Donald Fagen

Donald Fagen

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Donald Fagen'
Start a new discussion about 'Donald Fagen'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Donald Jay Fagen is an American musician and songwriter, best known as the co-founder, lead singer, and the principal songwriter of the rock band Steely Dan
Steely Dan
Steely Dan is an American rock band; its core members are Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. The band's popularity peaked in the late 1970s, with the release of seven albums blending elements of jazz, rock, funk, R&B, and pop...

 (along with partner Walter Becker
Walter Becker
Walter Carl Becker is an American musician, songwriter and record producer. He is best known as the co-founder, guitarist, bassist and a co-writer of Steely Dan.-Career:...

).

Fagen is known for his use of jazz harmonies, elaborate arrangements, and attention to detail. Following the break up of Steely Dan in 1981, he launched a successful, if sporadic, solo career in 1982, spawning three albums to date, with a fourth album set to be released in 2011. Fagen has toured with Becker since Steely Dan reunited in 1993.

Early life


Fagen was born in Passaic, New Jersey
Passaic, New Jersey
Passaic is a city in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 69,781, maintaining its status as the 15th largest municipality in New Jersey with an increase of 1,920 residents from the 2000 Census population of 67,861...

, on January 10, 1948 to Joseph "Jerry" Fagen, an accountant
Accountant
An accountant is a practitioner of accountancy or accounting , which is the measurement, disclosure or provision of assurance about financial information that helps managers, investors, tax authorities and others make decisions about allocating resources.The Big Four auditors are the largest...

 and his wife Elinor. From the age of 12 to 17, Elinor sang in a hotel band in upstate New York's Catskill Mountains
Catskill Mountains
The Catskill Mountains, an area in New York State northwest of New York City and southwest of Albany, are a mature dissected plateau, an uplifted region that was subsequently eroded into sharp relief. They are an eastward continuation, and the highest representation, of the Allegheny Plateau...

 until bouts of stage fright
Stage fright
Stage fright or performance anxiety is the anxiety, fear, or persistent phobia which may be aroused in an individual by the requirement to perform in front of an audience, whether actually or potentially . In the context of public speaking, this fear is termed glossophobia, one of the most common...

 (a condition her son would later be afflicted with) forced her to discontinue performing live. Fagen would later recall: "I can't ever remember when there was silence around the house. She was either playing records or singing."

Around 1958, the Fagen family moved from Passaic first to the suburb
Suburb
The word suburb mostly refers to a residential area, either existing as part of a city or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city . Some suburbs have a degree of administrative autonomy, and most have lower population density than inner city neighborhoods...

 of Fair Lawn
Fair Lawn, New Jersey
Fair Lawn is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States and a suburban municipality in the New York City Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 32,457. Fair Lawn was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March...

, and then quickly moved and settled into a ranch-style house
Ranch-style house
Ranch-style houses is a domestic architectural style originating in the United States. First built in the 1920s, the ranch style was extremely popular amongst the booming post-war middle class of the 1940s to 1970s...

 in Kendall Park, New Jersey
Kendall Park, New Jersey
Kendall Park is a census-designated place and unincorporated area located within South Brunswick Township, in Middlesex County, New Jersey. As of the United States 2000 Census, the CDP population was 9,006....

. The transition greatly upset Donald: he detested living in the suburbs. He would later recall to an interviewer that it "was like a prison. I think I lost faith in [my parents'] judgement… It was probably the first time I realised I had my own view of life." His life in Kendall Park would later inspire tracks on his album The Nightfly
The Nightfly
The Nightfly is the first solo album by Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen, released in 1982. It was one of the first fully digital recordings of popular music...

.

In the late 1950s, Fagen became interested in rock and R&B music; his first record purchase being Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry
Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" , "Roll Over Beethoven" , "Rock and Roll Music" and "Johnny B...

