Steely Dan - The Royal Scam poll

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
Kid Charlemagne 19
The Caves of Altamira 13
Sign In Stranger 5
The Fez 5
Haitian Divorce 5
Don't Take Me Alive 2
Everything You Did 2
The Royal Scam2
Green Earrings 0


omar little, Friday, 27 June 2008 00:26 (twelve years ago) link

fez

PappaWheelie V, Friday, 27 June 2008 00:28 (twelve years ago) link

caves of altamira

iago g., Friday, 27 June 2008 00:29 (twelve years ago) link

the white man is crazy

PappaWheelie V, Friday, 27 June 2008 00:30 (twelve years ago) link

This is easily "Haitian" Divorce"

Geir Hongro, Friday, 27 June 2008 00:41 (twelve years ago) link

My least favorite album: clavinets and talk boxes hither and thither, songs that run too long for no reason. After loving SD for years, I still couldn't hum "Everything You Did" and "The Royal Scam."

"Don't Take Me Alive" over "Kid Charlemagne" in a photo finish.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Friday, 27 June 2008 00:50 (twelve years ago) link

Is there gas in the car??????

felicity, Friday, 27 June 2008 00:51 (twelve years ago) link

yes there's gas in the car!!

some dude, Friday, 27 June 2008 00:54 (twelve years ago) link

when there wasn't even any hollywood

memwer, Friday, 27 June 2008 01:16 (twelve years ago) link

how some folks felt about "Show Biz Kids" = how I feel about "Don't Take Me Alive" x1000 -- those lyrics deserve better

David R., Friday, 27 June 2008 01:17 (twelve years ago) link

I think this is the hardest SD album for me to call, favorites-wise, very consistent with no real strong favorites or un-favorites. will probably vote for either "Caves" or the title track or "Sign In Stranger" or "Haitian Divorce" or...yeah you can see where this is going.

xpost yeah "Don't Take Me Alive" was one I liked as a kid but can't really stand now.

some dude, Friday, 27 June 2008 01:24 (twelve years ago) link

Don't Take Me Alive, which I didn't vote for, has one of the top five solos though...isn't it Rick Derringer shredding?

iago g., Friday, 27 June 2008 01:26 (twelve years ago) link

kid charlemagne

ciderpress, Friday, 27 June 2008 01:45 (twelve years ago) link

Wonchu Sign in Strang'

Joe, Friday, 27 June 2008 01:58 (twelve years ago) link

This one's a no-brainer: Kid Charlemagne

ablaeser, Friday, 27 June 2008 02:32 (twelve years ago) link

Caves

Tom D., Friday, 27 June 2008 09:02 (twelve years ago) link

Clavinets rule, dude.

jaymc, Friday, 27 June 2008 09:15 (twelve years ago) link

Indeed, The Clavinets of Altamira

Tom D., Friday, 27 June 2008 09:17 (twelve years ago) link

Actually, I wouldn't say this is my favorite SD album, but I have sometimes thought that it's the pinnacle of their sound: it sounds sparkly and polished without the sterility that sometimes dogs Aja and Gaucho.

jaymc, Friday, 27 June 2008 09:20 (twelve years ago) link

best sd clav song is night by night

memwer, Friday, 27 June 2008 09:24 (twelve years ago) link

my fave SD album. am not voting as i cant decide between 'haitian divorce', 'dont take me alive' and 'caves of altamira'. 'kid charlemagne' is about as funky as they got too. the whole set is brilliant not a duff track on it.

Michael B, Friday, 27 June 2008 13:30 (twelve years ago) link

ok decided to go for "Sign In Stranger." YOU ZOMBIE!

some dude, Friday, 27 June 2008 13:34 (twelve years ago) link

The Royal Scam is the first Steely Dan record that doesn't exhibit significant musical progress from its predecessor,
This line from AMG is total bullshit right? Royal sounds nothing like Katy. It seems like the album where they beacame the Steely Dan that people think of when they hear the name. Katy Lied still sounded somewhat like a band playing in a room, while Scam is the fist one to sound like a studio machine firing on all engines.
basically jaymc otm.

mizzell, Friday, 27 June 2008 14:50 (twelve years ago) link

for me, it's probably the weakest of the original run of albums. even so, there's lots of strong stuff here. i'm leaning Charlemagne cause it fucking bangs, but i've got a soft spot for caves and haitian divorce.

also "turn up the eagles, the neighbors are listening" A++

will, Friday, 27 June 2008 15:02 (twelve years ago) link

Yeah, I never managed to get into that album really.

baaderonixx, Friday, 27 June 2008 15:09 (twelve years ago) link

I think it's their best album...and so does Rickie Lee Jones...and I voted for "The Caves Of Altamira" and "Night By Night" is their best clavi song...and...oh i forgot

sonnyboy, Friday, 27 June 2008 15:42 (twelve years ago) link

as a collection it seems unfocused but there some real gems in it. but "Kid Charlemagne" changed my fucking life for real, some of the best narrative on Fagen's resume. 'Clean this mess up else we'll all wind up in jail/those test tubes, and the scale' one of the all-time couplets.

