9. Donald Fagen And Walter Becker
For any aficionado of what constitutes rock and roll, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker check every single box for being uncool. Just looking up any casual picture of these guys makes them look like some dudes that should be working on your taxes rather than studio wizards. So naturally, they're responsible for some of the most impressive studio trickery to ever come out of the '70s...you know....as one does.
From the formation of Steely Dan onward, Fagen and Becker were always at the helm of every single song, being more overseers than actual members of the band. While not all of them performed on every single record, you could sense a common aesthetic running through the tracks, which denoted some sort of overarching mentality about how they thought about songs.
Across albums like The Royal Scam and Aja, Fagen and Becker sound more like they're sculpting songs from scratch, using studio musicians almost like paintbrushes when painting their masterpieces. There's even traces of darkness throughout each of their tracks, with most of their hits like Kid Charlemagne and Peg talking about much more loathsome characters than ones you'd find in your typical yacht rock songs. Though it might be easy to trash talk Steely Dan to anyone, any musician in the know has at least an awareness of the badass people behind the scenes.