I remember when Steely Dan’s “Dirty Work” was released.
Stationed in Fort Leonard Wood Missouri with my first wife Anita and my newly born son Adam, I was driving my green Ford Fairlane 500 towards the trailer park where we lived in St. Roberts.
Thoughts of recording and mixing were running through my mind.
“How did they get that sound?”
It was so cool!
Of course, “Reeling in the Years” was the big hit… but I loved “Dirty Work” for some strange reason.
I thought I was an engineer then. Now I know I didn’t have a clue… but I had immense desire.
Steely Dan Cover
What I lacked in knowledge back then, I made up for in desire. What I lack in desire today, I have replaced with knowledge.
I loved that time in my life… when Steely Dan was something I looked up to.
A standard to reach for and surpass if possible.
Then everything was recorded onto analog tape machines and there was a sense of urgency…
Humans were required to do every step of the process (not counting the physical act of recording).
How different was the recording process compared to today…
Now, humans need only offer their opinions to the machines. They do the work for us.
Perhaps, this is why music is not valued today as much as it was then.
Everyone has the ability to make music themselves. And they do… good and bad.
The fact that there is so much bad music out there does not seem to deter writer’s willingness and desire to make it.
Is that good or bad? Should there be a ceiling to an artists’ endeavors?
Back then, music was a special event… something of value, an education and an experience; a pinnacle.
Today, music is a side show; an after thought. It is everywhere. And it all sounds the same.
Maybe this is is only the ramblings of an older man who has lived the many phases of music’s existence in the 20th century.
But maybe it is at the very least, a version of the truth we all share.
For now, it is my ‘Dirty Work’ to share this with you!
All the best to you!