J0hn D., Friday, 27 June 2008 15:52 (twelve years ago) link

I don't find the album too bad, but there are some single tracks dragging it down considerably. "The Fez" and the title track both get too repetitive and monotonous in the long run.

Geir Hongro, Friday, 27 June 2008 15:52 (twelve years ago) link

This is my second favorite SD album -and their most rockin' album since "Countdown". No bad songs on it. Probably "Sign In Stranger" would be my pick.

o. nate, Friday, 27 June 2008 17:34 (twelve years ago) link

Kid Charlemagne has one of those Fagen idées fixes - or whatever you want to call them - "Careful what you carry." As in "I can see from what you carry that you come from Barrytown."

That and the letters, the shoes. Has anyone made a list of his repeated lyrical tropes?

felicity, Friday, 27 June 2008 19:18 (twelve years ago) link

haha Geir and I agree!

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Friday, 27 June 2008 19:29 (twelve years ago) link

this album kicks so much collctive bottom.

Frogman Henry, Friday, 27 June 2008 19:52 (twelve years ago) link

Kind of a throwback to Ecstasy, it seems to me, with the longish jammy tracks, and the hotshit solos standing out a bit more against the repetitiousness (which I don't mind at all, but I don't mind "Show Biz Kids" either).

"Kid Charlemagne" comes real close, but I wish Larry Carlton's guitar licks were a little bit less tasteful - "Skunk" Baxter-style edginess woulda been more appropriate. So I go with "Sign In Stranger". Love that Monkish piano and "Do you like to take a yo-yo for a ride?"

Myonga Vön Bontee, Saturday, 28 June 2008 00:43 (twelve years ago) link

kid charlemagne.boring answer,but true.

Zeno, Saturday, 28 June 2008 03:00 (twelve years ago) link

Went with "Royal Scam" because it's such a phenomenal and focused lyric, and a true one as far as the lie so many people were sold as they entered America.

"Sign in Stranger" is one of the very few Dan songs that I never remember how it goes; like "Razor Boy" and "Everything You Did" and "Boston Rag" and "Rose Darling."

Joseph McCombs, Saturday, 28 June 2008 06:50 (twelve years ago) link

Kid Charlemagne has one of those Fagen idées fixes - or whatever you want to call them - "Careful what you carry." As in "I can see from what you carry that you come from Barrytown."

That and the letters, the shoes. Has anyone made a list of his repeated lyrical tropes?

I'm no expert but didn't Walter Fagen write a shitload of the Steely Dan lyrics? Maybe even the majority of them?

Tom D., Saturday, 28 June 2008 10:39 (twelve years ago) link

its the best sd album - a lot of people dont realize this - why because they r dumb i dunno

jhøshea, Saturday, 28 June 2008 11:47 (twelve years ago) link

Yeah, Becker wrote a lot of those lyrics.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Saturday, 28 June 2008 14:17 (twelve years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

ILX System, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 23:01 (twelve years ago) link

this is kinda like the katy lied poll for me where i wanted to vote something other than "dr. wu" but it just seemed too perfect a song...

...so anyway, kid charlamagne, i'm boring.

M@tt He1ges0n, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 23:26 (twelve years ago) link

if i could vote again - caves

Zeno, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 01:53 (twelve years ago) link

Haitian Divorce, particularly for the "Now we dolly back/Now we fade to black -> soaking wah solo" bit, which is a bit of a trick, yeah, but it gets me every time.

kingkongvsgodzilla, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 02:31 (twelve years ago) link

its the best sd album - a lot of people dont realize this - why because they r dumb i dunno

just wanna point out that this opinion is insane

J0hn D., Wednesday, 2 July 2008 02:35 (twelve years ago) link

best Dan records are aja and ecstasy

Zeno, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 02:40 (twelve years ago) link

see now there's a man who know what's up

J0hn D., Wednesday, 2 July 2008 02:43 (twelve years ago) link

"katy lied" comes very very close to those two also as does "gaucho" which is the one about which the most convincing "no, see, this one is actually the best" case can be built

