Hear Steely Dan Cover Joni Mitchell’s ‘Carey’
There was no direct contact between Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell in the 1970s. During this period, the two artists were pioneers in the blending of jazz and rock music, each taking a unique approach to the sounds of the day. Mitchell blended his folk background with pop and jazz, while Steely Dan found elements of progressive rock and yacht rock in his own explorations.
Although Mitchell and the Dan didn’t officially collaborate, they were certainly admirers of each other’s work. In 2001, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen were busy recording their album – Everything must go – when they received a call. They were asked to record a song for what would become 2007 A tribute to Joni Mitchellwhich featured covers from Prince, Björk, Sufjan Stevens and even Mitchell’s former flame, James Taylor.
The Dan obliged, recording their version of the classic Blue ‘Carey’ track. Using the same musicians that were used on Everything must goBecker and Fagen reinterpreted the track in their own style, bringing in a fair amount of jazzy inversions and slick production to make the track unmistakably Steely Dan-sounding.
Joni Mitchell’s official website even reported on the recording of the track in 2001. “The song was completed over a six day period (including the tracking day) in New York earlier this month; according to reports from the Steely Dan camp, it is “the fastest Steely Dan song of all time”. Donald Fagen singing “Carey”? This should be interesting!
For some reason, Steely Dan’s version of “Carey” was ultimately not included on the tribute album. Maybe it’s because the original album, A case of Joniwas revamped and extensively reworked by the time it finally came out as A tribute to Joni Mitchell. Perhaps the Dan was afraid to include the track after a long gestation period.
Anyway, Steely Dan’s version of “Carey” has yet to see an official release. It wasn’t until after Becker’s death that the cover first saw the light of day as a leak. You can now hear the track all over YouTube, and perhaps an archive release or compilation will allow the track to be included in Steely Dan’s official discography.
Check out Steely Dan’s take on “Carey” below.
The most popular