Steely Dan C or D?

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I used to hate the Dan. Now i'm about to name a dog Deacon Blues. How does everyone feel about the superwhite sounds?

roger adultery (roger adultery), Sunday, 9 March 2003 06:49 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"Do It Again" justifies the existence of sitar usage in pop. "Josie" is all brass and red velvet and shiny and dark and magnificent. "Kid Charlemagne" is bitter enough to be used in a passover plate in place of parsley. PRINCE PAUL SAMPLED THEM. Classic as a mother.

Nate Patrin (Nate Patrin), Sunday, 9 March 2003 06:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Wow, I got some scary "p" alliteration going there.

Nate Patrin (Nate Patrin), Sunday, 9 March 2003 06:54 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

One of the greatest American "groups" of the 70s IMO. Versatile, groovy, intelligent, melodic AND rhythmic (sorry), droolworthy drum tracks, cool voice, sinister, funny -- all around classic. (And calling them "superwhite" is unfair, too!)

Clarke B., Sunday, 9 March 2003 07:28 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

not unfair - true. I love Steely Dan, but come on - whiter music you'd be hard pressed to find. Makes Pure Praire League sound like Shuggie Otis.

roger adultery (roger adultery), Sunday, 9 March 2003 07:30 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Roger please use the search function on the bottom of each page. We've had several Steely Dan threads which you can feel free to revive.

Amateurist (amateurist), Sunday, 9 March 2003 07:36 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Rog, look at their rotating cast of session musicians -- quite a few of them were black, if I'm not mistaken. Also, their music has obvious ties to black American forms -- they're pretty damn far from Rock, actually, especially the _Royal Scam_/_Aja_ stuff.

Clarke B., Sunday, 9 March 2003 07:37 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

yes - but kinda sanitized, dontcha think? I mean, maybe it's me - it took me a while, as a devout Derek Bailey kinda fella, to appreciate the explicit detail of the Dan. There is something kinda nerdy about it all....no?

roger adultery (roger adultery), Sunday, 9 March 2003 07:41 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Joe Sample, Bernard Purdie, Wayne Shorter, Chuck Rainey, Hiram Bullock, Ralph MacDonald, Valerie Simpson, and a bunch of other non-white people to thread!

Andy K (Andy K), Sunday, 9 March 2003 07:42 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

They're only sanitized sounding if you neglect the fact that they are very much a pop group. Calling them jazz-rock is in some respect accurate, but it also explicitly ties their sound to two traditions that place quite a bit of value on realness, grittiness, authenticity, purity, wildness, etc. -- none of which remotely apply to the Dan.

Clarke B., Sunday, 9 March 2003 07:54 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I love the fact that someone gets really into Derek Bailey, and then "discovers" Steely Dan. Good god what is this world coming to.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Sunday, 9 March 2003 09:40 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Classic, definitely.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Sunday, 9 March 2003 11:38 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

used to have to hear "dirty work" from the 1st album on rotating muzak/formula radio when i worked in der kfc chicken and hated it forever until it would be the first song i hummed evry morning so i bought some dan and ended up loving pretzel logic, but that "dirty work song still confounds me as to why its the only f**cking song thats been in constant rotation on my headradio since 85'and i;ve never listened to it since the chicken n biscuit days..

thomas de'aguirre (biteylove), Sunday, 9 March 2003 13:13 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

again, use the search function, reactivate the older threads -- why do i have to repeat that there have been several threads on this already, and why haven't they been reactivated after Amateurist's post ? why do people continue to post to this thread instead ?

george gosset (gegoss), Sunday, 9 March 2003 13:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

There is something kinda nerdy about it all....no?

so "nerdy" = "white"?

gabbneb (gabbneb), Sunday, 9 March 2003 15:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

There is a pretty big semantic crossover, yeah.

N. (nickdastoor), Sunday, 9 March 2003 15:16 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

(I'm not saying there should be, I'm just saying there is)

N. (nickdastoor), Sunday, 9 March 2003 15:19 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

mr diamond - i never said I discovered Steely Dan after Derek Bailey. Discovered the Dan years and years earlier when my dad would play Pretzel Logic incessantly. I just discovered that I *liked* the Dan way after. Like, last year.

