I Dont Wanna Do Your Dirty Work No More Dirty Work (Steely Dan song) – Wikipedia

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1972 song by Steely Dan.mw-parser-output .infobox-subboxpadding:0;border:none;margin:-3px;width:auto;min-width:100%;font-size:100%;clear:none;float:none;background-color:transparent.mw-parser-output .infobox-3cols-childmargin:auto.mw-parser-output .infobox .navbarfont-size:100%body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-header,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-subheader,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-above,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-title,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-image,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-full-data,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-belowtext-align:center”Dirty Work”Song by Steely Danfrom the album Can’t Buy a ThrillReleasedNovember 1972RecordedAugust 1972[1]StudioThe Village Recorder, Los AngelesGenrePopLength3:08LabelABCSongwriter(s)Donald Fagen and Walter BeckerProducer(s)Gary KatzOfficial audio”Dirty Work” on YouTube

“Dirty Work” is a song written by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan, which appeared on the band’s 1972 debut album Can’t Buy a Thrill.

The song’s lyrics describe an affair between a man and a married woman, sung by the man.[2] Steely Dan FAQ author Anthony Robustelli describes “Dirty Work” as a “song of self-loathing”,[3] while The Guardian describes the narrative as soap operatic.[4] The singer recognizes that the woman is using him, but is too infatuated to end the affair.[4][5] The second verse features the lyrics: “Like a castle in its corner in a medieval game”, referencing the chess-piece the rook, chess being a hobby of Becker’s.[5]

Style and arrangement[edit]
The song’s music has been described as more commercial-sounding than most of the band’s other material.[2][5] The Guardian says that it sounds like “a radio-friendly stroll of a song,” at least at first.[4] AllMusic critic Stewart Mason attributes this, in part, to the “upward-modulating” refrain and “soulful” clavinet [a] as well as the tenor saxophone part played by guest musician Jerome Richardson.[2] Steely Dan biographer Brian Sweet describes Richardson’s sax solo as being “perfectly understated.”[5]
“Dirty Work” is one of the songs on Can’t Buy a Thrill on which David Palmer provided the lead vocal.[2][3][5] Brian Sweet hypothesizes that Fagen did not want to sing the song himself because he and Becker did not even want to include it on the album, but the executives at ABC Records wanted some more conventional tunes on the album and therefore insisted that “Dirty Work” be included.[5] The ABC executives had also thought the song would be ideal for Three Dog Night or The Grass Roots to record.[5] After Palmer left the group, touring vocalist Royce Jones would sing the song live in concert.[citation needed] It was revived in 2006, however, with the band’s female backing vocalists singing it from the perspective of a woman having an affair with a married (or attached) man.[2]

Release and reception[edit]
The song was included on the band’s 1972 debut album Can’t Buy a Thrill. The same year it was released as single, on the Probe label, in the Netherlands.[6]
AllMusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine describes “Dirty Work” as a “terrific pop song that subvert[s] traditional conventions” and is one of the best songs on Can’t Buy a Thrill,[7] while MusicHound author Gary Graff refers to it as being “instantly memorable.”[8] Rolling Stone critic James Isaacs attributes the song’s success to the fact that it “juxtaposes David Palmer’s sweet tenor voice with misogynistic lyrics.”[9] Robustelli similarly agrees that part of the song’s effect is the contrast between Palmer’s smooth voice and the harsh lyrics.[3] “Dirty Work” was included on several Steely Dan compilation albums, including Citizen Steely Dan in 1993, Showbiz Kids: The Steely Dan Story, 1972–1980 in 2000 and Steely Dan: The Definitive Collection in 2006.[2]

Later use[edit]
The song was used in the first episode of season 3 of The Sopranos, “Mr. Ruggerio’s Neighborhood,” as Tony Soprano sings it while driving his SUV unaware that the FBI are watching him. [3][10] The song was also used in the 2013 film American Hustle, although Fagen and Becker did not give permission for it to be included on the soundtrack album.[3] In the eighth episode of season 28 of The Simpsons, “Dad Behavior,” Homer Simpson sings a parody of the song’s chorus. The song was later used in the fourteenth episode of season 33, “You Won’t Believe What This Episode Is About – Act Three Will Shock You!”[citation needed] It’s also featured in the 2018 documentary Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind. It also appeared in the trailers and television advertisements for the 2021 film The Suicide Squad.[11] The song was used in the hit HBO drama Euphoria (Season 2, Episode 1).[citation needed]

(from album cover credits)

David Palmer – lead vocals
Donald Fagen – piano, Wurlitzer electric piano,[citation needed] Yamaha YC-30 organ, and backup vocals
Denny Dias – acoustic guitar
Jeff Baxter – electric guitar
Walter Becker – bass guitar, backup vocals
Jim Hodder – drums, backup vocals
Jerome Richardson – tenor saxophone
Snooky Young – flugelhorn
Other recordings[edit]
Ian Matthews recorded the song, appearing on his 1974 album, Some Days You Eat the Bear And Some Days the Bear Eats You.[12]
The Vancouver-based studio group Songbird (Mike Flicker, Howard Leese and Rob Deans)[13] had a Mushroom Records single release of “Dirty Work” which was a minor hit in Canada, peaking at #75 on the national hit parade in the autumn of 1974.[14]
It was the first track of the 1974 album I’m Not Making Music for Money, the thirteenth and final studio album by Kenny Rogers and The First Edition that was only issued in New Zealand.[15]
Melissa Manchester recorded “Dirty Work” on her 1977 LP Help Is on the Way.
The Pointer Sisters recorded a version for their 1978 album Energy.[16]
It was recorded by Max Merritt and released as a single, on the Polydor label, in Australia and New Zealand, in 1979.[17][18]

