Steely Dan

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by chet again, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    For me , they don’t exist without their jaded , cynical , druggy lyrics.
     
  2. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    What to like:

    Extremely high level of musicianship. Clever and original harmonic sensibility. Slick chords. Sardonic, educated hipster lyrics. High sonic quality. General high intelligence.

    What to dislike:

    Favoring polish over spontaneity and recklessness. Inhuman perfection. Too smoov.

    I really like them but they're kind of a cautionary tale about not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.


    High points for me: Do it again (love that fake sitar solo), bad sneakers, Gold Teeth II, Caves of Altamira (a song about neolithic cave paintings), Aja.

    Royal Scam is probably the best album, that or Aja, but there's a lot of great stuff everywhere
     
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  3. Moriarty

    Moriarty Tele-Meister

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    Katy Lied is my favorite. I was sorely disappointed when I upgraded from cassette to CD. To this day the running order doesn't sound right to me.
    Great band. Saw them sometime in the mid-90s. Huge, very tight band, and the sound was fantastic
     
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  4. modavis99

    modavis99 Tele-Meister

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    Aja is a masterpiece
     
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  5. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Never really got into their albums, but I have their compilation "A Decade of Steely Dan" and that pretty much satisfies any cravings that I may have for the Dan of Steel.

    When we adopted Yuki, we had a 5 hour drive back home and he was a nervous wreck, whining and crying the whole way. Nothing would calm him down, until I put Steely Dan on, he calmed right down and was relaxed for the rest of the trip.
     
  6. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    Probably my favorite band of all time. Their compositions (notice I didn't say "songs") and guitar players have been a huge influence on my playing. Practically every musician I know who is worth their salt has huge respect for that band.
     
  7. Deathray

    Deathray Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Steely Dan is my “desert island band”. If I was stranded, and could only have one group’s catalog, it would be theirs. The musicianship, and the twisted, sometimes demented lyrics... pure bliss.
     
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  8. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    When music had musicianship, harmony, creativity, actual groove and humor. SD to me is the apex of rock meets jazz.
     
  9. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

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    [QUOTE

    What to dislike:="maxvintage, post: 9147055, member: 105"]

    Favoring polish over spontaneity and recklessness. Inhuman perfection. Too smoov.

    I really like them but they're kind of a cautionary tale about not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.


    That reminded me of Saul Goodman's dig at Kim (when she's obsessing over the punctuation in a legal document); ''Perfection is the enemy of perfectly adequate''. I'm glad that Steely Dan didn't feel that way, though. ;)
     
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  10. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    Since I grew up in the 70s-80s, and my dad was a jazz/blues/R&B guy, naturally there was a bit of Steely Dan played in our house. But my wife is a huge fan so I didn’t get deep exposure to them until recently. I get what the above poster said about them coming off as “hipper-than-thou” and just being a bit too slick for a lot of people’s taste....and musician their way over my head, man. They make me wanna go practice. Aside from all that, their compositional skills and sheer talent (and the ability of Fagen/Becker to utilize the talents of others) is phenomenal.

    Katy Lied, The Royal Scam, and Pretzel Logic are personal favorites.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  11. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, Yes, Yes!

    I fell for them many years ago and ended up buying all of their LP albums (including Gaucho).

    Got rid of my LP's and then bought the CD boxed set of everything up to and including Gaucho. (Get it if you can!)

    Finally saw them live with Becker at Red Rocks 3 years ago. Black clouds, hard rain and 2 inches of hail running down the stone steps in a cascading waterfall!!

    Crazy!! In some ways it was perfect... and the show went on!

    WEIRD!!

    Fagan's solo stuff is top shelf and Becker's solo album(s) is... well, weird! But, worth a good listen!

    (BTW, Boz Scaggs does an excellent version of "Pearl of the Quarter.")

    Their music will always be in my musical heart-of-hearts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  12. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    I have all the old vinyl and re-purchased my collection, when cds were invented. ;)

    Countdown to Ecstasy is probably my favourite....for nostalgic as well as musical reasons.
     
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  13. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    Also a huge SD fan here. But I think I like Donald Fagen's four solo albums even better.
     
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  14. zimbo

    zimbo Friend of Leo's

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    I heard Pretzel Logic again recently and I couldn't get the song out of my head. The whole song was a hook. The lyrics and the chords just draw you in. Many Steely songs are like that.
     
  15. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

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    In the morning, you go gunning for the man who stole your water.
     
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  16. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Whenever I see Steely Dan criticized for being too polished, I think of Fire In Hole among many others. Plenty spontaneous and loose.


    Donald Fagen does show his snobbish colors quite bit in interviews and his being difficult to work with is a pretty common theme among collaborators. Dean Parks said they wanted folks to reach perfection in their familiarity with the song to allow freedom in their performance.

    Harmonic perfect over a bedrock of “slinky groove”.
    Like this :
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  17. darkwaters

    darkwaters Tele-Afflicted

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    Hated them in the Seventies. I thought they were too smooth by half. One night in September of '83 I was driving thru New Brunswick on the TCH. It was raining and I was returning home after a particularly disastrous couple of years working out west. It was a time when it was imperative that I backtrack and rethink my life choices. Yep, I was in full on retreat. Deacon Blues came on the radio and, with the deep dark, the rain and the windshield wipers keeping time, it was perfect. I've been a SD fan ever since.
     
  18. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    I miss Water Becker's music as much as Steely Dans. His solo albums are very good. And his had his own thing going vocally. I really like this song:




    By the way, this whole album is great
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. kLyon

    kLyon Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    Steely Dan?
    If I had five thumbs (and some times it feels that way) they would all be up.
     
  20. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

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    Love your Deacon Blues story - really conjured up the picture! (Edit: think you've got a song of your own there.) Fabulous piece too, and one of my Steely Dan favourites - it's sub-zero cool.
     
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