Steely Dan: Black Friday
Katy Lied (MCA 11916)
Composed by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen.
Recorded: Los Angeles, CA, late 1974-early 1975
Rating: 100/100 (learn more)
Here's what Donald Fagen had to say about Steely Dan's Katy Lied album: "Each song is seen from a different view point. Some I imagine have an idealistic tone to them, while others are someone who is obviously suicidal. Obviously the narrator...is really in the deep stages of severe depression. And of course, I probably was when I was performing them." Such is the case with the CD's lead track, "Black Friday."
The recording features two members of Toto in keyboardist David Paich and drummer Jeff Porcaro, whose blues shuffle lurches while the main character contemplates digging a hole and crawling inside because of the impending doom of the upcoming day. Slaughter is on the way and he has already made preparations for his exit, potentially going so far as to alter his identity in order to escape the possible consequences. Ready for life on the run, he plans to "collect everything" he is owed and "let the world pass by," and, pleading for the Lord not to let disaster find him, he wants an archbishop to sanctify him but has even left himself an exit in that case ("If he don't come arcross, I'm gonna let it roll").
This dynamic singalong broke the top forty in the United States and the chart placement confirms that Becker and Fagen were able to allay intergenerational superstitions (such as those symbolized by Friday the 13th) onto wax, linking all listeners together in a sociological (and, ultimately, musical) way.
Reviewer: Marcus Singletary