View Full Version : Steely Dan


Basil
31-03-09, 03:04 AM
I caught some on the radio yesterday and decided it was high time I bought a few of their records, any suggestions?

Engels
31-03-09, 03:10 AM
The greatest hits comps are a good way to go.

Otherwise my suggestions would be first album "Can't Buy A Thrill", "Royal Scam" and "Aja". Donald Fagen's "Nightfly" also a classic LP

nightcleaner
31-03-09, 04:22 AM
I got all of them all sadly. The song that stands out for me personally like a sore thumb really is "Here at the western world". Trouble is it is on a compilation of steely Dan called Gold

i know which ones i do not play that's Royal scam and i manage always three tracks only of Katie lied. The obvious ones .





"cant by a Thrill" still a huge favourite here just for "Brooklyn owes the charmer over me"







"knock twice rap with the cane"

Engels
31-03-09, 04:29 AM
They are currently touring too. Playing London on July 1st

Basil
31-03-09, 05:40 AM
This seems to cover all the bases

Citizen Steely Dan (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Citizen-Steely-Dan-1972-1980/dp/tracks/B000002ORE/ref=dp_tracks_all_4#disc_4)

Wilky
31-03-09, 05:59 AM
Hi Basil.

I'm surprised this compilation isn't in one of the Stupify threads by now ...

Dave.

nightcleaner
31-03-09, 06:27 AM
Personal opinion OK.

I'm a right sucker for making compilation Cd's I cant jell the what i call two steely Dans Together on one CD.

Can anyone understand what i mean here? There is the 70's period its like there's a before and after "Aja".

I don't even want to combine the two on a listening session Best way I can explain it is. I cant play "Pretzel Logic" then "Two against nature". Feels like two different era's two different commodities to me.

Its a bit like i suppose if you like "Kind of blue" Its pretty understandable if you don't go a bundle on "in a silent way" By Miles Davis.

Basil
31-03-09, 06:34 AM
Its a bit like i suppose if you like "Kind of blue" Its pretty understandable if you don't go a bundle on "in a silent way" By Miles Davis.

It depends how broad your taste in music is?

Speaking as someone who likes both KOB and Tutu by Miles, I'd say mine is pretty broad!

Thanks for the ideas.

wobbleu
31-03-09, 07:03 AM
I'm one of those who can appreciate all of Miles ouput as well as the 'Dans various guises.
The recent compilation 'Showbiz Kids' gives a good representation of Steely Dan across time including the later albums- and gives you the latest re-mastered output which to my ears doesn't suffer as much as some other bands re-relases.
I will say that the 180gm release of Aja that came out last year is a bit 'relaxed' when compared to my original ABC pressing.

My favourites would be - everything they've done apart from Haitian Divorce - which for some reason I hate with a passion

FranzD
31-03-09, 08:07 AM
I am surprised. I remember some heavy Steely Dan bashing on this forum in earlier days. Things have changed obviously. I not a big fan myself, but saw no reason for that negativity.

Engels
31-03-09, 08:24 AM
Funnily enough "Haitian Divorce" would be one of my favourites - great guitar solo and lyrics... "...now we dolly back, now we fade to black.."

And BTW I have a hard time deciding which of KoB and IaSW I like best, couldn't manage without either and Tutu pretty indispensable to me too but hasn't aged as well.

johnhunt
31-03-09, 09:08 AM
i like SD. I remember buying CD2E in what must have been 76/77. i must have been living in a bubble but i thought everyone had the back catalogue squashed together gathering dust

wobbleu
31-03-09, 09:14 AM
"...now we dolly back, now we fade to black.."

Lyrically can't fault it - lot's of smart lines in their songs - it's one of their strengths - I'm particularly fond of "Babe you look delicious and you're standing really close - but this is lower east side and you're talking to a ghost" - very Chandleresque

I think it's the cheesy, 'rubber tube in the gob' guitar effect - I don't like that crappy vocoder effect that Madge et al overused a couple of years ago either (apart from when Laurie Anderson or Alison Goldfrapp use it)

Must be one of my 'little eccentricities'

FranzD - I suspect that there was a bit of "overplayed Hifi shop demo disc" backlash going on- it's good to see they've survived that better than Dire Straits or Sade

Basil
31-03-09, 09:17 AM
And whats wrong with (early) Dire Straits? ;)

Engels
31-03-09, 09:23 AM
first DS album was/is great... downhill fast from there IMO

Basil
31-03-09, 09:33 AM
I liked them up to the one before Private Investigations.