's "Reelin' and Rockin'". Around age 11, after receiving musical recommendations from a cousin and attending the Newport Jazz Festival
Newport Jazz Festival
The Newport Jazz Festival is a music festival held every summer in Newport, Rhode Island, USA. It was established in 1954 by socialite Elaine Lorillard, who, together with husband Louis Lorillard, financed the festival for many years. The couple hired jazz impresario George Wein to organize the...

, he quickly became a self-declared "jazz snob. I lost interest in rock n' roll and started developing an anti-social
Antisocial personality disorder
Antisocial personality disorder is described by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition , as an Axis II personality disorder characterized by "...a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood...

 personality." Fagen would regularly take the bus to Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 to see Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus Jr. was an American jazz musician, composer, bandleader, and civil rights activist.Mingus's compositions retained the hot and soulful feel of hard bop and drew heavily from black gospel music while sometimes drawing on elements of Third stream, free jazz, and classical music...

, Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
Theodore Walter "Sonny" Rollins is a Grammy-winning American jazz tenor saxophonist. Rollins is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential jazz musicians. A number of his compositions, including "St...

, Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Sphere Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer considered "one of the giants of American music". Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "Epistrophy", "'Round Midnight", "Blue Monk", "Straight, No Chaser"...

, and Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Dewey Davis III was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz,...

 perform. Soon afterwards, he learned to play the piano, and also played baritone horn in the in high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

 marching band
Marching band
Marching band is a physical activity in which a group of instrumental musicians generally perform outdoors and incorporate some type of marching with their musical performance. Instrumentation typically includes brass, woodwinds, and percussion instruments...

. Fagen also began a life-long fondness for table tennis
Table tennis
Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight, hollow ball back and forth using table tennis rackets. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net...

 during his teenage years.

The family was of the Jewish faith. Donald celebrated his bar mitzvah at Kendall Park's Congregation Beth Shalom in 1961, a synagogue
Synagogue
A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. This use of the Greek term synagogue originates in the Septuagint where it sometimes translates the Hebrew word for assembly, kahal...

 his father helped found.

After graduating from South Brunswick High School in 1965, Fagen enrolled at Bard College
Bard College
Bard College, founded in 1860 as "St. Stephen's College", is a small four-year liberal arts college located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.-Location:...

 to study English literature
English literature
English literature is the literature written in the English language, including literature composed in English by writers not necessarily from England; for example, Robert Burns was Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Joseph Conrad was Polish, Dylan Thomas was Welsh, Edgar Allan Poe was American, J....

, having been inspired by Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac
Jean-Louis "Jack" Lebris de Kerouac was an American novelist and poet. He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Kerouac is recognized for his spontaneous method of writing, covering topics such as Catholic...

, William S. Burroughs
William S. Burroughs
William Seward Burroughs II was an American novelist, poet, essayist and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th...

, Gregory Corso
Gregory Corso
Gregory Nunzio Corso was an American poet, youngest of the inner circle of Beat Generation writers...

, Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg
Irwin Allen Ginsberg was an American poet and one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation in the 1950s. He vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression...

, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti is an American poet, painter, liberal activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers...

. While at Bard, Fagen met musician Walter Becker
Walter Becker
Walter Carl Becker is an American musician, songwriter and record producer. He is best known as the co-founder, guitarist, bassist and a co-writer of Steely Dan.-Career:...

. The duo, along with a revolving assortment of musicians which included future actor Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase
Cornelius Crane "Chevy" Chase is an American comedian, writer, and television and film actor, born into a prominent entertainment industry family. Chase worked a plethora of odd jobs before moving into comedy acting with National Lampoon...