And having black musicians does not automatically make something funky. Witness Allman Brothers, Hootie, etc

A thousand apologies for mentioning "Allman" and "Hootie" in the same sentence. I'll burn in hell for that one.

And i'm all for reprising the old thread, just wanted to respond specifically to some of these posts first.

roger adultery (roger adultery), Sunday, 9 March 2003 15:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"why do i have to repeat that there have been several threads on this already, and why haven't they been reactivated after Amateurist's post ? "

I don't see that you really had to repeat it, once was fine, he clearly just doesn't feel like it, who's it hurting to have another thread?

matt riedl (veal), Sunday, 9 March 2003 16:10 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

There are bits of Steely Dan that I find difficult to stomach - I think it's when they actually do go too clearly (and too respectfully) into jazz models and get the chops down a little too keyrect (eg Aja) that they fuck up. My favourite album by them is always gonna be 'Countdown To Ecstacy', not just for Showbiz Kids and My Old School and Razor Boy but because a) King Of The World is so WRONG (that Love-chorus and that monstro-delay verse) it's as incredible a fade-out to an album as 'For Your Pleasure' or 'Rip Off' and because the sleevenotes to the '98 reissue are totally inspirational to any band starting out - far from seeing live experience as vital to any band, Fagen and Becker (who should know) call it 'public humiliation' and are totally snottily aloof about how gigs were just 'shame and terror' only relieved by games of 'Percodan Scrabble'.
Love 'em.

Neil Kulkarni, Sunday, 9 March 2003 16:17 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Now you're gonna show me everything you did. Baby.

dave q, Sunday, 9 March 2003 16:30 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

What's wrong with "white" music? Steely Dan are classic as fuck! YOU NEED TO READ THE LYRICS!! Don't you KNOW that "Everyone's Gone to the Movies" is about a guy that likes to show porno movies to little boys? And "Pretzel Logic" is about Hitler? And "Dr. Wu" is about Vietnam soldiers' use of heroin? Deep stuff!

Evan (Evan), Sunday, 9 March 2003 17:02 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Yes the best thing about them is that most of their fans are 40 something consevative christians that have no idea what the songs are about let alone where they got their name.

brg30 (brg30), Sunday, 9 March 2003 20:30 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Oh I don't know about that.

Rockist Scientist, Sunday, 9 March 2003 20:42 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

yes - but kinda sanitized, dontcha think?

Very sanitized, and deliberately so. They would run the songs into the ground, doing take after take after take, in order to get each note precisely where they wanted it. Becker and Fagen were fanatical perfectionists, and when you strive for that much perfection, and do that many takes, the sound gets washed out. The spontainaiety gets left by the wayside. But that's the way they wanted it... they never had any aspirations to make "rock and roll." Quite the opposite.

That said, I do love this band.

Kenan Hebert (kenan), Sunday, 9 March 2003 20:56 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

One of my two or three favorite bands ever. The comeback album not only wasn't embarassing, but is almost as good as the GREAT GREAT UNSPEAKABLY GREAT album they'd gone out with, Gaucho. Completely awesome.

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Sunday, 9 March 2003 21:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I listened to Aja and Katy Lied today. I tried to write about both these records a few years ago, but I couldn't do 'em justice, and one of these days I really want to sit down at the computer and reach inside myself and conquer what it is I love about these two albums (and The Royal Scam too).

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Sunday, 9 March 2003 21:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

four years pass...
they're finally coming out to australia this year. has anyone seen them live in recent years? comments on whether it'll be worth the hundred and fifty bucks to see them would be appreciated.

nonightsweats, Sunday, 15 April 2007 00:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Steely Dan = Smooth Jazz that it's okay to like. But not really that much better musically IMHO.

res, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:23 (ten years ago) Permalink

couldn't possibly be RONGer

HI DERE, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:24 (ten years ago) Permalink

steely dan were so cool they actually didn't know who larry carlton or joe sample even were when they worked with them

PappaWheelie V, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:29 (ten years ago) Permalink

so ignorance = cool?

res, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:30 (ten years ago) Permalink

Uh-oh, I think res might accidentally cause some controversy!

Party Sausage, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:31 (ten years ago) Permalink

They're still deathly dull.

