When I was a kid just musically coming of age, Gaucho was their current album and getting radio play, so that record has always had a special place for me, especially "Time Out of Mind". Pretty early into the CD era I picked up a copy of A Decade of Steely Dan, which introduced me to their older stuff. I always liked them, but I only really came to appreciate them later on, after years of listening to and playing music. As I learned more about music, I've come to understand how a lot of my youthful favorites did what they did, a bit of pulling back the curtain, which doesn't necessarily mean I like songs less, but they may not be as amazing and mind-blowing as they were when I was younger. Except for Steely Dan. Decades on, I'm still blown away by what they do. The more I learn about music, the more I can get out of their work. I don't think anybody else in the last 60 or 70 years has managed to meld the sophistication of jazz with the catchiness and accessibility of pop the way they did. Unfortunately some fans from each side of that spectrum looked down on them for the influences of the other, but in the grand scheme of things I think history will vindicate them. A few years back, they did a series of shows here in Chicago in which over several days they played shows featuring the full start-to-finish albums of The Royal Scam, Aja, and Gaucho. Aja has always been one of my wife's favorite records so we went to that show, although left to my own devices I would have opted for Gaucho (but I love Aja as well). Walter Becker was still around. In retrospect I wish I'd just bit the bullet and gotten tickets for all of them, because they had Larry Carlton playing with them for the Royal Scam show.