, formed various groups called The Leather Canary, The Don Fagen Jazz Trio, and the Bad Rock Band. Fagen would later describe his college bands as sounding like "The Kingsmen
The Kingsmen
The Kingsmen is a 1960s garage rock band from Portland, Oregon, United States. They are best known for their 1963 recording of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie", which held the #2 spot on the Billboard charts for six weeks...

 performing Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed...

 material". None of the groups lasted long, but the partnership between Fagen and Becker would continue for decades. The duo's early career included a stint with Jay and the Americans
Jay and the Americans
Jay and the Americans was a pop music group popular in the 1960s. Their initial lineup consisted of John "Jay" Traynor, Howard Kane , Kenny Vance and Sandy Deanne , though their greatest success on the charts came after Traynor had been replaced as lead singer by Jay Black.-Early years:They were...

 under pseudonym
Pseudonym
A pseudonym is a name that a person assumes for a particular purpose and that differs from his or her original orthonym...

s, and in the early 1970s, as pop songwriters, prior to forming Steely Dan.

Steely Dan



Responding to an ad in The Village Voice
The Village Voice
The Village Voice is a free weekly newspaper and news and features website in New York City that features investigative articles, analysis of current affairs and culture, arts and music coverage, and events listings for New York City...

, Fagen and Becker met Denny Dias and together founded Steely Dan in August 1972. They initially formed the core of the band and co-wrote all the group's music; on tour and record, Becker played bass (and later lead guitar) and Fagen played keyboards, as well as performing almost all of the lead vocals on their recordings.

After releasing their third LP in 1974, the other members gradually left (or were fired from) the band, which gradually evolved into a studio project headed by Becker and Fagen. From the mid-70s onwards, Steely Dan recorded their albums exclusively with jazz and rock session musician
Session musician
Session musicians are instrumental and vocal performers, musicians, who are available to work with others at live performances or recording sessions. Usually such musicians are not permanent members of a musical ensemble and often do not achieve fame in their own right as soloists or bandleaders...

s. They scored their biggest success in 1977 with the platinum-selling album Aja
Aja (album)
-Charts:AlbumPop Singles-Awards:Grammy Awards-External links:**, courtesy of The Museum of Classic Chicago Television...

.

After a lengthy period of inactivity as a band which began in the early 1980s, the duo of Becker and Fagen revived Steely Dan in the mid 1990s, and have since produced two more Steely Dan studio albums: 2000s Two Against Nature
Two Against Nature
Two Against Nature is the eighth album by Steely Dan, released in 2000. The album won the group four Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, and marked the first Steely Dan studio album in 20 years, following 1980's Gaucho. It has been certified 2x platinum in the US.Two Against Nature marked...

which won several Grammys, Everything Must Go (2003), as well as the live CD Alive in America
Alive in America
Alive in America is a live album by the American jazz rock group Steely Dan, released in 1995. It is Steely Dan's first live album since their 1972 formation...

(1995) and a live concert DVD entitled Two Against Nature, which included material spanning much of the band's history.

Solo career


After Steely Dan's breakup in 1981, Fagen released his critically acclaimed solo debut album, The Nightfly
The Nightfly
The Nightfly is the first solo album by Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen, released in 1982. It was one of the first fully digital recordings of popular music...

, in October 1982. It reached #11 on the Billboard album chart and was certified Platinum
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

 for sales of over a million copies in the United States alone. Its premiere single was "I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World)
I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World)
"I.G.Y. " is a song written and performed by American songwriter, singer and musician Donald Fagen. It was the first track of his 1982 debut solo album The Nightfly, and was released as a single, charting on the Billboard Hot 100, Mainstream Rock and Adult Contemporary charts.- Background :Fagen,...

". The song hit the Adult Contemporary Top 10 and peaked at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

. The follow-up single, "New Frontier" peaked at #34 AC and #70 Pop and was aided by a popular MTV music video. The Nightfly was nominated for several Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

s including Album Of The Year
Grammy Award for Album of the Year
The Grammy Award for Album of the Year is the most prestigious award category at the Grammys. It has been awarded since 1959 and though it was originally presented to the artist alone, the award is now presented to the artist, the producer, the engineer and/or mixer and the mastering engineer...

. It was significantly more jazz-based than Fagen's Steely Dan work. Rhino Records released a special DVD Audio version of The Nightfly in honor of the album's 20th anniversary in 2002.