Alex in NYC, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:33 (ten years ago) Permalink

This board certainly needs a few forthright opinions like that :)

Party Sausage, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:35 (ten years ago) Permalink

Plenty more where it came from

Alex in NYC, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

NOW you tell us

omar little, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:38 (ten years ago) Permalink

Steely Dan is like the audio equivalent of some mullet haired 70's cokehead who wears giant brown sunglasses indoors, and tries to clumsily seduce blonde bimbos in his hot tub while bragging about his interest in 'photography.'

Truly, Steely Dan's addition to the cool canon is mystifying.

This board certainly needs a few forthright opinions like that :)

Tell me about it! This board has gotten so sissified and sterilized that posters who say what they think call the authorities to come beat them down. As a longtime lurker, I've noticed over the past few years that people who make straightforward, if perhaps a bit blunt, opinions-- despite contributing extensively to the level of discourse here-- usually end up getting banned because some easily offended posters can't handle criticisms being leveled on their favorite crap-rock bands, and then complain to management that there's a "troll." But, of course, this is only when the stated opinions are unpopular; you can criticize Dave Matthews as much as you want, apparently, and with impunity.

res, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:54 (ten years ago) Permalink

At the end of the day, these are just opinions about music, after all. This isn't life or death.

Alex in NYC, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

that's because Dave Matthews suckatility has been scientifically proven

x-post

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

anotehr in a series of a+ threads

PappaWheelie V, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

This board has gotten so sissified and sterilized that posters who say what they think call the authorities to come beat them down.

I don't think you actually meant to say this...?

HI DERE, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:57 (ten years ago) Permalink

Yeah, the "down" seems wrong somehow

Noodle Vague, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:58 (ten years ago) Permalink

who can I call to come beat them off?

PappaWheelie V, Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:59 (ten years ago) Permalink

Steely Dan is like the audio equivalent of some mullet haired 70's cokehead who wears giant brown sunglasses indoors, and tries to clumsily seduce blonde bimbos in his hot tub while bragging about his interest in 'photography.'

I don't think Fagen or Becker would disagree with you actually - and you have basically just summarized "Everyone's Gone to the Movies" (except you left out the underaged bit). a lot of people don't seem to grasp that Steely Dan were satirists (see Fagen's comparing them to the Fugs, or discussing the idea behind the sound/arrangement of "Hey Nineteen", etc.)

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 26 June 2008 21:03 (ten years ago) Permalink

Typo. I meant that when posters speak their minds, other posters have them beat down by the management. Uh, definitely not beat off.

res, Thursday, 26 June 2008 21:03 (ten years ago) Permalink

omg

aw respaws

dell, Thursday, 26 June 2008 21:32 (ten years ago) Permalink

has everybody seen the Aja Classic Albums thing 'cause the drummer discussing the "Peg" beat, and the bassist discussing how he had to hide his hands so they wouldn't know he was actually slapping, is fucking classic

as is this band

J0hn D., Thursday, 26 June 2008 21:35 (ten years ago) Permalink

but, yeah, Shakey otm. They were dudes from nyc who ended up finding themselves contemptuous of seventies' l.a. culture. In short, res, you are really taking a lazy read of them...or maybe trolling like a demon

dell, Thursday, 26 June 2008 21:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

yeah, that vid is classssssique

i just like hearing donald fagen rap...and then later castigating his vocals for sounding like jerry lewis or whatever on the record

dell, Thursday, 26 June 2008 21:37 (ten years ago) Permalink

treeship if you're looking for next dan step, consider aja

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 18 September 2017 22:06 (one year ago) Permalink

Try Can't Buy a Thrill next, save Gaucho for last.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Tuesday, 19 September 2017 12:36 (one year ago) Permalink

(because it's the weakest of their original run)

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Tuesday, 19 September 2017 12:37 (one year ago) Permalink

Seeing as Gaucho was the first SD album I heard and it made fall in love with the band immediately, I don't think you need to worry about listening to it too much

niels, Tuesday, 19 September 2017 13:56 (one year ago) Permalink

treeship will love gaucho or I will eat my spats

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 19 September 2017 15:37 (one year ago) Permalink

Treeship, I wish I could hear these records for the first time again. Hope you dig them!!!