Is it ok to admit to liking "Telegraph Road"?

zarniwoop
31-03-09, 09:48 AM
My favourite has always been their first - Can't Buy A Thrill. Though that's probably not a typical Dan album - they seemed to more of a collective then, as opposed to the duo with session musicians they became.

nightcleaner
31-03-09, 09:53 AM
I'm surprised none of you book worms. Have not hunted down the Steely Dan Bible ! well it feels like one to hold. Its the story of steely Dan has some interesting bits right from the start Donald Mocks himself.

There's interesting section how they record those guitar solos. All is not at it seems, as they are painstaking put together note for note till its right. This is why I suppose when you here it live its not quite the same. Mark Knopfler gets a mention for his guitar solo on Gaucho "Time Out of Mind". they said to him apparently You can do it better than that and the lad took it the wrong way the book says.

There is an interesting bit about how Peg was constructed and the drum loop they used.

Hunt the book down its a huge read.

Did you know one anomaly about Steely Dan recording is they lay the drum track down first! Imagine how weird that must be especially for the drummer.

My mate saw Dire straits live. loads of people walking out through boredom sadly he said. I said was it ? He said yes! It was not going anywhere it all sounded very yawnish.

thedanfan
31-03-09, 11:54 AM
Steely Dan - a body of work to stand comparison with the very best. Impossible to suggest a starting point beyond one of the later compilations which includes some tracks by the re-born Dan.

I could do you a compilation if you like?

MichaelC
31-03-09, 04:47 PM
Quite frankly, with Steely Dan you should simply acquire the entire back catalogue. And personally speaking I would start with Aja.

ampman
31-03-09, 06:34 PM
Apparently they once apologised about the production of an album or track on the cover, as it wasn't quite perfect. Shame their aren't so many as fastidious these days.

"Pretzel Logic" is my favorite, but "The Definitive Collection" is a great compilation.

wobbleu
31-03-09, 07:41 PM
"I'm surprised none of you book worms. Have not hunted down the Steely Dan Bible !"

Do you mean Reeling in the Years by Brian Sweet? (think it was Brian who wrote a fanzine called Metal Leg about Steely Dan for some years)

Lots of online stuff too
http://www.steelydandictionary.com/
http://metalleg.com/
http://www.banyantrees.net/

PS: I can't help liking 'Private Investigations' by DS - but that's all I'm admitting...

Engels
01-04-09, 05:15 AM
Imagine we all know why they are called SD?

flatpopely
01-04-09, 05:24 AM
Imagine we all know why they are called SD?

Jane Fonda might be involved!

Engels
01-04-09, 05:58 AM
No you are on the right lines (if you are thinking Barbarella) but its from a William Burroughs novel

demotivated
01-04-09, 06:02 AM
The only trouble with buying the albums is that you won't get 'FM'. At least with Citizen Box set you get all the bits. Also suggest the Fagen and Becker solo albums.

thedanfan
01-04-09, 06:29 AM
Even I'd suggest you avoid Circus Money like the plague

Basil
01-04-09, 06:35 AM
Imagine we all know why they are called SD?

I don't.

ampman
01-04-09, 06:44 AM
It was the name of a vibrator I believe.

Basil
01-04-09, 06:44 AM
Seriously?

ampman
01-04-09, 06:46 AM
Yes, though I may be wrong. I think it's from a Burroughs book. BTW, SD will sound magic on your Harbeths.

ampman
01-04-09, 06:49 AM
Yes, though I may be wrong. I think it is from a Burroughs book. BTW, SD will sound magic on your Harbeths.

ampman
01-04-09, 06:49 AM
sorry for double post

Basil
01-04-09, 06:52 AM
I'm not sure I want to know more, but...