Fagen's second solo album, 1993's Kamakiriad
Kamakiriad
Kamakiriad is the second solo album by Steely Dan singer Donald Fagen, released in 1993. It was his first collaboration since 1980 with Steely Dan partner Walter Becker, who produced the album. The album is a futuristic optimistic 8 song-cycle about the journey of the narrator in his high-tech car,...

, was produced by Becker. It climbed into Billboard's Top 10 but sold fewer copies than The Nightfly
The Nightfly
The Nightfly is the first solo album by Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen, released in 1982. It was one of the first fully digital recordings of popular music...

, topping off at 900,000 in sales. Kamakiriad was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Album Of The Year
Grammy Award for Album of the Year
The Grammy Award for Album of the Year is the most prestigious award category at the Grammys. It has been awarded since 1959 and though it was originally presented to the artist alone, the award is now presented to the artist, the producer, the engineer and/or mixer and the mastering engineer...

.

Recording sessions for Fagen's third solo album, Morph the Cat
Morph the Cat
Morph the Cat is a Grammy Award-winning 2006 album by Donald Fagen, his first solo release since 1993. The nine-track album was released in the US on March 14, 2006....

, began in August 2004 and the album was released March 14, 2006. Performing on the album are Wayne Krantz
Wayne Krantz
Wayne Krantz is an American jazz fusion guitarist. He has played with top artists such as Steely Dan, Michael Brecker, Billy Cobham, and others, but is most active as a solo performer.-Biography:...

 (guitar), Jon Herington
Jon Herington
Jon Herington is an American guitarist, singer-songwriter and record producer, most known for being a session musician. Currently, he is known for being Steely Dan's lead guitarist...

 (guitar), Keith Carlock
Keith Carlock
Keith Carlock is an American drummer originally from Clinton, Mississippi. He currently resides in New York City, NY. He has recorded and/or toured with musicians that include Sting, John Mayer, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, Diana Ross, Faith Hill, The Blues Brothers Band,...

 (drums), Freddy Washington (bass), Ted Baker (piano), and Walt Weiskopf (sax). Upon its release, Morph the Cat received universal acclaim and was later named Album of the Year by Mix
Mix (magazine)
Mix magazine is a periodical billing itself as "the world's leading magazine for the professional recording and sound production technology industry". The magazine is distributed in 94 countries....

magazine. Fagen was also given 'Producer of the Year' award. The 5.1 mix of Morph the Cat won the 2007 Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

 for Best Surround Sound Album.

All three of Fagen's albums previously released on the DVDA
DVD-Audio
DVD-Audio is a digital format for delivering high-fidelity audio content on a DVD. DVD-Audio is not intended to be a video delivery format and is not the same as video DVDs containing concert films or music videos....

 format have now been released in Warner's latest format MVI (Music Video Interactive) as a boxed set. Each album features a DTS 5.1, Dolby 5.1 and PCM Stereo mix but no MLP encoded track, along with bonus audio and video content. Customers will also be able to select any track or any portion of a track and use it as their mobile phone
Mobile phone
A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

 ringtone.

In March 2006, Fagen embarked on his first-ever solo tour to support Morph the Cat. This theater tour of the Northeast (including one Canadian date in Toronto), the Midwest, and the West Coast played to sold-out houses and excellent reviews. Fagen's management also sold VIP packages for the tour, which included a pre-show party, premium seats, and access to the band's sound checks. This was mocked on his song-writing partner Walter Becker
Walter Becker
Walter Carl Becker is an American musician, songwriter and record producer. He is best known as the co-founder, guitarist, bassist and a co-writer of Steely Dan.-Career:...

's website. Fagen joined Becker for a Steely Dan/Michael McDonald
Michael McDonald (singer)
Michael McDonald is a five-time Grammy Award winning American singer and songwriter. McDonald is known for a soulful baritone singing style and a multi-octave range. He began his career singing back-up vocals with Steely Dan...

 tour the following summer of 2007.