Pretzel Logic is a really good one to start with, right in the middle of their career & a nice dividing line between the earlier rock-oriented records and later studio muso records.

imo Aja would be the one to check out next. and then Gaucho if you dig the smooth sound... Gaucho is antiseptic, in the best way!

flappy bird, Tuesday, 19 September 2017 18:21 (one year ago) Permalink

I started w/Pretzel Logic, bc according to what i was reading around the time (conventional wisdom + the RS 1992 album guide) it was their best album.

moved onto Countdown to Ecstasy from there and i think the Royal Scam was next.

the albums i came to a bit later were Can't Buy a Thrill and Katy Lied, for whatever reason. CBAT still seems like the least Dan of the Dan LPs, i mean it's a genuinely classic one, a ridiculously played and confident '70s rock album, but it's not fully instilled with the Fagen/Becker essence. Katy Lied, for some reason that one took a bit to grow on me.

i would go Countdown to Ecstasy next. Brilliant jams, some incredible singles, kind of the perfect combo of all the SD elements in one package.

nomar, Tuesday, 19 September 2017 18:26 (one year ago) Permalink

Countdown to Ecstasy and Gaucho are my favorites and they represent the opposite SD streams fully realized.

gospodin simmel, Tuesday, 19 September 2017 18:33 (one year ago) Permalink

Pretzel Logic is an amazing entry point into The Dan because of the strangeness and stylistic diversity. In terms of next steps, here's a handy guide

If you liked the title track, Parker's Band or Barrytown the most, listen to Countdown to Ecstasy
If you liked Rikki the most, listen to Aja
If you liked the creepy character studies (Monkey, Buzz, Charlie Freak) best, move onto Katy Lied
If you loved "Night By Night," check out The Royal Scam
if you preferred "Any Major Dude" or "With a Gun," check out Can't Buy a Thrill

And if you liked East St. Louis Toodle-Oo the most...congrats, you're a weirdo. Check out Gaucho

rock and roll tucci coo (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 19 September 2017 18:34 (one year ago) Permalink

I started with Katy Lied because duh minutemen

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 19 September 2017 18:40 (one year ago) Permalink

Xp Eastside Toodle-oo maybe secretly my favourite Steely Dan track but don't tell

Shat Parp (dog latin), Tuesday, 19 September 2017 22:01 (one year ago) Permalink

so favorite you can't even remember what it's called?

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 19 September 2017 22:02 (one year ago) Permalink

I mean no offense to East St. Louis Toodle-lovers, but picking the band's only ever instrumental and only ever cover as your favorite track is an unorthodox choice

rock and roll tucci coo (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 19 September 2017 22:08 (one year ago) Permalink

Gaucho is probably my favorite these days.

Bee OK, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 00:09 (one year ago) Permalink

Countdown to Ecstasy and Gaucho are my favorites and they represent the opposite SD streams fully realized.

― gospodin simmel, Tuesday, September 19, 2017 2:33 PM (six hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

SO correct

J. Sam, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 01:10 (one year ago) Permalink

listen to any album in any order it's all good

Shart Dressed Man (kurt schwitterz), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 02:36 (one year ago) Permalink

otm

flappy bird, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 03:53 (one year ago) Permalink

people OTM - Pretzel is really the best entry point

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 08:09 (one year ago) Permalink

Countdown to Ecstasy and Gaucho are my favorites and they represent the opposite SD streams fully realized.

― gospodin simmel, Tuesday, 19 September 2017 18:33 (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Gavin, Leeds, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 10:16 (one year ago) Permalink

Can't Buy a Thrill is easily as good an entry point as Pretzel Logic is, IMO.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 16:01 (one year ago) Permalink

CBAT is a great album, but a total outlier. It's a good introduction but it's not really a roadmap

rock and roll tucci coo (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 16:19 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah like "Brooklyn Holds the Charmer" is a wonderful song but kind of a fake-out for other 'sentimental' SD songs

flappy bird, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 16:48 (one year ago) Permalink

Y'see, aside from the presence of David Palmer I don't really get that way of thinking at all. It sounds as much a Steely Dan record as any other Steely Dan record - I don't think it could be mistaken for anything else!

