Steely Dan – Black Cow Demos 1 and 2 (audio)

“Black Cow” is the first track off Steely Dan’s Aja, one of the greatest albums ever made. But it started out as an idea back when the band was recording Katy Lied. Donald Fagen recorded a couple of demo versions during those sessions. It’s mostly just him on piano with the vocals. I think there’s someone quietly keeping the beat in the background. In the first demo, you can hear Fagen ask the engineer to “put a little echo on my voice.” So if you’ve ever wondered what Donald Fagen sounds like when he talks, as opposed to sings, here’s your chance.

Here’s the first demo, which is my favorite:

And here’s the second: