Nightfly, which was favourably compared to his Steely Dan work but failed to match the wide audience appeal of the two previous Dan albums. Garfunkel had begun to pursue a career in acting, in Nichols' follow-up to The Graduate, starring as Nately in the movie version of Catch-22. scene, beat his addictions and raise a family. The two tried writing together again in the mid-1980s but were unhappy with the results. By 1969, the duo's success began to take its toll. Becker subsequently moved to the Hawaiian island of Maui to escape the L.A.

Robinson" was named Record of the Year, while Simon was also honored with the Grammy for Best Original Score for a Motion Picture. Becker was also having personal difficulties including the loss of a girlfriend to a drug overdose. Nevertheless, the Gaucho album was another major success, and they scored another hit with the single Hey Nineteen, but by this time the duo had decided to split up, and they announced the parting in June 1981. At the March 1969 Grammy Awards, "Mrs. By the time of the release of Gaucho in 1980, they realised that the partnership was running out of steam and that they had reached their peak with Aja. Robinson", the classic from the Graduate soundtrack, which became #1 as a single. After Aja was released, ABC was bought by MCA and for most of the next three years they were caught in contractual problems that prevented them from recording a follow-up album, although they scored another hit single with the title theme from the movie FM. It features the top-25 hit singles "A Hazy Shade Of Winter", "Fakin' It", "At The Zoo", "America", and "Mrs. The story of the making of the album has been documented in an episode of the popular TV and DVD series Classic Albums.

As their albums became progressively more adventurous, The Graduate Original Soundtrack was immediately followed in April 1968 at the top of the charts by Bookends, which dealt with increasingly complex themes of old age and loss. It cemented the duo's reputation as songwriters, as well as their legendary reputation for studio perfectionism. In 1967, Simon and Garfunkel contributed heavily to the soundtrack to Mike Nichols' film The Graduate, which was released on January 21, 1968, and instantly rose to #1 as an album. charts within three weeks of release, and was one of the first American LPs to be certified 'platinum' for sales of over 1 million albums. More tracks from The Paul Simon Song Book were included with recent compositions on their October 10, 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, which refined the folk-rock sound hastily released on Sounds of Silence. Regarded as one of the best (and best-recorded) albums of the period, it won a slew of awards, had shot into the Top Five in the U.S. Further hit singles came, including "Scarborough Fair/Canticle", based on a traditional English ballad with an original counter-melody, and "Homeward Bound" (later US #5), about life on the road while Simon was touring in England in 1965. Although some doubted that they could last as a studio-only group, Becker and Fagen proved their critics wrong in spectacular fashion with the 1977 release of their sixth LP, the dazzling, jazz-oriented Aja, which saw them using the services of top-notch jazz and jazz-rock and soul musicians including Larry Carlton, Wayne Shorter, Steve Gadd, The Crusaders, Chuck Rainey and legendary session drummer Bernard "Pretty" Purdie.

Among the tracks on The Paul Simon Song Book that were rerecorded with electric backing for "Sounds of Silence" were "I Am A Rock" (which as a single reached US #3 in the summer of 1966), "Leaves That Are Green", "April Come She Will", and "Kathy's Song". The new album was a hit, as was the 1976 follow-up, The Royal Scam. On January 17, 1966, the duo released the album Sounds of Silence, which – helped by the title track's success – hit #21, while Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. was re-released and reached #30. Their 1975 LP Katy Lied saw the duo using a diverse group of session players, including guitarist Elliot Randall, saxophonist Phil Woods, bassist Wilton Felder, percussionist-vibraphonist Victor Feldman, keyboardist (and later producer) Michael Omartian and guitarist Larry Carlton, with only Dias remaining from the original group. Simon's lyrics were often insightful and picturesque, but leavened by a consistent dry humour. After touring to support the abum, Becker and Fagen decided to withdraw from the road to concentrate on writing and recording. The other band members, feeling that they had in effect been reduced to the role of session players, gradually left the group. Baxter and McDonald went on to great success as members of The Doobie Brothers. The result was a sequence of folk-rock records, which have endured as well as any in the genre. It is also notable as the only Steely Dan album to contain a song by another composer—their delightful cover of Duke Ellington's East St Louis Toodle-Doo.

