Much like one of his fellow Capricorn producers, the (in)famous Phil Spector, Donald Fagen has become known as a notorious studio perfectionist. His idiosyncrasies as a producer, singer and songwriter are apparent not only in the inscrutable lyrics and highly complex musical arrangements of Steely Dan. Tales are told of how Fagen and his partner Walter Becker, during the recording of "Babylon sisters" from the album Gaucho, made the backup singers do 55 re-takes of the song's lengthy fade-out. This kind of attention to detail and excessive need to "do things properly" will quite likely be a defining trait of any double Capricorn. The standards by which they measure themselves and others tend to be almost unrealistically high.
In spite of his determination to make Steely Dan a leading jazz-rock band, and his seemingly self-assured exterior, Fagen suffered from severe stagefright in the beginning of his career, something rather common among Capricorn-dominated individuals. The goat is ambitious and focused on worldly success, but too severe a self-criticism, as well as a questionable sense of self worth make some otherwise perfectly capable and talented Capricorns shy and retiring. Some people consider the music of Steely Dan to be too polished, to the point of lacking authenticity and emotion. I beg to differ. Like a fine wine, the music of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker slowly opens up with a bouquet that stimulates the mind as well as the heart, with their unmistakable sly wit and fanciful lyrics. The love, however, is in the melody. And in Fagen's horoscope of course.
Just like a grumpy old mountain goat, a double Capricorn like Donald Fagen will mellow with age, carefully letting people past that stony, bony exterior, revealing the well-hidden sentimental soul and that wonderful, dry sense of humour. Not all things truly golden will sparkle and glitter.