Steely Dan: "Steely Dan's name has been popping up as a hip musical crush. Remember, this glossy bop-pop was the indifferent aristocracy to punk rock's stone-throwing in the late 70's. People fought

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There just aren't enough Steely Dan threads on here.

this quote was re: Two Against Nature. I'm sure the source of this is obvious. So is it the truth, or is it a baffling misrepresentation of a great band/duo of maniacs?

Gear! (Gear!), Friday, 13 February 2004 01:55 (eighteen years ago) link

Most ridiculous thing I've ever read on ILM, including the profession of love for The Rapture, Al Sharpton, and prostate tickling.

roger adultery (roger adultery), Friday, 13 February 2004 01:57 (eighteen years ago) link

It's a quote from pfork, btw.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Friday, 13 February 2004 01:58 (eighteen years ago) link

Figures.

Dan I., Friday, 13 February 2004 01:59 (eighteen years ago) link

Sorry but Steely Dan >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> the vast majority of so-called punk rock music.

o. nate (onate), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:00 (eighteen years ago) link

yep

roger adultery (roger adultery), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:01 (eighteen years ago) link

Steely Dan may be incredibly boring and overrated, but I'd still have to say that that quote is completely ridiculous. "Fought and died"? You mean played guitar and OD'd on heroin like morons? OH OKEY!

David Allen (David Allen), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:02 (eighteen years ago) link

It's all wrong, anyway. They were a bunch of scathing smart-asses whose "glossy bop-pop" got much sample-love later and deservedly so.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:03 (eighteen years ago) link

I dunno..."Cylctron" vs. "Do It Again"...that's a toughie, yessiree bob.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:03 (eighteen years ago) link

yeah...

Walter Becker >>>>> Johnny Thunders
AJA >>>>> Never Mind the Bollocks
"Hey Nineteen" >>>>>> "London Calling"

roger adultery (roger adultery), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:04 (eighteen years ago) link

'Steely Dan may be incredibly boring and overrated, but I'd still have to say that that quote is completely ridiculous. "Fought and died"? You mean played guitar and OD'd on heroin like morons? OH OKEY!'

You're incredibly boring and overrated

pete s, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:05 (eighteen years ago) link

Possibly not overrated

pete s, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:06 (eighteen years ago) link

Well lead me to the non-boring Steely Dan, I may have heard the wrong stuff. Show me the light.

David Allen (David Allen), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:07 (eighteen years ago) link

"Deacon Blues!"

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:09 (eighteen years ago) link

non-boring: all of it

strongo hulkington (dubplatestyle), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:11 (eighteen years ago) link

Can't Buy a Thrill
Gaucho

These bookends to their - original - career are funpacked, not as knowing as what comes in between. Though some may disagree violently.

pete s, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:12 (eighteen years ago) link

Also download 'Josie'(from Aja). Tell me this isn't the coolest, streetest, dirtiest, sweetest thing ever.

pete s, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:14 (eighteen years ago) link

aor at its most unimaginative...

Orbit (Orbit), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:17 (eighteen years ago) link

zzzzzzzzzz

strongo hulkington (dubplatestyle), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:20 (eighteen years ago) link

where the fuck is d4rn1elle when we need him?

jody (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:25 (eighteen years ago) link

They could play.. Then, so what, so could the entire Californian studio mafia too. More importantly, Steely Dan wrote classy songs, and they are one of still very few examples of a band breaking up, reuniting several years later and still being able to make great albums.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:26 (eighteen years ago) link

punk wasn't necessarily about making consumer artifacts though. its like comparing the results of an evening out (vomit, scars, vague memories) with the results of staying in and doing a bit of knitting.

mullygrubber (gaz), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:28 (eighteen years ago) link

The pfork quote is obv. outdated ignorant crap. Really John Darnielle could explain why best. It betrays a hatred of the musical forms which the Dan use/are influenced by, the fact most happen to be black in origin is irrelevant, the fact that that they swing isn't. John Lydon was a fan of ABBA and Van Der Graaf Generator.
He didn't die; Sid Vicious did.

pete s, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:28 (eighteen years ago) link

aw don't knock prostate tickling :(

g--ff (gcannon), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:30 (eighteen years ago) link

i saw them right when they first went back out on tour and they just sounded amazing. just one great song after another.

scott seward (scott seward), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:31 (eighteen years ago) link

look, they were studio dudes. there is a *reason* they were studio dudes. they lacked the imagination and spark to do anything truly great. they are an energyless study in basic competence.