Simon immediately returned to the United States and the group re-formed for the second time to record more tracks in a similar style, though neither approved of what Wilson had done with "The Sound of Silence.". They returned to prominence with their classic third LP Pretzel Logic in early 1974, a diverse but superbly realised set that produced another huge hit single, Rikki Don't Lose That Number, a US Top Ten hit which became another enduring FM rock radio staple. In September 1965, Simon first learned that it had entered the pop charts while about to go on stage in a Danish folk club. It hit number 1 on the pop charts by December. After the LP was released they replaced Hodder with drummer Jeff Porcaro (later a member of Toto) and added singer and keyboard player Michael McDonald. The dubbing turned folk into folk-rock, the debut of a new genre for the Top 40, much to Simon's surprise. Their second album, Countdown To Ecstasy, was released in 1973 but the singles lifted from it (including Bodhisattva) failed to repeat the chart success of their predecessors. producer, Tom Wilson, who had heard The Byrds' early folk records, dubbed an electric guitar and drums into "The Sound of Silence" track, and released it as a single, backed with "We've Got a Groovey Thing Goin'". Produced by Katz and recorded by Roger (The Immortal) Nichols at The Village Recorder, they released their debut album, Can't Buy A Thrill, in 1972 and made an immediate impression with the hit singles Dirty Work (later covered by Max Merritt) and Reelin' In The Years, which soon became a staple of FM radio and features one of rock's all-time great guitar solos (performed by Eliott Randall).

Seizing the chance, the duo's U.S. The addition of a second lead vocalist (Palmer) was mainly made at the insistence of the label's executives, who felt that Fagen's idiosyncratic voice lacked commercial appeal, but it soon became obvious that it was in fact ideally suited to their material, and Palmer left the group after the first LP. The song also began to receive radio airplay in Boston. After realizing their songs were too complex for other ABC artists, at Katz's suggestion they formed their own band with guitarists Denny Dias and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, drummer Jim Hodder and singer-keyboard player David Palmer, and Katz signed the band to ABC as recording artists. While Simon was in England that summer of 1965, radio stations around Cocoa Beach and Gainesville, Florida, began to receive requests for a song from the album Wednesday Morning, 3 A. M. called "The Sound of Silence". Katz would produce all their 1970s albums and from the first album on they commenced a long and successful collaboration with engineer Roger Nichols, who has since worked on every Steely Dan album, and the duo's solo projects. The album was supposedly deleted about 1979 at Simon's request, but was re-introduced on CD with bonus tracks in 2004. He hired Becker and Fagen as staff songwriters and they flew to Los Angeles.

Shortly after finishing recording, the duo effectively split again and Simon moved to England, where he recorded his solo The Paul Simon Song Book in May 1965. Recorded on three different dates in June and July at Levy's Studio, London, and featuring only Simon and his guitar, it is a refreshing souvenir of the early folk work of Paul Simon. Although they had a few notable successes—Barbra Streisand recorded their song I Mean To Shine—they made little significant headway until they met Gary Katz, who had just become a staff producer for ABC Records in Los Angeles. These three efforts were among five original songs by Simon included on their first album for Columbia Records, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., which initially flopped upon its release on October 19, 1964. Around this time they tried to start a group with guitarist Denny Dias, but this was unsuccessful, so Becker and Fagen moved to Manhattan, hoping to establish themselves as professional songwriters. Simon showed Garfunkel a few songs that he had written in the folk style: "Sparrow", "Bleecker Street", and "He Was My Brother" — which was later dedicated to Andrew Goodman, a friend of both Simon and Garfunkel, and a classmate of Simon's at Queen's College, who was one of three civil rights workers murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, on June 21, 1964. They remained with The Americans until mid-1971 when they quit to work on the soundtrack of the low-budget film You Gotta Walk It Like You Talk It, which was produced by Kenny Vance of The Americans. Simon, who had finished college but dropped out of Brooklyn Law School, had — like Garfunkel — developed an interest in the folk scene. After Fagen graduated in 1969, the two moved to Brooklyn and in 1970 they joined the pop group Jay and the Americans, where they worked under pseudonyms (Fagen's was 'Gustav Mahler', Becker's was 'Tristan Fabriani').