Apart from worn LPs, everything sounds magic on them!

Just a thought, I was planning to buy on CD, does anyone know what the transfers are like?

Engels
01-04-09, 08:17 AM
sorry for double post

Stainless steel d**do in fact

Engels
01-04-09, 08:19 AM
I've only got vinyl apart from one live CD. Given fastidous nature of Becker and Fagen ("Nightfly" was THE hi-fi showroom demo LP of its time) I'd be surprised if the CDs were not remastered suitably

Basil
01-04-09, 08:32 AM
That's what I thought, but a second opinion is always good!

Thanks

337alant
01-04-09, 12:59 PM
Try one of the later albums as well

Steely Dan, Everything Must Go, sound quality is excellent and them guys still have it cracking album.

Alan

St.Noah
01-04-09, 04:19 PM
Even I'd suggest you avoid Circus Money like the plague

Funny you should say that - my initial reaction was the same, had it on rotate in the car for a few days but couldn't get with it at all. Part of the problem (for me at any rate) is that Becker has a somewhat cringe-inducing way with words when it comes to women (IMO applies equally to 11 Tracks of Whack). However I played it again recently and was surprised to discover it had grown on me considerably.

Danfan: I may be an even bigger Dan fan even than you!

On topic: buy 'em all, everything is essential.

Which leads me to: I'm just about to land a pristine copy of the 180g 2 x vinyl version of Morph The Cat for a mere $NZ 20 - can't wait!

Jim

hockman
01-04-09, 08:00 PM
Which leads me to: I'm just about to land a pristine copy of the 180g 2 x vinyl version of Morph The Cat for a mere $NZ 20 - can't wait!

Jim

Save your money - sorry to say that this is the weakest work of Fagen or the duo. And I am a huge SD fan and I have all their albums.

For me, the best were Pretzel Logic and Katy Lied. Their later albums acquired a slick sameness although almost all are enjoyable.

wobbleu
01-04-09, 11:53 PM
'Which leads me to: I'm just about to land a pristine copy of the 180g 2 x vinyl version of Morph The Cat for a mere $NZ 20 - can't wait!'

Has some nice tracks and some indifferent for me - I love 'Mary shut the Garden Door' and 'the night belongs to Mona' - got vinyl and cd versions - not sure about how vocals are recorded - seem a bit too far back in the mix to me.

Not a big fan of either WB solo albums - would buy them if I saw them cheap. Would definitely recommend buying everything else though.

Finnegan
02-04-09, 02:34 AM
Save your money - sorry to say that this is the weakest work of Fagen or the duo.

Gasp!!! Morph is a great album, Kamakiriad is the mediocre offering.

nightcleaner
02-04-09, 12:17 PM
Even I'd suggest you avoid Circus Money like the plague

will second that motion :) that we are unanimous on this. Its awful Go and buy "scientist rids the world of scary monsters" on greensleeves label instead if you want to here reggae. Walter should leave it well alone.

What have the other Walter Becker albums Been like? Can Walter cut it without Donald.?

The Kamakiriad album commented on above i love "Tomorrow's girls" for the Drumming "Florida room" great too "on the Dunes" is an awful waste of space a filler if you like. To long too! There is a couple of interesting sounds to listen out for with headphones is the only bit i like about it.

Joe Hutch
02-04-09, 12:36 PM
I caught some on the radio yesterday and decided it was high time I bought a few of their records, any suggestions?

You want: Can't Buy a Thrill, Countdown to Ecstasy and Pretzel Logic.

St.Noah
02-04-09, 03:00 PM
Gasp!!! Morph is a great album, Kamakiriad is the mediocre offering.

Exactly! Why any self-confessed Dan fan would fail to rate songs such as H Gang, What I Do, Security Joan and Mary Shut The Garden Door is a complete mystery to me.

However whilst allowing that Kamakiriad is relatively mediocre in the context of the entire Dan canon, it is surely important to remember that this is no ordinary canon, and IMO it's still a great listen.

