Musician/composers Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, together known as Steely Dan, are known for their eclectic and cynical blend of rock, pop, jazz, blues, and R&B. Meeting at Bard College in 1967, the pair struggled as songwriting hopefuls until they relocated to California. Can't Buy a Thrill (1972), their debut album, spawned the FM radio standard “Do It Again.” Subsequent albums, Countdown to Ecstasy (1973), Pretzel Logic (1974), Katy Lied (1975), The Royal Scam (1976), and Aja (1977) found the Dan streamlining its formula for commercial success via hits like “Rikki Don't Lose That Numbe” and “Peg.” Meanwhile the band morphed into a revolving-door showcase for the era's most celebrated jazz and rock musicians. But by the release of Gaucho (1980) the original freshness of their approach had been lost and the pair called it quits in 1981. Becker and Fagen revived the act in the late '90s with a reunion tour and a new studio album, Two Against Nature (2000), won four Grammy awards including Album of the Year.
Walter BeckerBorn: 2/20/1950
Birthplace: New York City, NY
Donald FagenBorn: 1/10/1948
Birthplace: Passaic, New Jersey