.mw-parser-output .reflistfont-size:90%;margin-bottom:0.5em;list-style-type:decimal.mw-parser-output .reflist .referencesfont-size:100%;margin-bottom:0;list-style-type:inherit.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns-2column-width:30em.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns-3column-width:25em.mw-parser-output .reflist-columnsmargin-top:0.3em.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns olmargin-top:0.mw-parser-output .reflist-columns lipage-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column.mw-parser-output .reflist-upper-alphalist-style-type:upper-alpha.mw-parser-output .reflist-upper-romanlist-style-type:upper-roman.mw-parser-output .reflist-lower-alphalist-style-type:lower-alpha.mw-parser-output .reflist-lower-greeklist-style-type:lower-greek.mw-parser-output .reflist-lower-romanlist-style-type:lower-roman

^ .mw-parser-output cite.citationfont-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word.mw-parser-output .citation qquotes:”””””””‘””‘”.mw-parser-output .citation:targetbackground-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133).mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free abackground:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration abackground:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription abackground:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon abackground:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat.mw-parser-output .cs1-codecolor:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-errordisplay:none;color:#d33.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-errorcolor:#d33.mw-parser-output .cs1-maintdisplay:none;color:#3a3;margin-left:0.3em.mw-parser-output .cs1-formatfont-size:95%.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-leftpadding-left:0.2em.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-rightpadding-right:0.2em.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflinkfont-weight:inherit”Can’t Buy a Thrill by Steely Dan”. classicrockreview.com. November 7, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2020.

^ a b c d e f Mason, Stewart. “Dirty Work”. Allmusic. Retrieved 2017-05-14.

^ a b c d e Robustelli, Anthony (2017). Steely Dan FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About This Elusive Band. Backbeat Books. pp. 65–66. ISBN 978-1495025129.

^ a b c “Old music: Steely Dan – Dirty Work”. The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-05-14.

^ a b c d e f g Sweet, Brian (2016). Steely Dan: Reelin’ in the Years. Omnibus. ISBN 978-1468313147.

^ “Steely Dan – Dirty Work” – via www.45cat.com.

^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. “Can’t Buy a Thrill”. Allmusic. Retrieved 2017-05-14.

^ Graff, Gary (1999). Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds.). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Schirmer Trade Books. p. 1084. ISBN 0825672562.

^ Isaacs, James (November 23, 1972). “Can’t Buy a Thrill”. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-05-14.

^ Long, Christian (April 14, 2016). “‘Sopranos’ Music Moments That Helped Define Tony Soprano”. Uproxx. Retrieved 2017-05-15.

^ D’Alessandro, Anthony (March 26, 2021). “‘The Suicide Squad’ Trailer: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena & More In A Ton Of James Gunn Fun”. Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 27, 2021. Retrieved March 27, 2021.

^ Hartenbach, Brett. Dirty Work at AllMusic

^ “Songbird”. Billboard. Vol. 86, no. 49. 7 December 1974. p. 63.

^ “Dirty Work”. RPM. Vol. 22, no. 9. 19 October 1974. p. 8.

^ “Kenny Rogers & The First Edition – I’m Not Making My Music For Money”. music.metason.net.

^ “Energy – The Pointer Sisters | Songs, Reviews, Credits”. allmusic.com.

^ “Dirty Work – Max Merritt & the Meteors | Song Info” – via allmusic.com.

^ “Max Merritt – Dirty Work”. 45cat.com.


^ actually not a clavinet, but a Wurlitzer Electric Piano

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Donald Fagen
Walter Becker
Jeff “Skunk” Baxter
Denny Dias
Jim Hodder
David Palmer
Royce Jones
Michael McDonald
Jeff Porcaro
Studio albums
Can’t Buy a Thrill (1972)
Countdown to Ecstasy (1973)
Pretzel Logic (1974)
Katy Lied (1975)
The Royal Scam (1976)
Aja (1977)
Gaucho (1980)
Two Against Nature (2000)
Everything Must Go (2003)
Live albums
Alive in America (1995)
Plush TV Jazz-Rock Party (2000)
Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz with Steely Dan (2005)
Northeast Corridor (2021)
“Do It Again”
“Reelin’ In the Years”
“Show Biz Kids”
“My Old School”
“Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”
“Pretzel Logic”
“Bad Sneakers”
“Kid Charlemagne”
“Deacon Blues”
“FM (No Static at All)”
“Hey Nineteen”
“Cousin Dupree”
“Janie Runaway”
Album tracks
“Any Major Dude Will Tell You”
“Dirty Work”
Greatest Hits (1978)
Steely Dan (1978)
Gold (1982/91)
A Decade of Steely Dan (1985)
Reelin’ In the Years (1987)
Do It Again (1987)
Citizen Steely Dan (1993)
Then and Now (1993)
Showbiz Kids (2000)
The Definitive Collection (2006)
Related articles
Gary Katz
Roger Nichols
Yacht rock


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Retrieved from “https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dirty_Work_(Steely_Dan_song)&oldid=1094469449”
Categories: Steely Dan songsSongs written by Donald FagenSongs written by Walter BeckerSong recordings produced by Gary Katz1972 songsJosé Feliciano songsMelissa Manchester songsIain Matthews songsThe Pointer Sisters songsMushroom Records singlesSongs about infidelityHidden categories: Articles with short descriptionShort description matches WikidataArticles with hAudio microformatsAll articles with unsourced statementsArticles with unsourced statements from August 2020Articles with unsourced statements from March 2021Articles with unsourced statements from April 2022Articles with MusicBrainz work identifiers

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