In 1963 they found prominence as part of the same New York City folk music scene as Bob Dylan, with close harmony singing inspired by the Everly Brothers, combined with Simon's acoustic guitar playing. Becker and Fagen met at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (See this lyrical tribute (http://www.steelydan.com/lyrcountdown.html#track6)) in 1967 and began playing in local groups; one of these, The Bad Rock Group, included future comedy star Chevy Chase on drums. Subsequent efforts in 1958 did not reach near their initial success, and after high school the duo split, with Simon enrolling at Queens College and Garfunkel matriculating into Columbia University. Fagen once explained, "We just wanted to give the band a little more thrust than most other bands.".
They later performed their hit on American Bandstand, right after Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire". Burroughs: Steely Dan is the name of a steam-powered dildo that appeared in Burroughs' book Naked Lunch.
. The band's name (like a number of others) is derived from the works of William S.

Released on 45 and 78 rpm records, the single — backed with "Dancin' Wild" — sold 100,000 copies, hitting #49 on the Billboard charts. The "Fever Dreams" website (see External Links) is highly recommended, and contains some fascinating, revealing (and sometimes hilarious) analyses by Dan fans, some based on the rare snippets of information that Becker and Fagen occaasionally reveal about their writing. They managed to record one of their first songs, Hey, Schoolgirl, for Sid Prosen of Big Records. It is typical of their wry sense of humour that the reference to kangaroos makes no particular sense unless one knows that Muswellbrook is located in Australia. As seniors in 1957, they started writing their own songs in the Everly Brothers' rock and roll style. and also because it allowed them to create the amusing couplets in the next stanza:. In 1956, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were juniors at Forest Hills High School in New York City who began playing together as a group called Tom and Jerry, with Simon as Jerry Landis and Garfunkel as Tom Graph — so called because he always liked to track "graph" hits on the pop charts. This reference has startled and amused many Australian fans, but is believed that Becker and Fagen in fact selected the name from an atlas, primarily because it worked effectively with the next rhyme:.

They have received several Grammys and are inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The song Black Friday (1975) contains one of their most fascinating 'namechecks', a surprising reference to the town of Muswellbrook in northern New South Wales, Australia:. Robinson" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water". The 'Two Against Nature album (2000) contains numerous references to New York, including the district of Gramercy Park and the well-known upmarket food business http://www.deandeluca.com/. Simon and Garfunkel were among the most popular recording artists of the 1960s, and are best known for their songs, "The Sound of Silence", "Mrs. 'Namechecking' is another classic Dan lyrical device, and references to real places and people abound in their songs. Simon and Garfunkel were a popular music duo comprised of Paul Simon and Arthur "Art" Garfunkel. Jazz is a recurring theme, with references abounding in their songs, and there are numerous other film, television and literary references and allusions, such as Home At Last (from Aja), which was inspired by The Odyssey.

And many other anthologies and compilations. Many songs contain subtle coded references, word-games, unusual (and sometimes original) slang expressions and intriguing lyrical choices and constructions, all of which enable the songs to be analysed in considerable depth. Old Friends: Live on Stage (2004). Steely Dan's lyrics are unusually challenging and interesting, and can attract and hold one's attention alongside the music, inviting repeated listenings to their songs. Live In New York City, 1967 (2002). As the title suggests, the song was inspired by the famous 1944 George Cukor thriller Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman, in which the husband of Bergman's character (played by Charles Boyer) attempts to drive her mad. The Concert in Central Park (1982). Gaslighting Abbie (2000), also from the Two Against Nature album, likewise presents itself at first as a love song, but further examination of the lyrics reveal that the narrator is conspiring with his lover on a sadistic plan to drive his wife insane.

Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits (1972). A good example of this aspect of their writing can be found in the song Janie Runaway (from Two Against Nature). At first glance it reads like an optimistic love song, with the narrator singing the praises of his new love, but a closer examination reveals a relationship between a teenage (and probably underage) runaway and a jaded, wealthy, New York roue who, by song's end, part threatens, part bribes the girl into joining him for an out-of-state 'threesome' weekend with another young woman. Bridge Over Troubled Water (1968). Many of their songs concern love, but none can be classed as straightforward love songs, since there is inevitably an ironic or disturbing twist in the lyrics which sets them apart from the typical love song fare. Bookends (1968). Other intriguing themes are also present, such as prejudice, growing old, failure, poverty and middle-class ennui, but typically seen from an ironic and detachedly intelligent perspective. The Graduate Original Soundtrack (1968). The first two lines draw on the fact that Owsley's acid was famed for its purity, although the last line is clearly a reference to the famous psychedelic bus named "Furthur", which was used by the Merry Pranksters.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966). This is evident in the following lines:. Sounds of Silence (1966). Although the lyrics are, at first glance, typically oblique and allusive, Becker and Fagen have hinted that it was partly inspired by the exploits of the infamous 1960s San Francisco-based LSD chemist Owsley -- although it conflates the core story with numerous other images of the Sixties. Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. (1964). Another good example of their '70s writing style is Kid Charlemagne from The Royal Scam. Some lyrics are notable for their unusual scansion patterns; a prime example of this is their 1972 hit Reelin' In The Years, which crams an unusually large number of words into each line, giving it a highly syncopated quality, similar to rap:.

