One of the great records I never knew about that I discovered this past year is an album called “Roger Nichols and The Small Circle of Friends”.
Here’s a single from the Roger Nichols Trio (1966) that appears on that album as a bonus track. Two minutes of joy called “Love Song Love Song”.
From the album proper (1968) is the song “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”. The middle 8 (:51) sends chills up my spine every time I hear it. God, I wish I had written this. Burt Bacharach and Hal Davis did.
Though Nichols didn’t write these songs, he DID write some massive hits for The Carpenters, some of which I am being tortured with nightly by Olivia Neal, age 9, as she plays them on her CD player.
There’s another Roger Nichols, a contemporary of the first, who made his name engineering those great Steely Dan records of the seventies, as well as “Two Against Nature”. He’s a multiple Grammy winner. He engineered Donald Fagen’s “The Nightfly” album. When it was released on CD, Stevie Wonder called him on the phone to tell him that the thing sounded “funny”. It turned out that the CD had been pressed using a third- or fourth-generation tape of the album.
I just think that’s a neat story.
two three favorite Steely Dan songs: