On March 2, 1974, Steely Dan released their third LP, Pretzel Logic. The album continued the band’s style of eclectic lyrics mixed with R&B and jazz — it even included a cover of 1927’s “East St. Louis Toodle-Oo,” written by jazz pianist and big-band leader Duke Ellington and trumpeter James “Bubber” Miley. Pretzel Logic went to #8 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tape chart.
Donald Fagen and Walter Becker met in 1967 at New York’s Bard College. While performing in several local groups, they also composed songs together. In 1971, after Barbra Streisand recorded their song “I Mean to Shine,” a staff producer at ABC/Dunhill Records named Gary Katz invited Fagen and Becker to become staff songwriters. Katz recommended that the duo form a band in order to record their song demos. With the recruitment of Denny Dias and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on guitars, Jim Hodder on drums and David Palmer on keyboards, Steely Dan was born.
The title track to Pretzel Logic is one of the first Steely Dan songs to feature Walter Becker on guitar (he had played bass on the band’s previous LP’s, Can’t Buy a Thrill and Countdown to Ecstasy).
“Pretzel Logic” was released as a single and couldn’t crack the Top 40 (peaking at #57), but the album’s opening track, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” went to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” http://youtu.be/UfZWp-hGCdA