He also toured with the New York Rock and Soul Revue
New York Rock and Soul Revue
The New York Rock and Soul Revue was a musical project which evolved from a series of concerts and musical shows produced by Libby Titus that lasted from 1989 to 1993...

. The 1986 debut album by Rosie Vela
Rosie Vela
Roseanne "Rosie" Vela is an American model and singer-songwriter.-Career:Vela's family later moved to Arkansas, where she attended the University of Arkansas. While studying art and music, Vela also began modeling. She married the Arkansas born musician, Jimmy Roberts, but he died of cancer...

, Zazu, inspired the first collaboration between Fagen and Becker following the disbanding of Steely Dan. This led to their reunion as a writing team and the creation of a new touring version of Steely Dan. The following year Fagen co-produced Becker's solo debut, 11 Tracks of Whack
11 Tracks of Whack
-Personnel:*Walter Becker – bass, guitar, ukulele, vocals*Dean Parks – acoustic guitar, electric guitar*Adam Rogers – electric guitar*John Beasley – keyboards*Donald Fagen – keyboards*Fima Ephron – bass*Ben Perowsky – drums...

.

Fagen has stated in a recent interview that he plans to record his fourth solo album in spring of 2010 that will be lighter in tone and not an extension of his Nightfly/Kamikiriad/Morph The Cat trilogy. It is expected to be released in 2011

Work for, and with, other artists


In 1977, he played synthesizer on Poco
Poco
Poco is an Southern California country rock band originally formed by Richie Furay and Jim Messina following the demise of Buffalo Springfield in 1968. The title of their first album, Pickin' Up the Pieces, is a reference to the break-up of Buffalo Springfield. Highly influential and creative,...

's Indian Summer
Indian Summer (Poco album)
Indian Summer is the 12th album by the Country rock band Poco, released in 1977. This was the band's last studio album before both Timothy B. Schmit and George Grantham left the group.-Track listing:#"Indian Summer" – 4:40...

album.

In 1978, he coproduced, with Walter Becker, "Apogee," an album of straight-ahead jazz featuring Warne Marsh
Warne Marsh
Warne Marion Marsh was an American tenor saxophonist born in Los Angeles.-Biography:Marsh came from an affluent background: his father was the cinematographer Oliver T. Marsh , and his mother Elizabeth was a violinist...

 and Pete Christlieb
Pete Christlieb
Pete Christlieb is a jazz bebop, West Coast jazz and hard bop tenor saxophonist.-Biography:Christlieb was born in Los Angeles, California and is the son of bassoonist Don Christlieb...

, both on Tenor, and Lou Levy
Lou Levy
Lou Levy may refer to:*Lou Levy , American music publisher who played a key role in the careers of some of the most famous songwriters...

 on piano. Also co-wrote, with Walter Becker, "Rapunzel", the third track on the album.

In 1983, he played synthesizer for the track "Love Will Make It Right", which he also wrote, on Diana Ross
Diana Ross
Diana Ernestine Earle Ross is an American singer, record producer, and actress. Ross was lead singer of the Motown group The Supremes during the 1960s. After leaving the group in 1970, Ross began a solo career that included successful ventures into film and Broadway...

's solo album Ross
Ross (1983 album)
Ross is a 1983 album by American singer Diana Ross, her third released on the RCA label. It was released shortly before Ross gave a pair of free concerts in New York's Central Park. The album reached #32 on the US charts, #14 on the US R&B charts and #44 in the UK...

.

Fagen wrote and co-arranged the track "Lazy Nina" on Greg Phillinganes
Greg Phillinganes
Greg Phillinganes is an active session keyboardist in Los Angeles, California. He is a graduate of Cass Technical High School, Detroit Michigan....

' 1984 album Pulse.

In 1986, he wrote the title track to the Yellowjackets
Yellowjackets
Yellowjackets is an American jazz fusion/smooth jazz quartet.-History:The original group, called The Robben Ford Group, was formed in 1977, and consisted of Robben Ford, Russell Ferrante, Jimmy Haslip and Ricky Lawson, all top-notch L.A. session musicians...