Orbit (Orbit), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:32 (eighteen years ago) link

Well put by Geir.

Great band. Once again, a Pitchdork writer postures but doesn't offer anything in the way of interesting musical insight. But hey maybe one of these days we'll get a "reassessment" of them too.

I saw 'em on the reunion tour as well! I drove three hours to see them in Indianapolis, in fact, because I couldn't get tickets for CHicago. Good show overall, although I will admit to being a bit disappointed at the time, probably just cuz I had built it up so much in my mind.

Broheems (diamond), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:33 (eighteen years ago) link

they are an energyless study in basic competence.

If you want to insult them, fine, but accusing them of mere "basic competence" is a tad silly.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:39 (eighteen years ago) link

'look, they were studio dudes. there is a *reason* they were studio dudes. they lacked the imagination and spark to do anything truly great.'

Where have your favourite bands made their greatest albums? In their kitchens? On a beach in Spain?

pete s, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:42 (eighteen years ago) link

not really. what is the difference between a musician and brilliant musician? a musician is "competent". a brilliant musician has a command of songwriting and a creative spark thatgoes beyond competence. LISTEN to Steely Dan for God's sake, how can you argue this?

Orbit (Orbit), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:43 (eighteen years ago) link

uh, great tunes, witty lyrics?

mullygrubber (gaz), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:44 (eighteen years ago) link

where?

Orbit (Orbit), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:44 (eighteen years ago) link

XTC, Prefab Sprout, Scritti Politti and Todd Rundgren are studio acts too. And they are all great. Just like Steely Dan.

Not to mention The Beatles from "Revolver" onwards.....

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:45 (eighteen years ago) link

"Steely Dan's fifth album, The Royal Scam, was released on both sides of the Atlantic in May 1976. It was a nine-song collection which, despite Gary Katz's criticism of ABC Studios, had again been recorded there with additional sessions at A & R Studios in New York.

"By now, Becker and Fagen's pool of musicians had expanded into a veritable orchestra of session players. They thought nothing of flying a guitar player or a drummer -- or indeed both -- across the country to play little more than a few bars of one song which might not even make it onto disc. Expense didn't enter into it; their foremost consideration was to find the right stylistic match and to create as perfect a rendition of each composition as was humanly possible. Within a few years they would take their obsessiveness even further, using the latest technology to create absolute millisecond-perfect drum tracks, using either a drum machine, a computer, a live drummer, or a combination of all three.

"At the sessions for The Royal Scam, Fagen and Becker began to record each tune with six or seven different rhythm sections, switching the players around to try almost every configuration possible. They would record all the songs with Rick Marotta and then record them all over again with Bernard Purdie to see what each drummer could bring to the tunes.

"Bass players, guitar players, and keyboard players would flit in and out of a variety of studios so often they never knew what was going on. Different combinations of musicians were playing all the songs on successive nights and no one knew in advance -- including sometimes Becker and Fagen -- who (if anyone) would end up on the final track. On some frustrating occasions, after countless unsuccessful takes, a song would be dropped because Becker and Fagen decided that none of the multitude of efforts had come close to their vision of the song. Often Becker and Fagen's microscopic fastidiousness bewildered the session players, who thought every facet of the track sounded fine but which for some reason Becker and Fagen refused to accept. And no amount of talking could persuade them otherwise.

"Fagen and Becker took their controlled experimentation further with each album; it would reach its limit on Gaucho when it became increasingly unlikely that they would ever be satisfied with virtually any basic track. During Gaucho they employed an astonishing forty musicians and singers and worked on one song for so long and listened back to it so many times that they actually wore the oxide off the tape."

-from Steely Dan: Reelin' in the Years, by Brian Sweet, Omnibus Press 1994

jody (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:46 (eighteen years ago) link

best driving music this side of AC/DC

roger adultery (roger adultery), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:46 (eighteen years ago) link

(that's not a response to anyone, that's just a passage i really like)

(xpost)

jody (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:47 (eighteen years ago) link

I think Bernard Purdie is Pretty brilliant.

Broheems (diamond), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:47 (eighteen years ago) link

Steely Dan fans are inexplicable to me. This is a mediocre band at best.

Orbit (Orbit), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:48 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't have the energy to try to persuade anyone, but I think they made some great music, and their songwriting actually stands out as a strength.

