Friday, September 29, 2017

Steely Dan - 1974-03-20 - Record Plant, L.A., CA - TooleMan Remaster-35th Anniversary Edition

Steely Dan
The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA

Pre-FM (KMET-Live) master recording (as remastered by Tooleman-35th Anniversary Edition - 2009), excellent quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Ok, I'll wrap up this mini-tribute to Steely Dan with another classic show from that great 1974 tour while still a rock band (last before going all studio thereafter, that is, until the reunion and 'Big Band Dan' tours starting in 1993). So, here is a very well-known show, and one that I have previously featured before, as it is a great Pre-FM recording of a radio show (KMET-Live), with great sound. But here, this time, is a newer, remastered version of that classic show, by The TooleMan, for a 35th Anniversary Edition (made in 2009) of the show. Although the original recording was already very good, TooleMan has tweaked it here and there to improve the sound a bit more. The only drawback to this show, however, is that because it was made for a radio show (and to fit a one hour timeslot), it is a shortened version of their show (This show is missing 'My Old School', 'Dirty Work', and 'Show Biz Kids' from their regular setlist for this tour, which is alot to miss). But aside from that, this is a great show, with great sound, and definitely - a classic.  BTW, for those that prefer the unaltered (Pre-FM recording, not remastered), it is still available on the previous post (here), and I have added the FLAC version of that show, too).

01 - Stalling for time - Intro
02 - Bodhisattva
03 - The Boston Rag
04 - Do It Again
05 - Any Major Dude
06 - King Of The World
07 - Rikki Don't Lose That Number
08 - tuning
09 - Pretzel Logic
10 - Your Gold Teeth II (Jam)
11 - Reelin' In The Years
12 - This All Too Mobile Home
13 - Announcer outro

Donald Fagen – piano, vocals
Walter Becker – bass
Jeff Baxter – guitar
Denny Dias – guitar
Jim Hodder – drums
Jeff Porcaro – drums
Royce Jones – percussion, backing vocals
Michael McDonald – electric piano, backing vocals

Remaster notes - As with many tapes of this vintage, I thought a little more bass was needed. While I was at it, I ironed out a couple of tape wrinkles, too. Also, tiny amount of pitch correction, re-tracking, etc. - TheTooleMan, March, 2009

mp3 - Steely Dan_1974-03-20_RecordPlant_TooleManRem35_mp3.rar

FLAC - Steely Dan_1974-03-20_RecordPlant_TooleManRem35_FLAC.rar

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Steely Dan - 1974-04-30 - Memphis, TN - "Memphis Blues Again" (Tooleman Remaster)

Steely Dan
April 30th, 1974
Ellis Auditorium, Memphis, TN
"Memphis Blues Again", Tooleman Version (2008)
Soundboard recording (Remastered by Tooleman), Excellent Quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) vesrions

More Steely Dan! After featuring some of the later shows, time to go back once again to the original rock band version of the group in the early '70's, and their great 1974 tour. Here is another one of the classic soundboard recordings from that tour (I've previously featured the Rainbow Theater (5-20-74) and Record Plant (3-24-74) shows with excellent sound). This tour comes right on the heels of recording their 3rd album, Pretzel Logic (one of my favorites), and thus features some 'new' songs from that album, as well as several from my personal favorite, their previous, Countdown to Ecstasy. This was their last tour as a working rock band, before Becker & Fagen stopped touring, dissolved the rest of the band, and retreated to the studio to produce flawless jazz-rock records using various guests and session musicians. But here for the 1974 tour they had a killer lineup, with ace dual guitarists Denny Dias and Jeff Baxter, dual drummers (Jeff Porcaro and Jim Hodder, and even dual keyboard/vocalists (Fagen and Michael McDonald). The energy and performances at these shows are just fantastic. Each of these shows are great (and fortunately a number of hi-quality recordings from this tour are available), showing a much harder rockin' Dan than any of the post-reunion ensembles, with great guitar, keyboard, and drumming work throughout - vocals/harmonies are also quite strong as well, with the backing vocals of velvet-throated McDonald and percussionist Royce Jones. The only drawback is the setlist for all these shows was virtually the same (shuffling 'Any Major Dude' with 'Brooklyn' for some shows seems to be the only variant), so it is the same show each time, but even still, hearing multiple performances of this classic tour is a must. Although the sound from the original recording of this show was already very good, I am featuring here the Tooleman Remastered version of the show, as it does noticeably improve the overall sound quality and gives some extra punch to bass, drums, and vocals.So, if you don't have this already, check out some more classic Steely Dan.

