Greetings… I was recently reminded that I have a Blog on this site. And when I say “reminded” you could infer it was more like a “gentle” reminder by management. Truth be told, the conversation was very similar to a famous scene with Bill Murray and Annie Potts in Ghostbusters….
Dr. Venkman; “Any costumers?”
Janine Melnitz: “No Dr. Venkman”
Dr. Venkman; “Great Job, isn’t it?… (walking away) Type something, we’re paying for this stuff.”
“Type Something, we’re paying for this stuff”… Yes, that would best represent the conversation between management and me! So with this new found “inspiration” I take to the internet to Blog away!
But what should I Blog about? The Weather, Sports, Finances, Recipes? What do I know most about? DUH!!! MUSIC! After all I have been referred to as the Professor of Knowledge from the Rock and Roll College.
So let’s do this thing… I’m going to post background information… trivia… facts and urban legends about some of my favorite songs. Hopefully you’ll find it entertaining and maybe just a little informative. Who knows, you just might win a trivia game at your favorite local pub!
Steely Dan – Dirty Work
Written by: Donald Fagen and Walter Becker
Album: Can’t Buy a Thrill
Named after a strap on device for “doing the chores”, Steely Dan was formed by 2 college boys, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. They bounced around writing songs try to squeak out a living. They even had one of their songs recorded by Barbra Streisand (I Mean to Shine). Over the course of time they hooked up with many session musicians which they utilized as they went out of their own. Fagen and Becker hand selected the best from the corral of musical contacts, to form a group which helps make their first album, Can’t Buy a Thrill. The very LP that produced our feature song Dirty Work
Called a “song of self-loathing” the tune chronicles the life of a man and woman having an affair, all from the mans point of view. When it was released, critics said it sounded more commercial than Steely Dan’s previous work yet had a very “smoothing, light sound”. What little did the listener know that once you vocals arrive it’s a song filled with self-hate and despair. By the end, I feel sorry for the guy singing the song.
The vocals were original provided by David Palmer, one of those session musicians we talked about earlier. He “left” Steely Dan went out on his own. The use of a session musician has come back to haunt SD. To this day they perform the song in concert, however, neither Fagen nor Becker sing it as it’s not in their range.
It wasn’t released as a single but today it stands as one of Steely Dan’s “Classic” works. Performed by their Backup Singers (a common practice by SD) in Charlotte NC in 2006… it’s Steely Dan and Dirty Work.