Feel free not to like them.

Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:49 (eighteen years ago) link

i do, i do!

Orbit (Orbit), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:50 (eighteen years ago) link

I always recall JBR's story about hearing some random Charlie Parker cd and realizing that a couple bars in the middle of one of his solos were transcribed to form that cool little coda at the end of "Parker's Band". I think that is brilliant. I always meant to try to hear the Parker cut.

Broheems (diamond), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:54 (eighteen years ago) link

Steely dan's music, with it's incredible sonic palette, sly hooks and phat beats is almost tailor made for the Timberland/Neptunes era. They've won and they'll continue to win.

pete s, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:55 (eighteen years ago) link

Broheems: The Parker cut is called "Bongo Beep" and is easily slskable.

jody (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 13 February 2004 02:59 (eighteen years ago) link

the burden of proof is on you, Orbit dude. You ain't doing too good so far.

dan roolz, Friday, 13 February 2004 02:59 (eighteen years ago) link

Cool! I will seek it out.

Broheems (diamond), Friday, 13 February 2004 03:02 (eighteen years ago) link

LISTEN to Steely Dan for God's sake, how can you argue this?

LEAVE GOD OUT OF THIS.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Friday, 13 February 2004 03:04 (eighteen years ago) link

SD are massively brilliant, lyrically and musically, and I think they're actually a lot more diverse than people give them credit for. It's rock/pop music as subversive satire or really wry melancholy.

This is the first time I'm squarely in Geir's corner! :o

Gear! (Gear!), Friday, 13 February 2004 03:04 (eighteen years ago) link

the opening quote is ridiculous, of course. but i wonder aloud to the people "who were there" (mistahs sinkah, kogan, and currie?) -- was steely dan one of the enemies of the punkers? i would think that they'd just have ignored them instead of actively sneering or abusing them.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Friday, 13 February 2004 03:09 (eighteen years ago) link

I loved them when I saw them on tour last year. "Everything Must Go" features so many lyrics that catch my ear or crack me up, and I'm not much of a lyrics person. It's such a great concept album, like midlife crisis as metaphor for the end of the world. Or maybe the other way around.

Oddly enough, the only other Dan album I listen to regularly is "The Royal Scam," which I feel has always gotten short shrift. I once heard a DJ mix in "The Fez," and the crowd went nuts. The interview I once did with Becker/Fagen was a hoot, too.

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Friday, 13 February 2004 03:12 (eighteen years ago) link

that early 70's band rocked live. or at least on the stuff i've heard. i would have loved to see that.

scott seward (scott seward), Friday, 13 February 2004 03:13 (eighteen years ago) link

I was listening to Wishbone Ash today, and I realized how much "Reelin in the Years" rips off "Blowin' Free", which was a bit hit a few months earlier.

o. nate, Tuesday, 5 April 2022 21:12 (four months ago) link

*big hit

o. nate, Tuesday, 5 April 2022 21:13 (four months ago) link

The shuffle ? The vocal harmonies?

calstars, Tuesday, 5 April 2022 21:28 (four months ago) link

The dueling lead guitars? I kind of see some resemblance, but not enough to cry foul.

nickn, Tuesday, 5 April 2022 21:33 (four months ago) link

In other (I Got The) news...

Definitely…unquestionably weed https://t.co/rO1R6h1LRu

— David Crosby (@thedavidcrosby) April 5, 2022

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 5 April 2022 21:34 (four months ago) link

Just found out there's a SD cover band called The Fine Colombians.

https://www.facebook.com/TheFineColombians/videos/2229771193705148/

nickn, Tuesday, 5 April 2022 21:39 (four months ago) link

If anyone would know, it would be DC

calstars, Tuesday, 5 April 2022 22:10 (four months ago) link

But wasn’t it recorded during the height of becker’s coke use? So maybe

calstars, Tuesday, 5 April 2022 22:51 (four months ago) link

I always understood it to be weed.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 5 April 2022 22:53 (four months ago) link

From the mouth of Becker himself, this pretty much settles it for me as weed (and my millennial ass was team coke before)

I submit that "fine Colombian" refers in this instance to marijuana, as evidenced by Mr Becker's gloss on this subject at https://t.co/m8n5ctby5p during his recitative over the band's vamp starting at 2:50.