01  Bodhisattva
02  The Boston Rag
03  Do It Again
04  Brooklyn
05  King of the World
06  Blues in C
07  Rikki Don't Lose That Number
08  Pretzel Logic
09  My Old School
10  Dirty Work
11  Your Gold Teeth II
12  Reelin' in the Years
13  Show Biz Kids
14  All Too Mobile Home

Donald Fagen - keyboards/vocals
Denny Dias - 'bebop' guitar
Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter - 'skunk' guitar/vocals
Walter Becker - bass
Jeff Porcaro - drums
Jim Hodder - drums
Michael McDonald - electric piano/vocals
Royce Jones - percussion/vocals

Remaster notes - The recording has been equalized to make the bass much louder. Treble frequencies have been reduced to help balance the overall sound and make hiss less apparent. Light dynamic compression was used to improve the mix of vocals with instruments. The original recording runs fast and the pitch of the music is a bit sharp, so pitch was altered by -25 cents in the remaster to bring it to proper pitch. Track boundaries were adjusted from the original CD so that the music starts much closer to the beginning of each track. Several seconds of loud hum was reduced in track 14. The separate track for band introductions was merged with the preceding track (track 8, "Pretzel Logic"), while the excerpt of "Your Gold Teeth" was broken out as a separate track. - Tooleman, 2008

FLAC - Steely Dan_1974-04-30_Memphis-Tooleman rem_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Steely Dan_1974-04-30_Memphis-Tooleman rem_mp3.rar

Monday, September 18, 2017

Steely Dan - 1993-08-13 - Auburn Hills, MI - "Kickoff Night"

Steely Dan
August 13, 1993
"Kickoff Night"
Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI

Audience recording, Good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

More Steely Dan! Here is a unique show from their 'comeback' or 'reunion' tour of 1993. In fact, this was the very first show of the tour, so this was the first glimpse audiences got of this new version of Steely Dan, what I refer to as Big Band Dan. Thus, this was the first actual Steely Dan live concert in almost 20 years, and 13 years since Fagen & Backer broke up and went their separate ways. So, this was a historic night. But, in addition to that, this show contained several unique songs that were not continued in most subsequent shows (some never played again anywhere), so this is an especially unique show. First, a little background here. Now, this was at a time when they were both more focused on their solo albums (Steely Dan wouldn't record a 'new' album for another 7 years). Don had recently released Kamakiriad (1993, and produced by Becker), and Becker was getting to release his first solo album (11 Tracks of Whack, 1994, and produced by Fagen). So, it is not surprising that the boys wanted to feature a good chunk of their solo tracks. But at this 'Kickoff' show, they played a whopping total of 12 songs that were 'solo' tracks (7 of Fagen's, 5 of Becker's), which was actually more than the number of Steely Dan songs featured (10, not counting the orchestral instrumental tracks). And I'm sure they rather quickly (within the first few shows) realized that the fans were there to hear Steely Dan songs and not so much their relatively unknown solo tracks, so the setlist was adjusted to drop some of the 'solo tracks' and put back in some popular 'Dan' tracks, which they did for the remainder of the tour (and all subsequent tours). But it does mean that this show featured songs not played at any (or at least only a few) other shows ever again. Becker's 'Cringemaker', 'Our Lawn', and 'Girlfriend' were dropped never to reappear ('Book of Liars' and 'Fall of '92' were kept throughout the tour), and 'Our  Lawn' and 'Fall of '92' were never released on any albums, so are true rarities. Thus, this show also featured more Walter Becker songs than any other Steely Dan show ever, so it also is an appropriate show as a tribute and memorial to Walter. Fagen dropped 'True Companion' (obscure track from the film Heavy Metal) and 'Trans Island Skyway' and 'Countermoon' (from Kamakiriad), but keeping 'IGY' & 'Green Flower St' (from Nightfly), and 'Teahouse on the Tracks' (from Kamakiriad) for the remainder of the tour. So, many rarely played tracks and oddities here to enjoy. The audience recording is good (but not great) quality, not up to the SBD standards of other available shows, but still good and very enjoyable. BTW, the 'Dan' songs they added in subsequent shows after dropping the 'solo' tracks were 'Home at Last', 'Babylon Sisters', 'Reelin' in the Years', and 'Peg'. For an example of the later shows on this tour, check out the St. Louis show, previously posted here.Enjoy!