' album Shades.

Also in 1986, Fagen and Becker contributed to Rosie Vela
Rosie Vela
Roseanne "Rosie" Vela is an American model and singer-songwriter.-Career:Vela's family later moved to Arkansas, where she attended the University of Arkansas. While studying art and music, Vela also began modeling. She married the Arkansas born musician, Jimmy Roberts, but he died of cancer...

's album Zazu
Zazu (album)
Zazu is the debut album released by American model and singer-songwriter Rosie Vela. The album was produced by Gary Katz, best known for his work in that capacity with Steely Dan, and many of the songs feature Steely Dan's Donald Fagen on keyboards and Walter Becker on guitar.Despite receiving...



In 1991, The Manhattan Transfer
The Manhattan Transfer
The Manhattan Transfer is an American vocal music group. There have been two manifestations of the group, with Tim Hauser being the only person to be part of both...

 recorded Fagen's song "Confide in Me" on their album The Offbeat of Avenues
The Offbeat of Avenues
The Offbeat Of Avenues was the twelfth album released by The Manhattan Transfer on August 13, 1991 on the Columbia Records label.This album is the first of two albums for Columbia Records...

.

In 1992, Jennifer Warnes
Jennifer Warnes
Jennifer Jean Warnes is an American singer, songwriter, arranger and record producer. She is known for her interpretations of compositions written by herself and many others, as well as an extensive playlist as a vocalist on movie soundtracks.Between 1979 and 1987 Warnes surpassed Frank Sinatra as...

 recorded "Big Noise New York" (co-written by Fagen and Marcelle Clements) on her solo album The Hunter
The Hunter (Jennifer Warnes album)
The Hunter is the seventh album by Jennifer Warnes, released in 1992. It peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts.The Hunter was released five years after her breakthrough album Famous Blue Raincoat. Classified as adult contemporary, the album is jazz/R&B infused...

.

Fagen's own versions of both "Confide in Me" and "Big Noise New York" were released as 'B' sides for the CD singles of the Kamakiriad tracks "Tomorrow's Girls" and "Snowbound," respectively. They were subsequently made available on the Bonus CD of The Nightfly Trilogy boxed set in 2007.

In 2008, Fagen played synthesizer on the album I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too
I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too
I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too is the second full-length album of Canadian-American singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright. It was released in Australia on May 10, 2008, with other countries to follow...

by folk singer Martha Wainwright
Martha Wainwright
Martha Wainwright is a Canadian-American folk-rock singer-songwriter. She is the daughter of American folk singer and actor Loudon Wainwright III and Canadian folk singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle...

.

Since 2008, Fagen has made regular appearances with the Levon Helm Band
Levon Helm
Mark Lavon "Levon" Helm , is an American rock multi-instrumentalist and actor who achieved fame as the drummer and frequent lead and backing vocalist for The Band....

, performing at Levon's Midnight Ramble concerts in Woodstock, New York. He plays keyboards and sings with his stepdaughter, Amy Helm (Amy's mother is Fagen's wife, Libby Titus
Libby Titus
Libby Titus is a singer, songwriter, actress and concert producer. Although she released several solo albums in the 1970s and '80s, she is best known as the co-writer, with Eric Kaz, of "Love Has No Pride", a song recorded by many artists including Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt and Jane Monheit.She...

).

Soundtrack contributions


He recorded "True Companion" for the 1981 animated cult film
Cult film
A cult film, also commonly referred to as a cult classic, is a film that has acquired a highly devoted but specific group of fans. Often, cult movies have failed to achieve fame outside the small fanbases; however, there have been exceptions that have managed to gain fame among mainstream audiences...

 Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal (film)
Heavy Metal is a 1981 Canadian fantasy-animated film directed by Gerald Potterton and produced by Ivan Reitman and Leonard Mogel, who also was the publisher of Heavy Metal magazine....

.