J0hn D., Wednesday, 2 July 2008 02:44 (twelve years ago) link

I'd put Royal Scam on a par with Katy Lied, which is a tier below Aja and Countdown, but above everything else (in my personal estimation).

kingkongvsgodzilla, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 02:47 (twelve years ago) link

Why the Gaucho love, j)hn?

kingkongvsgodzilla, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 02:48 (twelve years ago) link

That is to say, I've never had love for that album outside of Babylon Sisters, Hey 19, and the one about heroin that gets played on all the smooth jazz stations.

kingkongvsgodzilla, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 02:49 (twelve years ago) link

I mean, Glamour Profession would've been great minus two or three minutes and if Fagan's voice wasn't shot to shit.

kingkongvsgodzilla, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 02:53 (twelve years ago) link

So true

flappy bird, Saturday, 2 December 2017 02:18 (two years ago) link

Thanks for the revive - reminded me to pull this out and give it a spin.

o. nate, Saturday, 2 December 2017 02:19 (two years ago) link

Most off-the-money thing about this thread was the zero votes for "Green Earrings".

o. nate, Saturday, 2 December 2017 02:20 (two years ago) link

yeah jesus

flappy bird, Saturday, 2 December 2017 02:20 (two years ago) link

GE is great but you’re talking such

calstars, Saturday, 2 December 2017 02:21 (two years ago) link

I mean there’s no fucking with KC right?

calstars, Saturday, 2 December 2017 02:22 (two years ago) link

eh, overexposed

flappy bird, Saturday, 2 December 2017 02:28 (two years ago) link

I voted "Sign in Stranger" in the original poll, but would gladly vote "Green Earrings" in a rematch. There are at least 6 songs on here I could see myself voting for at any given time.

o. nate, Saturday, 2 December 2017 02:34 (two years ago) link

Agree

calstars, Saturday, 2 December 2017 02:40 (two years ago) link

I've said it before somewhere, but I love how the title track sounds like a Norman Whitfield production.

Tim F, Saturday, 2 December 2017 04:12 (two years ago) link

caves of altamira has such a huge, lush-sounding hook, odd it’s only been sampled once afaict, by some italian rappers

sciatica, Saturday, 2 December 2017 05:58 (two years ago) link

Last time they played Don't Take me Alive in Portland everyone cheered after each instance of OREGAHN, great fun, great show maybe the best I've ever seen

Also yeah Green Earrings thoroughly robbed, nice to see reps for Haitian Divorce tho

Florin Cuchares, Saturday, 2 December 2017 08:40 (two years ago) link

Lol for the longest time I thought it was the “the rings of Randy’s eyes”

― flappy bird, Friday, December 1, 2017 9:42 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I used to think it was "rings of round design" and was confused because surely all rings are of round design?

soref, Saturday, 2 December 2017 10:00 (two years ago) link

"sign in stranger" has quietly become my favorite dan song of all time

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Saturday, 2 December 2017 19:15 (two years ago) link

Yeah except for the outro

calstars, Saturday, 2 December 2017 19:20 (two years ago) link

Sign in Stranger has always reminded me of Spoon circa Gax5.

yugi ex, Saturday, 2 December 2017 21:03 (two years ago) link

Paul Griffin is a hero

voodoo chili, Saturday, 2 December 2017 21:11 (two years ago) link

seven months pass...

finding a new song to obsess over from this record every month or so lol

right now, it's "everything you did."

supreme court justice samuel lance-ito (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 3 July 2018 18:58 (two years ago) link

You were a rollah skatah

calstars, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 19:08 (two years ago) link

you gonna show me later

Paul Ponzi, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 19:15 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

at the graaahhhhhto
in the greeeeeeasy chair

culture of mayordom (voodoo chili), Thursday, 16 January 2020 20:01 (six months ago) link

What a weird song

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Thursday, 16 January 2020 20:52 (six months ago) link

when she smiles, she says it all

culture of mayordom (voodoo chili), Thursday, 16 January 2020 21:01 (six months ago) link

what's a greasy chair?

☮️ (peace, man), Thursday, 16 January 2020 21:16 (six months ago) link

one that's hard to sit in

culture of mayordom (voodoo chili), Thursday, 16 January 2020 21:17 (six months ago) link

at the graaahhhhhto
in the greeeeeeasy chair

― culture of mayordom (voodoo chili), Thursday, January 16, 2020 3:01 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

What a weird song

― Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Thursday, January 16, 2020 3:52 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

lmfao otm

flappy bird, Friday, 17 January 2020 18:33 (six months ago) link

Sign in Stranger has always reminded me of Spoon circa Gax5.

