A belated happy birthday to Walter Becker, one-half of Steely Dan, whose 61st was on Sunday.
Becker has found his voice — literally — since Steely Dan began its second act in the early 1990s. Always conscious of his sound, and previously content to play guitar and write the songs with Donald Fagen, Becker has released two solo albums (11 tracks of whack in 1994, Circus Money in 2008). He also took the lead for the first time on a Steely Dan album song in 2003 (Slang of Ages).
Becker spent much of the decade-plus without Steely Dan living in Hawaii and producing albums. It was, in great part, Becker’s work on Fagen’s solo album, and Fagen’s reciprocal work on Becker’s that reunited the group in 1993.
Becker on his voice to the Los Angeles Times in a 2008 interview: “The biggest drawback of course is the self-loathing that keeps me from doing things because I feel as though it places an unfortunate ceiling on how good it can ever sound to me.”
It sounds just fine from where we sit. A link to Three Picture Deal, from Circus Money, below.