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Thread: Steely Dan

  1. #1
    Border Desperado WS82Classics's Avatar
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    Default Steely Dan

    Didn't see a topic available for this band, so I thought I'd go ahead and create one.

    Some of the 60's/early 70's prog/psychedelic bands can lay claim to introducing jazz sounds into the rock pantheon, but no band melded those sounds together into an appealing and tight musical arrangement better than Steely Dan. They were apparently far more perfectionistic than even the Eagles were(read the Wiki entry for the "Gaucho" album--it's...something). Among their best known songs are "Do it Again," "Dirty Work," "Reelin' in the Years," and "Rikki, Don't Lose that Number."

    Would be curious to see how many of our Border faithful also dig this great band. Here's some of my own favourites(all from their latter days and most from LP's I own):

    A little bit of...mobster music? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ9Xk-VoGqo

    Sounds like it could pass for a more elaborately done version of "Outlaw Man." Killer opening riff. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-G1Q6qJAe4

    This one has an actual Eagles reference. See if you can spot it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OPjqteoPHU

    A pretty good summation of the live music scenes anywhere you go. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLfdaZWYRw0

    Serene tranquility, thy name is 'Aja.' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWfQTY_K-_o

    This one for some reason reminds me of some really pretty young girls I met in Ellijay, GA, a few years back. Ahh, fun memories. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwqLH-1UWUo

    That riff transports me to another dimension every time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSSx72EMhj0

    Probably their best known song. Quite fun and bouncy(musically), not to mention a little bit on the creepy side(lyrically). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L523GhmV5u0


    On a final note, Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen also had a sizable hit in the early 80's with this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg-gTXFgs8Q
    All carrot, no stick.

    "He's just another power junkie, just another silk scarf monkey. You'd know it if you saw his stuff. The man just isn't big enough."--Glenn Frey/Don Henley

    "You think you know me, but you haven't got a clue."--John Lennon/Paul McCartney


  2. #2
    Border Rebel Scarlet Sun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Steely Dan

    I only really like the first two albums when they were a real band - especially the first when they had additional lead singers

  3. #3
    Stuck on the Border LuvTim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Steely Dan

    I've always loved Steely Dan.
    That's all from me.


    It's all in your smile that brings
    All of the special things about you

  4. #4
    Stuck on the Border Freypower's Avatar
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    Default Re: Steely Dan

    I like them enough that I went to see them a few years ago, and they were very disappointing - mechanical and smooth, the way the Eagles were always accused of sounding. Glenn loved them & did a superb version of Show Biz Kids at his Royal Oak show in 2000. I think his son Deacon is named after Deacon Blues, a song which I have tried hard to love but really can't (I feel the same way about Aja).

    I can give a Top 10 which is probably very predictable:

    1. Reelin' In The Years
    2. Do It Again
    3. Pretzel Logic
    4. Kid Charlemagne
    5. Black Friday
    6. Rikki Don't Lose That Number
    7. Dirty Work
    8. Doctor Wu
    9. Babylon Sisters
    10. Show Biz Kids

    But some of it, songs like Peg, Josie, Hey Nineteen, I find just a bit boring & hard to relate to what they are singing about. It's all a bit too clever & self-consciously hip.

    I thought their best known song was Rikki Don't Lose That Number, or at least Reelin' In The Years, not Hey Nineteen.

  5. #5
    Stuck on the Border Jonny Come Lately's Avatar
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    Default Re: Steely Dan

    I remember my parents playing Steely Dan's music a bit when I was a kid - they have the 'Then And Now' compilation album which was released in the early 1990s I think. I'm not sure why but it's not something that really passed on to me in the way that say my Dad's love of Dire Straits did. In fairness, it is a long time since I've heard most of the songs from the album and perhaps I was to young to 'get it' then.

    My favourite songs were always Reeling In The Years and Dirty Work. I can recall one car journey across eastern Cheshire and Derbyshire when I was about 8 or 9 where they played the album and I distinctly remember hearing the latter song for the first time and really liking the chorus. The only other one I remember clearly was Rikki Don't Lose That Number, but I was never as keen on that one.

  6. #6
    Stuck on the Border NightMistBlue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Steely Dan

    I've always enjoyed their music, in a casual way, but my appreciation increased very much when I saw them play live this past June. They were excellent. The whole damn show was a highlight, especially "Babylon Sisters" and "Kid Charlemagne." Now I'm even checking out their early demos - fascinating stuff.

    My perennial favorite song is "Rikki, Don't Lose That Number"; I feel bad mentioning that one b/c it's so obvious but I can't help it, it's just superb, especially the guitar solo and the piano figure they borrowed from Horace Silver. Also digging "The Fez" and "Any Major Dude Will Tell You."

  7. #7
    Stuck on the Border Annoying Twit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Steely Dan

    Steely Dan for me are one of the bands where I bought their greatest hits, and then didn't really search further. So, some of their songs I know very well, but I don't know the original albums that well.

    "My Old School" is one of my faves.

  8. #8
    Stuck on the Border NightMistBlue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Steely Dan

    When asked about some of his favorite guitar solos (that he didn't play), Jimmy Page has cited the Dan's "Reelin' in the Years." I don't know whether Page is serious or not, but he's mentioned it more than once so he probably is sincere.

    It's a fabulous song, both musically and lyrically (still evoking wry smiles after 40+ years - not bad), and the guitars are great, but the solo is kind of basic, no? Simple.

  9. #9
    Stuck on the Border Annoying Twit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Steely Dan

    I've just played Reelin' in the Years again to refresh my memory. I wouldn't call it the be-all and end-all of solos, but I think it's a good solo and I don't think it's too surprising if Jimmy Page quotes it as a favourite.

    I was going to play an extended Steely Dan best-of that included songs that I don't know well. However, I've just noted that SD released a new album this year; I'm going to listen to that instead. EDIT: I've just realised that this album "Android Warehouse" is a repackaging of pre-Steely Dan recordings by Becker and Fagen. I feel deceived

  10. #10
    Border Desperado MortSahlFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Steely Dan

    I love Steely Dan a little more than the Eagles. I saw him 4 times in 3 states, but I also had a band in 2009 that played at least 20 Steely Dan songs (and about 12 others)..

    I love their 70's stuff. After that, I'd recommend "The Lost Gaucho Tapes" - "Kind Spirit", "The Bear" are great songs, as well as many others. My favorite released song is "Don't Take Me Alive"

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