Over many years SD have spliced themselves into my musical DNA. I purchased my original UK Probe copy of Countdown To Ecstasy on day of release - still got it though it's in a fairly poor state, a testament mainly to its cavalier treatment during my student days. True, I was slow to respond to The Comeback, and only heard Two Against Nature courtesy of an old mate in the UK finally sending me a burn snailmail. But I liked it immediately, and Everything Must Go is even better.

Just one anecdote: scene is in a student dorm in the early seventies and four longhairs are lolling around playing cards in a haze of marijuana smoke, Steely Dan's Reeling In The Years belting out of the speakers. A card is played and the player is duly accused of not following suit, which happens to be diamonds. Someone realises that in that instant the Dan were delivering the line 'You wouldn't even know a diamond if you held it in your hands'! Instant freakout! Complete pandemonium! Took us weeks to get over that...

My own favourites would be Katy Lied and The Royal Scam. Pretzel Logic for me is a bit of a curate's egg, side 1 being IMO very much better than side 2. But like I said, buy 'em all, they're all essential.

Jim

nightcleaner
02-04-09, 03:24 PM
Dan hated the recording of katie lied said it was there worst actual recording nothing to do with the music on the Record but they said the master tape quality was awful.

flatpopely
02-04-09, 03:26 PM
First came across them as a 14 year old babysitting for my Mum and Dads friends. At the time it was the 'Electronic way or no way' (Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk etc.).

I found this Album with a pic of some bloke selling pretzels in New York. I liked it but never really got into it. Warp forwards 20 years and I was in the US on business, went into a second hand record store and what should be front and centre, yes 'Pretzel Logic'. I bought it and the rest is history. I am going to see them in Edinburgh in June, can't wait.

nightcleaner
02-04-09, 03:31 PM
How do you feel about actual seeing them after the you tube performance live are you expecting it to sound like the records i mean bear in mind there 60 now. i was dishearten by the you tube performances of a few people i swore i never pay to see them live after watching them. As Donald says They are touring for there pension.

Please scoff if you must. But i loved Avril lavigne's "anything but ordinary" was one of my most played tracks then i saw the you tube live vid "whoops". Sorry i feel the same about Dan i rather just enjoy there superb music on my stereo. Sorry.

St.Noah
02-04-09, 03:37 PM
Saw them last year in Auckland - absolutely superb. Fagen joked that he & Becker were the least qualified musicians on stage. The drummer in particular was just stupendous.

Jim

brad666
02-04-09, 03:40 PM
Exactly! Why any self-confessed Dan fan would fail to rate songs such as H Gang, What I Do, Security Joan and Mary Shut The Garden Door is a complete mystery to me.

However whilst allowing that Kamakiriad is relatively mediocre in the context of the entire Dan canon, it is surely important to remember that this is no ordinary canon, and IMO it's still a great listen.

Over many years SD have spliced themselves into my musical DNA. I purchased my original UK Probe copy of Countdown To Ecstasy on day of release - still got it though it's in a fairly poor state, a testament mainly to its cavalier treatment during my student days. True, I was slow to respond to The Comeback, and only heard Two Against Nature courtesy of an old mate in the UK finally sending me a burn snailmail. But I liked it immediately, and Everything Must Go is even better.

Just one anecdote: scene is in a student dorm in the early seventies and four longhairs are lolling around playing cards in a haze of marijuana smoke, Steely Dan's Reeling In The Years belting out of the speakers. A card is played and the player is duly accused of not following suit, which happens to be diamonds. Someone realises that in that instant the Dan were delivering the line 'You wouldn't even know a diamond if you held it in your hands'! Instant freakout! Complete pandemonium! Took us weeks to get over that...

My own favourites would be Katy Lied and The Royal Scam. Pretzel Logic for me is a bit of a curate's egg, side 1 being IMO very much better than side 2. But like I said, buy 'em all, they're all essential.

Jim
Royal Scam for me is one of the best Dan albums; up there with Goucho.

nightcleaner
02-04-09, 03:46 PM
Thanks Jim. for that gives me a bit of faith in the live shows comments like yours i think the drummer is Kieth carlock Do you know what. I pray well you know what i mean i hope. that the next album they try something a bit different i feel its a bit stuck in a rut now.