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 16:52 (one year ago) Permalink

tom

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 16:52 (one year ago) Permalink

er, otm

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 16:53 (one year ago) Permalink

I mean yeah it's basically Palmer. thinking of other overtly musically sentimental SD songs that are similar... Any World, Dirty Work, Deacon Blues obv...

flappy bird, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 16:57 (one year ago) Permalink

Palmer only sings lead on two songs, and you can hear why - as Christgau noted, he "fit in like a cheerleader at a crap game." Even on those tracks - and the one Jim Hodder sings - you can hear the way Donald would have sung them. And I wouldn't call Dirty Work or Brooklyn "sentimental."

Futuristic Bow Wow (thewufs), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 17:10 (one year ago) Permalink

Oh I guess you qualified that as "musically sentimental," though I'm not really sure what that means.

Futuristic Bow Wow (thewufs), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 17:12 (one year ago) Permalink

there's a nostalgic quality to the choruses of those songs especially

flappy bird, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 17:14 (one year ago) Permalink

Katy Lied is the best imo

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 17:17 (one year ago) Permalink

Brooklyn Owes the Charmer is p sentimental - it's about how sweet his cranky old school NY neighbors are!

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 17:23 (one year ago) Permalink

re: Hodder singing lead - wtf I never even knew this "Dallas" single existed

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 17:25 (one year ago) Permalink

Palmer only sings lead on two songs, and you can hear why

Yeah. I mean could you imagine him on 'Showbiz Kids' or 'Everyone's Gone to the Movies'!?

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 17:39 (one year ago) Permalink

I should probably reread the lyrics before arguing these points in the future. SD's lyrics are so much fun to read, too.

xxp

Futuristic Bow Wow (thewufs), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 18:00 (one year ago) Permalink

I've spun Dallas a few times, catchy tune

calstars, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 20:37 (one year ago) Permalink

Like a Sunday in T.J.
That it's cheap but it's not free
That I'm not what I used to be
And that love's not a game for three

xpost

Bee OK, Thursday, 21 September 2017 02:36 (one year ago) Permalink

Palmer singing lead adds to the creepiness!

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 21 September 2017 02:37 (one year ago) Permalink

with Fagen there's never any question that he's in on the joke

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 21 September 2017 02:37 (one year ago) Permalink

That "It's cheap but it's not free" is just such a fucking brilliant line.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Friday, 22 September 2017 16:37 (one year ago) Permalink

Collective ILX lost weekends in Tijuana bear this out as undeniable truth.

Moodles, Friday, 22 September 2017 16:55 (one year ago) Permalink

That bit on the Aja documentary during the 'Black Cow' segment where Fagen suddenly starts rapping "uptown baby, uptown baby" cracks me up every time.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Saturday, 23 September 2017 09:34 (one year ago) Permalink

Also that yes, it's absolutely great.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Monday, 25 September 2017 21:18 (one year ago) Permalink

he seems to do that regularly, he did it in that clip of them driving around Vegas in a cab too

Οὖτις, Monday, 25 September 2017 23:19 (one year ago) Permalink

Babylon Sisters strikes me as sentimental and cynical but I attribute that more to the protagonist than SD.

Uhura Mazda (lukas), Tuesday, 26 September 2017 03:39 (one year ago) Permalink

"If john go and writes another book, why must I trudge through it? Let George do it."

calstars, Friday, 29 September 2017 03:35 (one year ago) Permalink

With words that just won't quit!

calstars, Friday, 29 September 2017 03:36 (one year ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

DUD!

"Easy" by Jesse Green, from the expanded edition of Nice and Slow sounds a lot like the Dan, but i like it much better than anything Fagen and Becker put out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjp3cpC_woQ

bodacious ignoramus, Tuesday, 17 October 2017 19:53 (one year ago) Permalink

Seeing them in a few weeks. Looked at setlists, saw they’re doing some Walter solo songs. Excited for the show, but I know it’s going to be sad. Saw them at the same venue 3 years ago.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 17 October 2017 20:56 (one year ago) Permalink

Damn... I had tickets so see him at a jazz festival a few weeks ago and he cancelled it citing fatigue. Granted it was halfway across the world but still. Is this current "Steely Dan" band the same as "The Nightfliers"?

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 17 October 2017 21:38 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

running the world's best unofficial steely dan lyrics twitter account
@steelydanlyrics

i get some real interesting ats and replies

wkiw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FpOETPa458&app=desktop

The Poppy Bush AutoZone (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 3 December 2018 21:15 (one week ago) Permalink


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