Donald Fagen and Walter Becker knew each other since 1967 after playing in different bands like the Don Fagen Jazz Trio, the Bad Rock Group and the Leather Canary (including comedian Chevy Chase on drums). Then as Jay and the Americans before getting a record deal and becoming Steely Dan. They released some succesful albums in the early 70's and eventually stopped touring to become a studio-only band.
Kid Charlemagne / Green Earring - single

In 1879 the caves of Altamira in Spain were discovered with drawings on the walls of animals and handprints dating from the old stone age around 10,000 years BC. They were dismissed as forgeries but after later discoveries in France and Cantabria they were declared legitimate. They were an inspiration for Walter Becker and Donald Fagen for a song in 1976 on their album "The Royal Scam" about someone remembering he visited the caves as a child and noticing the animals on the wall came to life. “Before the fall when they wrote it on the wall. When there wasn’t even any Hollywood”. Then there is the suicidal criminal in “Don’t Take Me Alive", detoriorating drug dealers in "Kid Charlemagne" and many other gangsters in "The Royal Scam" and "Sign In Stranger". 
Haitian Divorce - single

Steely Dan is a rock band with a jazz/funk/latin style. But also reggae could be heared in a tale of a spontaneous marriage ("Babs and Clean Willie were in love they said / so in love / the preacher's face turned red / soon everybody knew the thing was dead") in "Haitian Divorce" and ended with a divorce. "The Fez" hints about Tommy Cooper and the fact he only had success as the failed magician wearing his fez on and is a song about safe sex as well.
Comedian Tommy Cooper

Overall this is probably the best album Steely Dan ever made. Every song is wonderful with great lyrics.

The Royal Scam - album cover

The Royal Scam
Kid Charlemagne / The Caves of Altamira / Don't Take Me Alive / Sign In Stranger / The Fez / Green Earrings / Haitian Divorce / Everything You Did / The Royal Scam