Steely Dan thread

just drink up those last few tracks of Countdown To Ecstasy

Show Biz Kids
My Old School
Pearl of the Quarter
King of the Road.

monumental. what a band

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Going to see them (or the current iteration anyhow) next month with my da, it was his Christmas present.

You know how you think of CD labels or covers when you think of an album? With Steely Dan I think of old BASF cassettes with the orange label, and my dad’s handwriting on them. Used to listen to them all the time on long drives in the 90s. MEMORIES.

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best album

  • Can’t Buy a Thrill
  • Countdown to Ecstasy
  • Pretzel Logic
  • Katy Lied
  • The Royal Scam
  • Aja
  • Gaucho
  • Two Against Nature
  • Everything Must Go

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Absolutely in my top 10 songs. Fucking brilliant band.

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If I play this in the car I will sing it at the top of my voice, no matter who else is in the car

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Possibly the best band ever. The song ‘everything must go’ being the last track on their last album is like a weird knowing epitaph for their career.
This is a favourite presently:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_l6PR4l3FF8

MAJOR Steely Dan fan here. Me and my girl rock them all the time. RIP Walter Becker. Absolutely premier studio musicians.

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Like (I think?) a lot of people, I first started delving into their music due to the disproportionately large amount of classic hip hop tracks that contain Steely Dan samples.

FM (No Static at All)

Black Cow

Green Earings

Deacon Blues

Peg

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Their albums past countdown to ecstasy just had the best possible sound and production, everything was so clean and crisp and warm, don’t think anyone’s ever recorded a guitar that sounds better than the solo on Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.

Something about the richness of the mixes and the interesting harmonies sparks some some kinda pleasure centre in my brain that nothing else does.

Listening to Black Cow makes me feel like nothing is wrong with the world.

Just untouchable.

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Katy Lied is so underrated. Absolutely LOVE Bad Sneakers

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i have to say thanks to DiS for getting me into Steely Dan - unfortunately it was the thread after Walter Becker died that made me give them a listen for the first time - i now know Aja and Pretzel Logic like the back of my hand, and still have so much to explore. absolutely love them. so fucking intricate, as bammers says above, the production alone could keep me interested forever.

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Also Skunk Baxter had one of the greatest white man fu man chu’s going.

jeff-baxtera

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After years of not getting them they finally just ‘clicked’for me a couple of years ago and I went through a slightly obsessional period listening to them.

I don’t know whether it is an age thing, but somehow where I used to just hear a surface slickness that was a bit distancing suddenly the underlying wit and spark of the songs shone though to me and I could see the way the surface worked in service of the songs.

I think they are a band who have been ill served by their followers- most of the bands that people say ‘sound like’ Steely Dan are awful because they copy the surface gloss but miss the underlying brilliance that makes it worthwhile.

Aja is an amazing work of art - just a 100% perfect realisation of a concept. All of the albums that precede it are almost equally good though - as a set of songs I actually think Countdown to Ecstasy might marginally be the best of their records but the perfection of the sound of Aja just outshines it overall. Pretzel Logic is the only one that I think is (a little) overrated - its highs (Rikki, Barrytown, Any Major Dude) are the very best but unlike the other albums it has a bit of filler on it in my view. It’s hard to think of single throwaway note on Aja or Countdown to Ecstasy, let alone an inessential song like Parker’s Band from Pretzel Logic.

I would rank those original albums thusly:

Aja
Countdown to Ecstasy
Katy Lied
Can’t Buy a Thrill
The Royal Scam
Pretzel Logic
Gaucho

The post reformation albums are perfectly ok, Two Against Nature particularly, but not in the same class. A word for Nightfly though - not a Steely Dan album obviously but as good as any of those and a classic in its own right.

Hard to choose a favourite Steely Dan song, but if forced:

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The Fez

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A must-watch if you’ve never seen it. Or, shit, even if you have

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It’s great isn’t it? Normally those sort of things are awful but Becker and Fagen are hilarious.

Yeah the Aja 33 and a 3rd book is also A1 and manages not to overlap too much with the doc.

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Also, great merch