He wrote "The Finer Things", which appeared on the soundtrack to the Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

 1983 film The King of Comedy
The King of Comedy (1983 film)
The King of Comedy is a 1983 American dark comedy film starring Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis, and directed by Martin Scorsese. The subject of the movie is celebrity stalking...

, as well as sang background vocals on the song. David Sanborn
David Sanborn
David Sanborn is an American alto saxophonist. Though Sanborn has worked in many genres, his solo recordings typically blend jazz with instrumental pop and R&B. He released his first solo album Taking Off in 1975, but has been playing the saxophone since before he was in high school...

 is given credit for the main part of the song.

He recorded "Century's End" for 1988's Bright Lights, Big City
Bright Lights, Big City (film)
Bright Lights, Big City is a 1988 drama film starring Michael J. Fox, Kiefer Sutherland and Phoebe Cates, based on the novel of the same name by Jay McInerney. It was the last film directed by James Bridges before his death in 1993.-Plot:...

.

He recorded "Reflections", a Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Sphere Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer considered "one of the giants of American music". Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "Epistrophy", "'Round Midnight", "Blue Monk", "Straight, No Chaser"...

 cover, along with guitarist Steve Khan
Steve Khan
Steve Khan is an American jazz guitarist.Born in Los Angeles, California, Khan is known for his work with artists such as Steely Dan, Billy Joel, Michael Franks, Hubert Laws, Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, James Brown, Maynard Ferguson, and Weather Report...

, for the film 1988 Arthur 2: On the Rocks
Arthur 2: On the Rocks
Arthur 2: On the Rocks is the 1988 sequel to the 1981 film Arthur. Lead actors Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli reprised their roles.John Gielgud, who won an Academy Award for his role in the original film, reappears briefly in a drunken hallucination on Arthur's part.The film co-stars Kathy Bates as...

.

He recorded "Blue Lou" an instrumental piece, for the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross
Glengarry Glen Ross (film)
Glengarry Glen Ross is a 1992 American drama film, adapted by David Mamet from his acclaimed 1984 Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning play of the same name...

.

Other works


Fagen wrote briefly in the 1980s for Premiere
Premiere (magazine)
Premiere was an American and New York City-based film magazine published by Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., published between the years 1987 and 2007. The original version of the magazine, Première , was started in France in 1976 and is still being published there.-History:The magazine originally...

magazine, including a few witty pieces on Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini was an American composer, conductor and arranger, best remembered for his film and television scores. He won a record number of Grammy Awards , plus a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously in 1995...

 and Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone, Grand Officer OMRI, , is an Italian composer and conductor, who wrote music to more than 500 motion pictures and television series, in a career lasting over 50 years. His scores have been included in over 20 award-winning films as well as several symphonic and choral pieces...

. These are available online from his website. His website also features other articles he has written, such as ones for Slate
Slate (magazine)
Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

.com.

In 1988, Fagen was a co-producer of the Broadway soundtrack album The Gospel at Colonus
The Gospel at Colonus
The Gospel at Colonus is a gospel version of Sophocles's tragedy, Oedipus at Colonus. The show was created in New York City in 1985 by the experimental-theatre director Lee Breuer, one of the founders of the seminal American avant-garde theatre company Mabou Mines, and composer Bob Telson. The...

.

In the late 2000s, he appeared as the "Wise Man" in a promotional video for the Electro-Harmonix
Electro-Harmonix
Electro-Harmonix is a New York-based company that makes high-end electronic audio processors. The company was founded by Mike Matthews in 1968. They are most famous for a series of popular guitar effects pedals introduced in the 1970s and 1990s....

 Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai digital delay/looper
Music loop
In electroacoustic music, a loop is a repeating section of sound material. Short sections of material can be repeated to create ostinato patterns...

. This short promo video was directed by frequent Steely Dan trumpet player Michael Leonhart.

Studio Albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
US
Billboard 200
The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums and EPs in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists...


NLD
NZ
Recording Industry Association of New Zealand
The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand is a non-profit trade association of record producers, distributors and recording artists who sell music in New Zealand...