Themes of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll appear, but never in a straightforward manner, neither encouraging or discouraging, and many (if not all) of their songs are tinged with an ironic edge. The duo have said that in retrospect, most of their albums have a 'feel' of either New York or Los Angeles, the two main bases where Becker and Fagen lived and operated (see below). Characters appear in their songs that evoke these cities. Lyrically, their songs cover a wide range of topics, but in their basic approach Becker and Fagen's writing can be compared with the observational, novelistic style of Lou Reed, and with songwriters such as Randy Newman, who specialises in creating fictional personae that narrate the song. Their albums are also notable for the characteristically 'warm' and 'dry' production sound, and the sparing use of echo and reverberation -- effects which were often heavily over-used on other rock recordings of this period.

This gives the song an unexpected drive, without overpowering the sound; it is not even immediately apparent. For example, in the song Parker's Band, two drum kits are used (a technique which was standard in the Big Band era). It also comes from the sound of each instrument, which is recorded with utmost fidelity and attention to sonic detail, in a style that appeals to the ear and is mixed such a way that all instruments are heard and none are given undue priority. The attraction of Steely Dan's music also comes partly from the structure of each song, which will often contain counter-melodies and solid but supple rhythms.

On several albums they used famous session trio of Venetta Fields, Shirley Matthews and Clydie King, who have appeared on many other famous recordings including albums by The Rolling Stones and Boz Scaggs. Becker and Fagen also favour a distinctly soul-influenced style of backing vocal, which after the first few albums were almost always performed by a female chorus (although Michael McDonald features prominently on the 1977 song Peg). The guitar solo on Peg, for example, was attempted by four fine guitarists before Jay Graydon's chorus became the 'keeper'. Long known as perfectionists, they often recorded take after take before selecting the player or performance that made the final cut on their albums.

Their major musical focus has always been to create a precise mood or 'feel' that underscores the lyrics. This comes partly from the tightness of the musicians and partly from Becker and Fagen's deep grounding in and love for jazz and rhythm & blues. Musically, their sound is full of energy, though not an energy of aggression or speed. Perhaps influenced by their early hardships as songwriters for hire, the duo have never given songs to other performers.

Although Becker and Fagen might have at first owed a certain lyrical debt to Bob Dylan, they rapidly developed their own distinctive style and have since become one of the most accomplished and respected songwriting teams of their age. Their enigmatic, sardonically humorous and topical lyrics add enormously to the appeal of the songs. Steely Dan's albums are found by fans to be satisfying on many levels. Their music, which may at first appear 'smooth' and 'easy listening', is characterized by complex jazz-influenced structures and harmonies, witty and literate lyrics and unparalleled musicianship.

The band's heyday was in the 1970s, when they released a half dozen consummate albums, which skilfully blended jazz, rock and roll, funk, rhythm and blues, pop and everything in between. The first stage of the group was as a conventional rock band that toured and recorded from 1972 to 1974; the second stage (1975–80) was as a purely studio-based act, still using the name Steely Dan, but now based solely around the songwriting team of Becker and Fagen, and using hired session players on their recordings; the third stage was Becker and Fagen's surprise return to recording and performing during the 1990s, with the band reconstituted as a large jazz-rock ensemble that both tours regularly and has released several acclaimed live and studio albums. The group's history is divided into three stages. Steely Dan is an American jazz rock band based around musicians and songwriters Walter Becker and Donald Fagen.

Sneaker. 2003 Everything Must Go. 2000 Two Against Nature. 1995 Alive in America (live).

1980 Gaucho. 1977 Aja. 1976 The Royal Scam. 1975 Katy Lied.

1974 Pretzel Logic. 1973 Countdown To Ecstasy. 1972 Can't Buy A Thrill.

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