Can anyone find interesting discussion on the internets of the mutual influences of Frank Zappa and Steely Dan? Listening, as I have today, through 3 or 4 Steely Dan albums makes me realize how similar their musical figures as well as sense of humor was to some of Zappa's work from a few years previous (namely, late 60's and early 70's). I found this Fagen interview: http://nymag.com/arts/popmusic/profiles/16453/ in which he says:
"You once said Zappa was the only model for the comedy of Steely Dan.The only comic rock and roll I remember was Frank Zappa, really. The Fugs were comic also, but their music was so primitive. I remember the Fugs used to play free in Tompkins Square Park in the sixties, and at one point they were really the kings of the Lower East Side."
But that is neither interesting nor insightful. Slightly more interesting is the Zappa comment saying something about how Steely Dan is "downer surrealism". Anyway, I'm more interested in the musical relationships; compare, let's say, Zappa's "Blessed Relief" to pretty much anything from Gaucho or Aja. Even if not identical, the textures are simliar.
― Chris Wright (DrFunktronic), Friday, 12 January 2007 21:12 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Make a Beck Song #1 (M Matos), Friday, 12 January 2007 21:17 (6 years ago) Permalink
― cutty (mcutt), Friday, 12 January 2007 21:53 (6 years ago) Permalink
― bangelo (bangelo), Friday, 12 January 2007 22:18 (6 years ago) Permalink
― M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 12 January 2007 22:20 (6 years ago) Permalink
― bangelo (bangelo), Friday, 12 January 2007 22:20 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Clothing the Gotterdammerung Doors (noodle vague), Friday, 12 January 2007 22:24 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Chris Wright (DrFunktronic), Friday, 12 January 2007 23:39 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Andi Headphones (Andi Headphones), Saturday, 13 January 2007 04:00 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Earl Nash (earlnash), Saturday, 13 January 2007 04:19 (6 years ago) Permalink
Vinnie Colaiuta plays on various Zappa albums and Two Against Nature.
― Matt Olken (Moodles), Saturday, 13 January 2007 04:47 (6 years ago) Permalink
I've been casually listening to Found Studio Tracks and I'm hearing all sorts of borrowings I've never noticed before (but particularly Zappa and Neil Young). Specifically I thought I heard Zappa in some of the vocal delivery, which may go back to humor. Maybe it's a smart-alecky stance that is the similarity.
Just for reference, I don't like Zappa much and like Neil Young quite a bit.
"Caves of Altamura" is a good example of one of the tracks that screams Neil Young to me (even ignoring the title, which sounds way more Young than Steely Dan). The chorus goes off in a different direction though and sounds more typically SD and not at all Neil to me.
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 13 April 2012 22:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
Listening to some Frank Zappa this week, it really hit me that this Zappa song "Uncle Remus" reminded me quite a bit of Steely Dan. I can hear Fagen hear it my head.
― earlnash, Wednesday, 13 June 2012 02:44 (11 months ago) Permalink
I can hear Fagen singing it in my head.