Over the past 38 years, Becker and his long-time collaborator Donald Fagen have released 10 albums under the Steely Dan moniker. Circus Money is Becker's second solo effort. To suggest that the new album, produced by Grammy Award winning Larry Klein, has long been highly anticipated is something of an understatement among the Becker cognoscenti.
It was in 1994 that 11 Tracks of Whack, Becker's debut solo outing arrived, with conclusive proof that the songwriter, multi-tasking musician and studio habitu had more to say - and more ways to say it - than could be contained in the epochal oeuvre of Steely Dan. The album features Steely Dan sidemen Keith Carlock (drums) and Jon Herington (guitar), plus keyboardists Ted Baker and Jim Beard.
The musical direction of the new album has a very strong Jamaican dub feel to it. Becker handles lead vocals and plays bass guitar on all songs, and also plays guitar on three tracks. The bass gave me a more powerful position to define the direction I wanted the music to take," he explains.
As much as anything, that direction had to do with the fact that, for years before I started this project, I was listening almost exclusively to Jamaican music."