— Howard A. Rodman (@howardrodman) April 5, 2022

J. Sam, Tuesday, 5 April 2022 23:38 (four months ago) link

Team Coke = Team Ralph excels at sleeping.

reassessing life after bookmarking a Will Smith thread (PBKR), Wednesday, 6 April 2022 00:22 (four months ago) link

I mean, c'mon.

reassessing life after bookmarking a Will Smith thread (PBKR), Wednesday, 6 April 2022 00:23 (four months ago) link

I *want* it to be coke, but I know it's weed.

brisk money (lukas), Wednesday, 6 April 2022 00:33 (four months ago) link

always assumed coke

flopson, Wednesday, 6 April 2022 00:36 (four months ago) link

Tempted to post a video of a friend of mine kicking it in a Dan cover band but maybe this is not the thread for that.

Came Here to Roll the Microscope (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 6 April 2022 02:06 (four months ago) link

The shuffle ? The vocal harmonies?

The dueling lead guitars? I kind of see some resemblance, but not enough to cry foul.

Yes, all the above. Given that "Reelin" was recorded a few months after Argus came out, and the similarities, I would be very skeptical that they hadn't heard it. I'm not saying they owe them royalties or anything.

o. nate, Wednesday, 6 April 2022 02:29 (four months ago) link

Argus only went to #169 on the Billboard Charts, and knowing Fagen and Becker's tastes, I highly doubt it was on their radar. Maybe Jeff Baxter heard it.

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 6 April 2022 15:59 (four months ago) link

never heard "Blowin' Free" before. it's lovely!

with effort, i can definitely hear the connection. kinda feel like we need someone who was "there" in '72 --- was this getting AOR play? It seems like it was a much bigger deal in the UK, peaking at #3 on the albums chart and winning Sound magazine's readers' poll for album of the year. Would that have pushed up the likelihood of the Dan hearing it?

Doctor Casino, Wednesday, 6 April 2022 16:27 (four months ago) link

well, one of WA's guitarists thinks so:

More specifically, Powell believes that the stirring outro to Blowin’ Free was a direct influence on two of rock music’s classic songs: “It was among the most borrowed ideas of the era; I can hear [the twin-guitar finale] in Steely Dan’s Reelin’ In The Years, and also, of course, in The Boys Are Back In Town by Thin Lizzy – that was definitely influenced by Blowin’ Free.”

Chappies banging dustbin lids together (President Keyes), Wednesday, 6 April 2022 16:40 (four months ago) link

xp
I was there (maybe a bit after its peak) and I heard it, so it must have gotten some radio play. I bought WA's Live Dates album, which came out at the end of 1973, and I never bought things "sound unheard."

nickn, Wednesday, 6 April 2022 16:42 (four months ago) link

But you could also scrape up some Allman Bros track that did the twin lead thing too.

nickn, Wednesday, 6 April 2022 16:43 (four months ago) link

one month passes...

caught them live for the first time a few weeks ago in an outdoor amphitheatre in concord, california. incredible show. their drummer is insane. DF seems like he's having a blast

flopson, Friday, 3 June 2022 00:29 (two months ago) link

Gonna see ‘em tomorrow night at an outdoor pavilion. Gonna lay back on my blanket, smoke a jazz cigarette and reel away them years.

Cow_Art, Friday, 3 June 2022 02:15 (two months ago) link

Hate to say this, but I can definitely imagine their shows being better now that Becker is gone. Both times I saw them, he seemed inebriated in his long-winded rants and erratic playing. (Miraculously, his solos were fine at the second show, but they were awful at the first.) It was a little bit of a shock because when I saw them play live on TV years earlier, he wasn't like that at all. I didn't know he had cancer and in retrospect, I wonder if he was just inebriated as a way of dealing with it, similar to how Warren Zevon went crazy with his long-dormant vices when he found out he was terminal.

birdistheword, Friday, 3 June 2022 02:44 (two months ago) link

His long winded monologues during hey nineteen were hilarious and a very big part of the shows for me. It was so "them" and I'm sad he isn't around anymore. His guitar playing was exquisite.

kurt schwitterz, Friday, 3 June 2022 04:10 (two months ago) link

They were a part of the set btw and half scripted. He wasn't out of it man you just missed that it was a bit.

kurt schwitterz, Friday, 3 June 2022 04:11 (two months ago) link

It was kind of obvious a large chunk of what he said was scripted when he repeated a lot of stuff both times I saw them (in the span of a year and a half probably). I was referring more to his tone and demeanor, even when he introduced the show with the boilerplate “we’re going to play all your favorite hits.”

birdistheword, Friday, 3 June 2022 05:16 (two months ago) link

I saw a recent "news headline" where Steve Jones would rather listen to Steely Dan than the Sex Pistols..

