How Steely Dan Created ‘Deacon Blues’ (2023)

How Steely Dan Created ‘Deacon Blues’ (1)

By Marc Myers

(Video) Classic Albums: Steely Dan's Aja - Deacon Blues

As midlife-crisis songs go, Steely Dan’s “Deacon Blues” ranks among the most melodic and existential. Recorded for the album “Aja” in 1977, the song details the bored existence of a ground-down suburbanite and his romantic fantasy of life as a jazz saxophonist.

Written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen in 1976, “Deacon Blues” was released in 1977 on Steely Dan’s album “Aja,” which in the fall reached No. 3 on Billboard’s album chart, where it remained for seven consecutive weeks. The song also was a hit single in early 1978.

(Video) How Steely Dan Composes A Song

How Steely Dan Created ‘Deacon Blues’ (2)

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(Video) Deacon Blues


1. Deacon Blues Into and Verse Chord Melody Ideas
(Mike Baratta Guitar & Music)
2. Steely Dan on Letterman, October 20, 1995, Upgraded and Expanded
(Don Giller)
3. Steely Dan - Deacon Blues Live
(Billy Bumr)
4. Deacon Blues Guitar Lesson | Steely Dan | Intro and Verse
(Mark Zabel)
5. Steely Dan's "Deacon Blues" Is the Story Behind "Ode to the Expanding Man"
(Jeff McMahon's Piano Songs)
6. Steely Dan - Deacon Blues (Bass Line w/tabs and standard notation)
(Fusilli Jerry)
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