1974 Steely Dan – Pretzel Logic

Pretzel Logic is the third studio album by the American rock band Steely Dan, released on February 20, 1974 by ABC Records. It was written by principal band members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. They recorded the album at The Village Recorder in West Los Angeles with producer Gary Katz. It was the last album to feature the full five-member band of Becker, Fagen, Denny Dias, Skunk Baxter, and Jim Hodder, although on this recording, drummer Hodder appeared on vocals only. It also featured significant contributions from many prominent Los Angeles–based studio musicians.

The album was a commercial and critical success upon its release. Its hit single “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” helped restore Steely Dan’s radio presence after the disappointing performance of their 1973 album Countdown to Ecstasy. Pretzel Logic was reissued on CD in 1987 and remastered in 1999 to retrospective acclaim from critics.

Pretzel Logic was recorded at The Village Recorder in West Los Angeles. It was produced by Gary Katz and written primarily by Walter Becker and bandleader Donald Fagen, who also sang and played keyboard. The album marked the beginning of Becker and Fagen’s roles as Steely Dan’s principal members. They enlisted prominent Los Angeles–based studio musicians to record Pretzel Logic, but used them only for occasional overdubs. Steely Dan’s Jeff “Skunk” Baxter played pedal steel guitar and hand drums.

The cover photo featuring a New York pretzel seller was taken by Raeanne Rubenstein, a photographer of musicians and Hollywood celebrities. She shot the photo on the west side of Fifth Avenue and 79th Street, just above the 79th Street Transverse (the road through Central Park), at the park entrance called “Miners’ Gate”.


Rikki Don’t Lose That Number (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) 4:33
2  Night by Night (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) 3:38
3  Any Major Dude Will Tell You (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) 3:08
4  Barrytown (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) 3:20
5  East st. Louis Toodle-Oo (Duke Ellington, Bubber Miley) 2:49
6  Parker’s Band (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) 2:42
7  Through With Buzz (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) 1:32
Pretzel Logic (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) 4:31
9  With a Gun (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) 2:17
10  Charlie Freak (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) 2:44
11 Monkey in Your Soul (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) 2:34


Bass Walter Becker
Bass Chuck Rainey
Bass Timothy B. Schmit
Bass Wilton Felder
Drums Jeffrey Porcaro
Drums Jim Gordon
Drums Jim Hodder
Guitar Ben Benay
Guitar Jeff Baxter
Guitar Denny Diaz
Guitar Dean Parks
Banjo Dean Parks
Keyboards Donald Fagen
Keyboards David Paich
Keyboards Michael Omartian
Keyboards Victor Feldman
Sax Ernie Watts
Sax Jerome Richardson
Sax Plas Johnson
Trumpet Ollie Mitchell

Liner Notes

Producer – Gary KatzEngineer – Roger Nichols
Lacquer Cut By – Allen Zentz
Management (Personal) – Kudo III
Mastered By – Allan Zentz
Orchestrated By – Jimmie Haskell

Art Direction, Photography By [Inside] – Ed Caraeff
Design – David Larkham
Photography By (Cover) – Raenne Rubenstein

Engineered At – The Village Recorder
Mixed At – Cherokee Studios
Phonographic Copyright (p) – ABC Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – ABC Records, Inc.
Published By – American Broadcasting Music, Inc.
Published By – Mills Music, Inc.
Published By – Red Giant Music, Inc.