Disc 1:
01 Instrumental Overture (Peg->Aja) (First and only time this unusual instrumental was played. By the next show, Peg was taken out of this and played on its own)
02 Green Earrings
03 Bodhisattva
04 I.G.Y. (Fagen solo track)
05 Josie
06 Hey Nineteen
07 Book of Liars (Becker)
08 Cringemaker (rare Walter Becker solo track dropped after only a few performances)
09 Chain Lightning
10 Band Introductions
11 Our Lawn  (rare Walter Becker solo track dropped after a few performances)
12 Green Flower Street (Fagen solo track)
13 True Companion (rare Donald Fagen solo tune; only time played on the 1993 tour)
14 Black Friday

Disc 2:
01 Tuzz's Shadow (Instrumental written by Steely Dan pianist at the time, Warren Bernhardt)
02 Deacon Blues >
03 Tomorrow's Girls (Fagen)
04 Fall of '92 (Becker)
05 Girlfriend (Walter Becker solo track dropped after 2 performances)
06 Third World Man
07 Trans Island Skyway (Donald Fagen tune solo track dropped after only a few performances)
08 Countermoon > (Fagen)
09 Teahouse on the Tracks (Fagen)
10 My Old School
11 FM



Donald Fagen: Vocals, Fender Rhodes, Lync Keytar
Walter Becker: Guitar, Vocals

Along with The Citizen Steely Dan Orchestra 1993:
Peter Erskine: Drums
Bill Ware III: Vibes, Congas, Percussion
Tom Barney: 5-string Bass
Drew Zingg: Guitars
Warren Bernhardt: Acoustic Piano, Fender Rhodes
Diane Garisto: Vocals
Brenda White-King: Vocals
Catherine Russell: Vocals
Chris Potter: Tenor Sax
Cornelius Bumpus: Tenor Sax
Bob Shepard: Tenor and Soprano Sax
Roger Nichols: Monitor Mix

FLAC - Steely Dan_1993-08-13_Auburn HillsMI_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Steely Dan_1993-08-13_Auburn HillsMI_mp3.part1.rar
          Steely Dan_1993-08-13_Auburn HillsMI_mp3.part1.rar

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Steely Dan - 2009-07-22 - Wang Theater, Boston, MA - Aja and Royal Scam Night

Steely Dan
July 22, 2009
Wang Theater, Boston, MA

Stereo Soundboard recording, Excellent quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps versions)

Been listening to Steely Dan all week, since news of Walter Becker's passing, especially my two favorite albums of theirs, Countdown to Ecstasy and Pretzel Logic, just superb, and their entire catalog is exceptional. What a tremendous loss. And although I think many falsely assume that because Donald Fagen is the de facto front man and more outspoken member, that Becker played a lesser role in the groups music and sound, but that is not at all true. Becker was an integral part of everything about the band, from the songwriting (music and lyrics) to the musical sound, style, arrangements, and production. Anyway, in looking back on what Steely Dan shows I have already posted on the blog, it was clear that there are many more that could be included to give a more thorough depiction of the band and their various tours (in addition, will update those that don't include lossless versions). So, first up here, is a great show and excellent recording from the Dan's 2009 Rent Party '09 Tour. This tour was notable for featuring shows on multiple consecutive days in major cities, where they would feature a different full album each night. The albums featured included Aja, The Royal Scam, and Gaucho (unfortunately, no dates included Countdown to Ecstasy or Pretzel Logic, or even Katy Lied). In cities where they played 3 or 4 nights, they also included an "Internet Request Night" where the band would play songs requested by ticket-holding concertgoers through a special log-in internet vote for that show (although this request night seemed especially intriguing, as it turned out, and probably not surprisingly, the songs most requested by the audience were mostly the same popular songs they already were playing most nights anyway, but still resulted in several songs that had not been played live in many years, greats like 'Any Major Dude' and 'parker's Band, etc., and overall, between the request night and the full album shows, this tour resulted in the greatest variety of songs being played than on any other Steely Dan tour). Anyway, this Boston show was quite special itself, for several reasons. In Boston, they were scheduled for 3 nights, with the plan being an Aja night, a Gaucho night, and an internet request night. But on this first night of the Boston shows, the band treated the audience to a combined Aja and Royal Scam Night, doing both full albums (in addition to several other songs). This was the only night of the tour where they did two complete albums. In addition, there were a couple of  other Boston-only surprises, in that they also performed a couple of songs with special meaning for the Boston audience, their own 'The Boston Rag' (which hadn't been featured in any live shows in decades), and The Standells 'Dirty Water', a local Boston standard. Again, this was the only show where these additional songs were performed, just for Boston (and only time ever for 'Dirty Water'). So, this was a special night, and this great recording captures it all. The recording I had of this also included a bonus track of  'Pretzel Logic' with guest Steve Winwood from a 2011 date, so that is included as well. Enjoy! 

01 Teenie Blues
02 Black Cow
03 Aja
04 Deacon Blues
05 Peg
06 Home at Last
07 I Got the News
08 Josie
09 Donald's Remarks
......................THE ROYAL SCAM
10 Kid Charlemagne   
11 The Caves Of Altamira  
12 Don't Take Me Alive  
13 Sign In Stranger   
14 The Fez  
15 Green Earrings   
16 Haitian Divorce   
17 Everything You Did
18 The Royal Scam
19 Hey Nineteen
20 Love is Like an Itchin in My Heart - Band Introductions
21 Black Friday
22 The Boston Rag
23 Dirty Water
24 My Old School
25 Last Tango In Paris (exit music)

26 BONUS TRACK - Pretzel Logic (with Steve Winwood) - 2011-10-xx Australia (SBD)

Donald Fagen: Vocals, Fender Rhodes, Melodica
Walter Becker: Guitars, Vocals
along with,
The "Rent Party '09" Touring Band:
Tawatha Agee, Catherine Russell, Carolyn Leonhart: Backing Vocals
Jim Beard: Acoustic Piano, Nord Electro, Hammond
Marvin Stamm: Trumpet
Jim Pugh: Tenor Trombone
Roger Rosenberg: Baritone Saxophone
Walt Weiskof: Tenor and Alto Saxophone
Keith Carlock: Drums
“Ready” Freddie Washington: Fender P-Bass
Jon Herrington: Guitars

FLAC - Steely Dan_2009-07-22_Boston_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Steely Dan_2009-07-22_Boston_mp3.part1.rar
          Steely Dan_2009-07-22_Boston_mp3.part2.rar

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Walter Becker (R.I.P.) - Tracks of Whack Demos and Outtakes - 1994

Walter Becker
Tracks of Whack Demos and Outtakes (1994)