Well, why not? Sure he's not going to get entertainment from listening to himself

Mark G, Friday, 3 June 2022 12:39 (two months ago) link

lol I saw a news story about how John Lydon actually likes Pink Floyd

worlds are colliding https://t.co/S7vvZza04e

— Good Steely Dan Takes (@baddantakes) June 12, 2022

Steely Your Face

Obligatory: Deadhead/Danfan Conversion Chart

J. Sam, Monday, 13 June 2022 16:14 (two months ago) link

now that's a nice cover! maybe not quite as funky as the original, but Don brings a lot of energy to the mix

Muad'Doob (Moodles), Monday, 13 June 2022 16:27 (two months ago) link

"Bad Sneakers"? xp

death generator (lukas), Monday, 13 June 2022 16:46 (two months ago) link

Saw them outside of Houston a week or so ago. They were really good, better than the last time I saw them... 5 years ago maybe?

The only let-down was the new second guitarist. They gave him the solos in My Old School and he was not up to snuff.

The main guitarist is super good and I gather he's been the bandleader for a little while. I guess they wanted to give the new guy a spotlight but he did not shine.

Cow_Art, Monday, 13 June 2022 17:03 (two months ago) link

the woman in front of me at the steely dan concert is reading the wikipedia page for steely dan pic.twitter.com/ZznmmUPsSb

— vermont postsal service (@ThePostsOffice) June 24, 2022

"They're named after A WHAT!?!?!"

We’ll adopt your baby. pic.twitter.com/n2oXMrrk3Y

— Andrew Marzoni (@andrewmarzoni) June 27, 2022

If I was a video streaming site, I would give Fagen some money to put together an all-star group including guys that played on the records playing 1-2 nights in a theatre and some well-chosen guests and film it for my site.

For what they are spending on so much crap podcast and standup stuff, they could make a ton of these type of shows. I think they would prove profitable. I think Steely Dan could do a cool video like this. Get John Mulaney to MC.

The Artist formerly known as Earlnash, Wednesday, 29 June 2022 01:50 (one month ago) link

Yeah, you would think Millennial and Zoomer Dan love could justify something like that. Although I guess those recent live albums function in a similar way.

Related:

Weatherman: “Dress for the 90s today”
me and the crew: pic.twitter.com/mGj4rgIfgk

— Good Steely Dan Takes (@baddantakes) July 3, 2022

nothing to see here, just an obscure funk 45 cover of "do it again"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xezXoOd00g

deep heat — "do it again" (1975)

this is cool:

pic.twitter.com/79zWqC6ZFs

— steely dan video (@steelyvideo) July 5, 2022

bookmarkflaglink (Darin), Tuesday, 5 July 2022 17:35 (one month ago) link

that's from an old instructional video donald did a while back, the whole thing is on youtube in pieces

in places all over the world, real stuff be happening (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 5 July 2022 17:41 (one month ago) link

whoops forgot to include pt 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0UVxZGRwC4

in places all over the world, real stuff be happening (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 5 July 2022 17:44 (one month ago) link

Very cool. Thanks!

bookmarkflaglink (Darin), Tuesday, 5 July 2022 18:36 (one month ago) link

‘I was on the high of highs, and suddenly it was over’: at the age of 71, singer-songwriter Linda Hoover is finally releasing her debut album – 50 years after she made it. She explains how Becker and Fagen lent a hand to a must-have record for Steely Dan fans.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2022/jul/07/linda-hoover-on-her-great-lost-lp-with-steely-dan-i-mean-to-shine

Portsmouth Bubblejet, Thursday, 7 July 2022 18:30 (one month ago) link

I recall either Becker or Fagen being somewhat dismissive of this record in an interview, saying something like "she had written three songs: one about her boyfriend, one about her mother and one about autumn leaves".

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 7 July 2022 18:43 (one month ago) link

LINDA HOOVER: "Big deal. The Gaucho album is a song about a girlfriend, another song about another guy fucking said girlfriend, and a buncha songs about the Coke Dealer who's fucking both of them."

DON: "Well, yeah."


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