Steely Dan‘s 1975 fourth album, Katy Lied  , is a perfect example of a “sleeper”, but it’s not simply the passage of time that obscures its many-faceted brilliance. Even from this forty-five year vantage point, AllMusic.com‘s Stephen Thomas Erlewine writes in his five-star review, “An alluringly sophisticated album of jazzy pop, on Katy Lied  Walter Becker and Donald Fagen began relying solely on studio musicians…Immaculate sound…the songs are uniformly brilliant.” Pitchfork  rates Katy Lied   a 9.1 on a ten scale, where Mark Richardson opines, “Before Katy Lied   Steely Dan were a rock band, but this is the record where they became something else…Katy Lied  is the fulcrum in this progression”.

Lots of significant changes reflected in Steely Dan’s fourth album, Katy Lied , and that’s the truth: first time recording without the band; first time without Jeff “Skunk” Baxter‘s guitar; first release without a supporting tour; and last recording on the West Coast before Fagen and Becker would return the their native New York City. The under- appreciated musical bridge to future glory, Katy Lied  in 1975 is arguably the equal to Aja   in almost every way, with possibly the strongest set of songs since the debut, including “Black Friday”,”Bad Sneakers”,”Doctor Wu”, “Chain Lightning”, and the shoulda-woulda-coulda been a hit,”Any World That I’m Welcome to”.