SWE
Sverigetopplistan
Sverigetopplistan, earlier known as Topplistan and Hitlistan and other names, is since October 2007 the Swedish national record chart, based on sales data from Swedish Recording Industry Association ....


UK
1982 The Nightfly
The Nightfly
The Nightfly is the first solo album by Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen, released in 1982. It was one of the first fully digital recordings of popular music...

  • Released: October 1982
  • Label: Warner Bros.
    Warner Bros. Records
    Warner Bros. Records Inc. is an American record label. It was the foundation label of the present-day Warner Music Group, and now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of that corporation. It maintains a close relationship with its former parent, Warner Bros. Pictures, although the two companies...

11 16 9 8 44
  • US
    Recording Industry Association of America
    The Recording Industry Association of America is a trade organization that represents the recording industry distributors in the United States...

    : Platinum
  • UK
    British Phonographic Industry
    The British Phonographic Industry is the British record industry's trade association.-Structure:Its membership comprises hundreds of music companies including all four "major" record companies , associate members such as manufacturers and distributors, and hundreds of independent music companies...

    : Platinum
  • 1993 Kamakiriad
    Kamakiriad
    Kamakiriad is the second solo album by Steely Dan singer Donald Fagen, released in 1993. It was his first collaboration since 1980 with Steely Dan partner Walter Becker, who produced the album. The album is a futuristic optimistic 8 song-cycle about the journey of the narrator in his high-tech car,...

  • Released: 25 May 1993
  • Label: Reprise
    Reprise Records
    Reprise Records is an American record label, founded in 1960 by Frank Sinatra. It is owned by Warner Music Group, and operated through Warner Bros. Records.-Beginnings:...

  • 10 13 30 9 3
  • US: Gold
  • UK: Gold
  • 2006 Morph the Cat
    Morph the Cat
    Morph the Cat is a Grammy Award-winning 2006 album by Donald Fagen, his first solo release since 1993. The nine-track album was released in the US on March 14, 2006....

  • Released: 7 March 2006
  • Label: Reprise
  • 26 23 - 9 35
    2011 Soulful Instinct
  • Released: TBC
  • Label: TBC
  • TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC

    Awards


    In 1984, Fagen was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree by his alma mater
    Alma mater
    Alma mater , pronounced ), was used in ancient Rome as a title for various mother goddesses, especially Ceres or Cybele, and in Christianity for the Virgin Mary.-General term:...

    , Bard College
    Bard College
    Bard College, founded in 1860 as "St. Stephen's College", is a small four-year liberal arts college located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.-Location:...

    .

    In 2001, both Fagen and Becker received Honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Berklee College of Music
    Berklee College of Music
    Berklee College of Music, located in Boston, Massachusetts, is the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world. Known primarily as a school for jazz, rock and popular music, it also offers college-level courses in a wide range of contemporary and historic styles, including hip...

    . They both accepted their degrees in person.

    In 2001, Steely Dan (Fagen and Becker) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have, in some major way,...

    .

    Personal life


    In 1993, Fagen married fellow songwriter Libby Titus
    Libby Titus
    Libby Titus is a singer, songwriter, actress and concert producer. Although she released several solo albums in the 1970s and '80s, she is best known as the co-writer, with Eric Kaz, of "Love Has No Pride", a song recorded by many artists including Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt and Jane Monheit.She...

    . Although the two of them had attended Bard College
    Bard College
    Bard College, founded in 1860 as "St. Stephen's College", is a small four-year liberal arts college located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.-Location:...

     at around the same time, they did not become friends until 1987 when they were both going backstage after a Dr. John
    Dr. John
    Malcolm John "Mac" Rebennack, Jr. , better known by the stage name Dr. John , is an American singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist, whose music combines blues, pop, jazz as well as Zydeco, boogie woogie and rock and roll.Active as a session musician since the late 1950s, he came to wider...

    concert. Libby Titus co-wrote the song "Florida Room", which appears on 1993's album Kamakiriad.

    External links