Katy Lied, Steely Dan's fourth studio album, originally released in 1975 by ABC Records, was certified gold-selling and peaked at No. 13 on the U.S. charts. The single "Black Friday" also charted at No. 37. Pitchfork noted: "(Katy Lied) captures Steely Dan in the thick of it all, still hungry and energized by their early burst of creativity but not taking anything for granted. Before Katy Lied, Steely Dan was a rock band, but this is the record where they became something else."
Founded by core members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, Steely Dan's popularity rose throughout the late 1970s on, and their seven albums over that period of time blended elements of jazz, rock, funk, R&B, and pop. Steely Dan created a sophisticated, distinctive sound with accessible melodic hooks, complex harmonies and time signatures, and a devotion to the recording studio. Becker and Fagen, with producer Gary Katz, gradually changed Steely Dan from a performing band to a studio project, hiring session musicians to record their compositions. The duo didn't perform live between 1974 and 1993. But their popularity nevertheless grew throughout the '70s as their albums became critical favorites and their singles became staples of Adult Oriented Radio and pop radio stations.
Katy Lied was notable for Becker and Fagen being intially unhappy with the album's sound quality owing to an equipment malfunction with the then new dbx noise reduction system. Working with engineers at dbx, the sound was corrected and the album ultimately became successful, but Fagen and Becker still refused to listen to the completed version.
Katy Lied also marks the first appearance of singer Michael McDonald on a Steely Dan album. Best known for his soulful voice as a member of the Doobie Brothers, McDonald is a five-time Grammy winner and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Doobie Brothers in 2020.
The album cover features a picture of a katydid, a "singing" (stridulating) insect related to crickets and grasshoppers. This is most likely a pun on the album's title; the "singing" of a katydid sounds as though they're saying "Katy did, Katy didn't." Lyrics in the song "Doctor Wu" include "Katy tried, I was halfway crucified" and "Katy lies, you can see it in her eyes." The premise of the theme of Katy "lying" is based on a quote from Denny Dias when he came to the studio to play on "Your Gold Teeth II." Jeff Porcaro, then only 21 years old, played drums on all the songs except "Any World (That I'm Welcome To)," which features legendary session drummer Hal Blaine.
After a brief battle with esophageal cancer, Walter Becker died on September 3, 2017 at the age of 67. Steely Dan has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2001. VH1 ranked Steely Dan at No. 82 on their list of the 100 Greatest Musical Artists of All Time. Rolling Stone ranked them No. 15 on its list of the 20 Greatest Duos of All Time.
- Super Audio CD
- SACD Stereo SACD Layer
- This Hybrid SACD contains a 'Red Book' Stereo CD Layer which is playable on most conventional CD Players!
- Mastered Direct to DSD from the Original Master Tape by Bernie Grundman
- Black Friday
- Bad Sneakers
- Rose Darling
- Daddy Don't Live in That New York City No More
- Doctor Wu
- Everyone's Gone to the Movies
- Your Gold Teeth II
- Chain Lightning
- Any World (That I'm Welcome To)
- Throw Back the Little Ones