Personnel: Walter Becker (vocals, guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, electric bass); David Palmer (vocals, background vocals); David Palmer (vocals); Amy Helm (whistling); Jeff Baxter (guitar, pedal steel guitar, Spanish guitar); Hugh McCracken (guitar, piano); Dean Parks, Elliot Randall, Elliott Randall, Jay Graydon, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour , Rick Derringer, Steve Khan (guitar); Ben Benay (acoustic guitar); Tom Scott (flute, alto clarinet, saxophone, lyricon); Pete Christlieb (flute, saxophone, tenor saxophone); Jim Horn, Plas Johnson (flute, saxophone, horns); Jackie Kelso, Wayne Shorter, Bill Perkins (flute, saxophone); George Marge, Walter Kane (bass clarinet); Ernie Watts, John Rotella, Lanny Morgan (saxophone); Randy Brecker (trumpet, flugelhorn); Michael Leonhart (trumpet); Chuck Findley, Slyde Hyde (brass, horns); Lou McCreary (brass); John Klemmer, Bob Findley (horns); Ted Baker (piano, Fender Rhodes piano); David Paich, Michael Omartian (piano, keyboards); Jon Herington (piano); Don Grolnick (electric piano, Clavinet, keyboards); Paul Griffin (electric piano, keyboards, background vocals); Jeff Porcaro (drums, percussion); Leroy Clouden, Rick Marotta, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, Keith Carlock (drums); Crusher Bennett, Steve Gadd , Gary Coleman, Gordon Gottlieb (percussion); Gordon Grody, Clydie King, Sherlie Matthews, Diva Gray, Patricia Hall, Royce Jones, Michael Fennelly, Zack Saunders, Leslie Miller, James Rolleston, Lani Groves, Michael McDonald , Patti Austin, Timothy B. Schmit, Toni Wine, Venetta Fields, Walt Weiskopf, Myrna Matthews, Frank Floyd, Carolyn Leonhart (background vocals); Donald Fagen (vocals, piano, electric piano, Fender Rhodes piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ, keyboards, synthesizer, background vocals); Jim Hodder (vocals, drums, percussion); Denny Dias (guitar, electric sitar); Jerome Richardson (tenor saxophone); Snooky Young (flugelhorn); Victor Feldman (electric piano, keyboards, vibraphone, marimba, percussion).
Audio Mixers: Roger Nichols ; Elliot Scheiner; Barney Perkins.
Recording information: A&R Studios, New York, NY; ABC Recording Studios, Inc., Los Angeles, CA; Armand Steiner Soundlabel, Studio 55, New York, NY; Automated Sound Studios, New York, NY; Bearsville Studios, Bearsville, New York, NY; Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA; Clinton Sound, New York, NY; Electric Lady, New York, NY; Hyperbolic Sound, Maui, Hawaii; Producer's Workshop, Hollywood, CA; River Sound, New York, NY; Sear Sound Studios, New York, NY; Sigma Sound Studios, New York, NY; Skyline Studios, New York, NY; Sound Labs, Hollywood, CA; Soundworks, New York, NY; The Village Recorder, Los Angeles, CA; Warner Bros. Recording Studios, North Hollywood, CA.
Photographers: Ed Caraeff; Henry Diltz.
Arrangers: Walter Becker; Donald Fagen.
Released in 2006, THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION is a handsome repackaging of 16 of Steely Dan's finest moments. Featuring a cover design that perfectly captures both the sophistication and the off-kilter seediness of group masterminds Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, the collection goes heavy on the hits, including such wry pop gems as "Reelin' In the Years," "FM," "Hey Nineteen," and the delightfully funky "Peg." While Steely Dan can be a tricky band to pin down--displaying both a genuine love of pure pop and a cool detachment that can border on aloof--Becker and Fagan's amazing ability to blend pop's myriad forms into a smooth sound unmistakably their own remains striking decades after the music's original release. With a songwriting approach nearly academic in its precision, the Dan's mix of jazz, pop, funk, and rock is a mash-up for a pre-digital era: postmodern fusion music by way of the Brill Building. And while there are several quality Dan comps on the market to make that case, the DEFINITIVE COLLECTION is as concise a display of the band's virtues as one can find.