"Two against nature" is superb it was only the track "two against nature" i still avoid like the plague. "Almost Gothic" and "Janie runaway" are awesome But now i Have the hoots for "negative girl".

St.Noah
02-04-09, 03:51 PM
Thanks Jim. for that gives me a bit of faith in the live shows comments like yours i think the drummer is Kieth carlock

Hey no worries! And I think you're right, it was Keith Carlock - ta for the reminder.

Jim

Finnegan
03-04-09, 02:06 AM
How do you feel about actual seeing them after the you tube performance live are you expecting it to sound like the records

Well, they blew the roof of Hammersmith Odeon in 2007.

thedanfan
03-04-09, 02:11 AM
The Dan have always had brilliant drummers - Steve Gadd on Aja being particularly heroic

foxwelljsly
03-04-09, 02:18 AM
"Countdown to Ecstasy' and 'Pretzel Logic' are my faves, but, given that they didn't make many LP's, you may as well get them all up to 'Gaucho'.

Anyone heard Walter Becker's recent, allegedly reggae-fied, solo LP? It's on my list to buy.

nightcleaner
03-04-09, 03:57 AM
The Dan have always had brilliant drummers - Steve Gadd on Aja being particularly heroic

there were loads of Drummers on Aja Lad :D For me the one i like is Paul Humphrey on "black cow" Bit of trivia you know the track Boogie oogie oogie the disco song by taste of Honey? That fabulous Bass riff. That woman did not play it on the record Chuck Rainey was the bass player

Aja personnel
Donald Fagen - synthesizer, keyboards, vocals, background vocals, whistle
Walter Becker - bass, guitar, electric guitar, vocals
Chuck Rainey - bass
Timothy B. Schmit - vocals
Paul Griffin - keyboards, electric piano, vocals, background vocals
Don Grolnick - keyboards, clavinet
Michael Omartian - piano, keyboards
Joe Sample - keyboards, electric piano, clavinet
Larry Carlton - guitar, electric guitar
Denny Dias - guitar
Jay Graydon - guitar, electric guitar
Steve Khan - guitar
Dean Parks - guitar
Lee Ritenour - guitar
Pete Christlieb - flute, tenor saxophone
Chuck Findley - horn, brass
Jim Horn - flute, saxophone
Richard "Slyde" Hyde - trombone
Plas Johnson - flute, saxophone
Jackie Kelso - flute, horn, saxophone
Lou McCreary - brass
Bill Perkins - flute, horn, saxophone
Tom Scott - conductor, flute, tenor saxophone, lyricon
Wayne Shorter - flute, tenor saxophone
Bernard Purdie - drums ("Home at Last", "Deacon Blues")
Steve Gadd - drums ("Aja")
Ed Greene - drums ("I Got the News")
Paul Humphrey - drums ("Black Cow")
Jim Keltner - percussion, drums ("Josie")
Rick Marotta - drums ("Peg")
Gary Coleman - percussion
Victor Feldman - percussion, piano, keyboards, electric piano, vibraphone
Venetta Fields - vocals, background vocals
Clydie King - vocals, background vocals
Rebecca Louis - vocals, background vocals
Sherlie Matthews - vocals, background vocals
Michael McDonald - vocals, background vocals

c/w http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aja_(album)

http://www.jaygraydon.com/

http://www.johnvalentimusic.com/index_Anything.html

thedanfan
03-04-09, 04:23 AM
Isn't it the Gaddster on the track Aja, that's what I meant

nightcleaner
03-04-09, 04:31 AM
is Elliot Randell of reeling in the years fame British?

why i ask is

http://www.myspace.com/elliottrandall

I love Ed green drumming "i got the news" on Aja. I love that change where michael mcdonald comes in. its changes that makes my hair stand up on the back of my neck. Anyone like that too?

wacko
07-04-09, 12:46 PM
Countdown to Gaucho are all essential albums although, like so many bands, the older the album the better. The solo albums just confirmed what a tragedy the break-up was.

St.Noah
07-04-09, 08:09 PM
Have now got my mits on the Morph vinyls and am well happy. The bass playing on the opening song is worth the price of admission alone - deeply satisfying!