I bet Spoon totally Stan for this album. "Green Earrings" is also pretty Spoon-esque. Even all the titles sound like they could be Spoon songs.

SPOON

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 17 January 2020 18:45 (six months ago) link

Still think the second half is the least distinguished suite they recorded.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 17 January 2020 18:47 (six months ago) link

Crazy talk. The last song is weak but everything else is great.

o. nate, Friday, 17 January 2020 19:07 (six months ago) link

It’s just that the first half is so loaded that the second pales a bit

calstars, Friday, 17 January 2020 19:09 (six months ago) link

green earrings and the royal scam are probably the most inessential tracks on the album - they are to my ears anyway - so it doesn't help side 2

bidenfan69420 (jim in vancouver), Friday, 17 January 2020 19:13 (six months ago) link

the talk box in "Haitian Divorce" is akin to reading Trump tweets.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 17 January 2020 19:15 (six months ago) link

omfg green earrings is all time

flappy bird, Friday, 17 January 2020 19:20 (six months ago) link

Green Earrings is a deeply funky groove.

o. nate, Friday, 17 January 2020 19:22 (six months ago) link

the poll says no

bidenfan69420 (jim in vancouver), Friday, 17 January 2020 19:24 (six months ago) link

If you want to talk non essentials let’s talk Rose Darling...none of the tracks on Side 2 sink to that level

calstars, Friday, 17 January 2020 19:24 (six months ago) link

go to hell

brimstead, Friday, 17 January 2020 19:26 (six months ago) link

Certainly it’s not their best side, but I’d take it over Side B of Katy Lied or either side of Gaucho.

o. nate, Friday, 17 January 2020 19:33 (six months ago) link

Certainly it’s not their best side, but I’d take it over Side B of Katy Lied or either side of Gaucho.

― o. nate, Friday, January 17, 2020 11:33 AM (six minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

go to hell

bidenfan69420 (jim in vancouver), Friday, 17 January 2020 19:40 (six months ago) link

It’s almost as if there are different kinds of Steely Dan fans who like different aspects of their work.

o. nate, Friday, 17 January 2020 19:41 (six months ago) link

i think it's better than the side b on katy lied also tbh

bidenfan69420 (jim in vancouver), Friday, 17 January 2020 19:42 (six months ago) link

go to hell

― bidenfan69420 (jim in vancouver),

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 17 January 2020 19:48 (six months ago) link

green earrings has two of the best solos to grace any SD song, plus my fav bernard purdie fill ever leading into solo #1.

culture of mayordom (voodoo chili), Friday, 17 January 2020 19:58 (six months ago) link

lol I just love this bands music so much

brimstead, Friday, 17 January 2020 21:16 (six months ago) link

yeah I was gonna say lol, Green Earrings has those two guitar solos. not only some of the best in their body of work, maybe some of the best in all of 70s rock... if Band of Gypsys doesn't count.
I mean this is their guitar solo record. Yeah, Haitian
I also once thought of Rose Darling as inessential (like a lesser version of Any World That I'm Welcome To), but it's grown on me. I'd actually argue the back half of this is one of their best sides, and would probably chuck the first side, if only for Kid Charlemagne. that song was licensed and sampled SO MUCH when I was growing up in the 90s and early 00s that when I finally heard it in context, well, I was unable to hear it with fresh ears. it makes me think of cheese commercials and car insurance.

flappy bird, Friday, 17 January 2020 23:01 (six months ago) link

the ‘harmonic movement’ or whatever in the chorus of “rose darling” is phenomenal

brimstead, Friday, 17 January 2020 23:31 (six months ago) link

six months pass...

You zombie! Be born again my friend.

BrianB, Wednesday, 29 July 2020 02:22 (one week ago) link

funny I just listened to this last night. so many hot guitar solos. favorite song is definitely “caves”. love the doominess of the title track.

brimstead, Wednesday, 29 July 2020 20:07 (one week ago) link

Thought this was pretty funny.

pic.twitter.com/Sq1nz8JIL2

— Good Steely Dan Takes (@baddantakes) July 28, 2020

clemenza, Wednesday, 29 July 2020 20:19 (one week ago) link

I'd watch that.

Anyway, this may be one of my least favorite Steely Dan albums, but the guitar work is pretty excellent - it may be their best showcase for that instrument.

birdistheword, Saturday, 1 August 2020 03:05 (one week ago) link


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