Soundboard recordings, very good quality
Available in Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Just heard the shocking and sad news that Walter Becker, of Steely Dan fame, has died today, at 67. No details yet on cause of death. He previously missed the recent Steely Dan appearances at the Classic East and West shows, where music partner Donald Fagen just reported that he was 'recovering from a procedure' without giving any further details. But no one knew or thought that his illness was life threatening. Becker, of course, was one half of the duo at the creative center of Steely Dan for all these years, playing guitar and bass, and the songwriting partner with Donald Fagen (all Steely Dan songs are co-written by Becker and Fagen together, perhaps the greatest songwriting duo since Lennon-McCartney). Steely Dan was one of the greatest rock bands of all time (if you could even call them 'rock', or a 'band' even, as Becker and Fagen were the only constant elements that defined the group, with the rest of the musicians a constantly changing mix of professionals and session musicians). They were unlike any other group, before or since, with totally unique songs, sound, style, and outlook, with their musical sophistication, rhythms, and perfect arrangements and instrumentation, and their savagely biting wit, cynicism, inscrutably hip, oddball lyrics. They certainly are one of my favorite groups, and have been an important influence in my life. 
       Becker first met Donald Fagen while both were students at Bard College in Annandale-on Hudson, New York, in 1967, and the two found they had many common interests, musical and otherwise, and began a collaborating as a songwriting duo. In 1971, they moved to California and together started the band Steely Dan, with Don on keyboards and vocals, Walter on bass, and guitarists Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and Denny Dias, and drummer Jim Hodder. They soon attracted interest from record companies, with their unique sound and style, but initially were not comfortable with Donald's eccentric vocals (not commercial they said) and wanted to try other singers (hence addition of David Palmer on first album). After an unsuccessful single release ('Dallas'-1972), their first album, Can't Buy a Thrill, was released in 1972, and resulted in multiple breakthrough hits ('Do It Again', 'Reelin' in the Years', 'Dirty Work'), firmly establishing the band. By their second album, Countdown to Ecstasy (1973), which I would maintain was their crowning masterpiece, they grew even more creative, even though it's more quirky excellence was not as radio (hit) friendly. Following Pretzel Logic (1974), Steely Dan went on their only full tour as a headlining rock band (previous touring in '72 and '73 were mainly as opening or supporting act), and produced the terrific 1974 shows. However, after this, Becker and Fagen decided to stop touring and concentrate on studio albums (as Fagen did not like touring and performing live anyway, and they both thought it negatively affected their ability to make great albums). At this point, they began bringing in more guest artists and session musicians, and increasingly incorporating a more jazz-influenced sound, and essentially dissolving the 'band', leaving just Becker and Fagen with numerous and various session musicians for the recording sessions, and no subsequent touring. Fagen and Becker were also notorious perfectionists in the studio, demanding take after take of their musicians, until the sound was perfect. This lead to a trio of successful albums from 1975 to 1978, Katy Lied, The Royal Scam, and Aja. But during the recording of their next album, Gaucho (1980), numerous problems, stresses, and difficulties (including Becker being badly injured getting hit by a Taxicab, in addition to a growing drug addiction), leading to the eventual dissolution of the group in 1981.  During this break-up, Becker moved to Hawaii (to deal with his addiction) and eventually began producing other's albums (including Michael Franks, Rickie Lee Jones, and China Crisis). He also eventually got back with Fagen for his Rock and Soul Revue Show in 1991, which then lead to the full-fledged Steely Dan Reunion and tour in 1993. They have basically been touring ever since, and released new albums in 2000 and 2003 (Two Against Nature, Everything Must Go). I have previously featured several Steely Dan shows from throughout their history, but I have many more, and will probably feature a few more in the next few weeks. But today, in honor and tribute to Walter Becker, here are some demos and outtakes from the recording sessions for Walter's first solo album, 11 Tracks of Whack, from 1994 (which was co-produced by Fagen and Becker, and featured Fagen on keyboards on some tracks). Here are several demos of songs that are on the albujm, as well as some outtakes of tracks that did not make the album, and were never released. Although not quite up to Steely Dan standards (mainly due to Walter's limited vocals), there are several gems here, and this collection nonetheless displays Walter on his own, doing his own music. Certainly much in the same style as Steely Dan, but also some notable differences, and well worth checking out Walter as separate from Steely Dan. So, here's to Walter Becker, a giant in the music industry, who will be greatly missed, but not forgotten, as his music will stand forever.

 1 Junkie Girl (demo)
 2 Girlfriend (demo)
 3 Cringemaker (demo)
 4 Medical Science (demo)
 5 Sanpaiku
 6 Ghost of Hipness Past aka The Ghost Of Hypnos Past
 7 Lies I Can Believe
 8 Three Sisters Shakin'
 9 Book of Liars (demo)
 10 Hat Too Flat (demo)

All tracks composed by Walter Becker except “Cringemaker by Walter Becker & Dean Parks, and “Three Sisters Shakin'” composed by Walter Becker & Donald Fagen

 Walter Becker - Bass, Solo Guitars, Ukulele, Vocals
 Dean Parks - Electric & Acoustic Guitar
 Adam Rogers - Electric Guitar on Hat Too Flat
 Fima Ephron - Bass on Hat Too Flat
 Donald Fagen, John Beasley - Keyboards
 Ben Perowsky - Drums on Hat Too Flat
 Paulinho Da Costa - Percussion
 Backing Vocals - Katherine Russell, Brenda White-King
 Bob Sheppard - Saxophone, Woodwind Solos
 Bruce Paulson - Trombone
 Jon Papenbrook - Trumpet

FLAC: Walter Becker_Tracks of Whack Demos-Outtakes_FLAC.rar

mp3: Walter Becker_Tracks of Whack Demos-Outtakes_mp3.rar