Jim

Basil
25-04-09, 03:48 AM
I finally got around to ordering the box set "Citizen Steely Dan"

I've only played the first disc so far, which consists of the albums "can't buy a thrill" and "countdown to ecstasy" and I think I get what all the fuss is about!

It doesn't sound like mid 70's music!

Some good stuff in the booklet too, including some of the most pretentious quotes I’ve ever read from the music press about SD.

And I quote,

“The new Steely Dan album is not unlike…Captain Pike (who was) a mutilated individual who possessed an intelligent brain but was without a body”

It doesn’t mention which album was referred to.

And there is also mention of Donnie & Marie Osmond doing a cover of "reeling in the years" on their TV show :o

nightcleaner
25-04-09, 06:27 AM
Steely Dan Newsletter: Issue #40
April 24 2009


*************************
|||||||||||||||||||||||||


Breaking news! Steely Dan's Rent Party '09 Tour
will include multi-night stands
of special setlist shows
in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago.


All evenings of these special engagements
will offer one of the following programs:


* CLASSIC ALBUM (PLUS) Night
Setlist is one of three classic Steely Dan albums
in its entirety -- plus selected additional favorites


* "TAKIN' IT TO THE SEATS" INTERNET REQUEST Night
Setlist is determined by the internet votes
of ticket-holders for that show


Of course, before you buy a ticket, you'll know which
of the setlists above will be played on that night.

Dates for these special engagements
-- and more details about everything --
will be coming soon.

Also watch for news about promotions, packages,
and other sundry goodies


******************

United States RENT PARTY '09 Tour


NOTE: Additional dates will be posted online as they are confirmed.
Special setlist dates will be clearly identified
by a | SPECIAL SETLIST | notation



Jun 09 - Durham, NC - Performing Arts Center
Jun 12 - Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall
Jun 13 - Boca Raton, FL - Mizner Park Amp.
Jun 15 - Orlando FL - Bob Carr
Jun 16 - Ft. Meyers, FL - Barbara B Mann
Jun 18 - St. Augustine, FL - St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Jun 19 - Orange Beach, AL - The Wharf
Aug 15 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain



Many of the dates above are on sale now ...
the rest will be on sale soon.
Visit
http://steelydan.com
for the latest dates and ticket links.



******************


European LEFT BANK HOLIDAY Tour


= Jun 25 - Amsterdam, Holland - Heineken Music Hall
= Jun 26 - Brussels, Belgium - Forest National
= Jun 28 - Edinburgh, Scotland - Edinburgh Playhouse
= Jun 29 - Birmingham, UK - NIA
= Jul 01 - London, UK - Hammersmith Apollo
= Jul 02 - Paris, France - Olympia
= Jul 04 - Montreux, Switzerland - Montreux Jazz Fest
= Jul 06 - Rome, Italy - Cavea Auditorium
= Jul 08 - Padova, Italy - Villa Contarini
= Jul 09 - Milan, Italy - Arena Civica
= Jul 11 - Perugia, Italy- Umbria Jazz Festival
= Jul 12 - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Sporting Club



All dates are on sale now.
Ticket links are at
http://steelydan.com




Until Next Time...

I was just imagining the logistics of moving all the equipment from London to Paris how long have they in reality 8 hours to take it down and set it up and move it dose not give much time for anything going wrong

will it be by channel tunnel or Air or two sets of gear. one goes ahead all the time

Finnegan
26-04-09, 04:09 AM
Some good stuff in the booklet too, including some of the most pretentious quotes Iíve ever read from the music press about SD.

Sounds like you're still getting to grips with Dan's sardonic sense of humour.

bhassan
26-04-09, 04:31 AM
The standard of their albums from the 70's are quite incredible, I love Katy Lied simply because Jeff Porcaro played on every single track except one. Musically though I like The Royal Scam best of all, and I love Aja too cause it sounds nice.

billo
30-04-09, 05:09 AM
I bought Citizen when it first came out as my SD collection was all old vinyl.I now see that it has been re mastered :(
Aja is still a fav.