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Steely Dan is an American rock band consisting of core members Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. The band's popularity peaked in the late 1970s, with the release of seven albums blending elements of jazz, rock, funk, R&B, and pop. Rolling Stone has called them "the perfect musical antiheroes for the Seventies." The band's music is characterized by complex jazz-influenced structures and harmonies played by Becker and Fagen along with a revolving cast of rock and pop studio musicians. Steely Dan's "cerebral, wry and eccentric" lyrics, often filled with sharp sarcasm, touch upon such themes as drugs, love affairs, and crime. The pair is well-known for their near-obsessive perfectionism in the recording studio, with one notable example being that Becker and Fagen used at least 42 different studio musicians, 11 engineers, and took over a year to record the tracks that resulted in 1980's Gaucho — an album that read more...
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STEELY DAN Discography

STEELY DAN albums / top albums

STEELY DAN Can't Buy a Thrill album cover 3.53 | 20 ratings
Can't Buy a Thrill
RnB 1972
STEELY DAN Countdown to Ecstasy album cover 4.40 | 20 ratings
Countdown to Ecstasy
RnB 1973
STEELY DAN Pretzel Logic album cover 3.84 | 18 ratings
Pretzel Logic
RnB 1974
STEELY DAN Katy Lied album cover 3.95 | 17 ratings
Katy Lied
RnB 1975
STEELY DAN The Royal Scam album cover 4.10 | 15 ratings
The Royal Scam
RnB 1976
STEELY DAN Aja album cover 4.59 | 27 ratings
RnB 1977
STEELY DAN Gaucho album cover 3.44 | 16 ratings
RnB 1980
STEELY DAN Berry Town (aka Sun Mountain) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Berry Town (aka Sun Mountain)
RnB 1985
STEELY DAN Two Against Nature album cover 3.41 | 7 ratings
Two Against Nature
RnB 2000
STEELY DAN Everything Must Go album cover 3.40 | 5 ratings
Everything Must Go
RnB 2003

STEELY DAN EPs & splits

STEELY DAN + Fours album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
+ Fours
RnB 1977

STEELY DAN live albums

STEELY DAN Alive in America album cover 3.83 | 4 ratings
Alive in America
RnB 1995
STEELY DAN Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz Radio Broadcast album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz Radio Broadcast
RnB 2005
STEELY DAN The St Louis Toodle-oo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The St Louis Toodle-oo
RnB 2017
STEELY DAN Northeast Corridor : Steely Dan Live! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Northeast Corridor : Steely Dan Live!
RnB 2021

STEELY DAN demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

STEELY DAN One Hour Sale! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
One Hour Sale!
RnB 2003

STEELY DAN re-issues & compilations

STEELY DAN Greatest Hits album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Greatest Hits
RnB 1978
STEELY DAN Steely Dan album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Steely Dan
RnB 1978
STEELY DAN Gold album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
RnB 1982
STEELY DAN Aja / Gaucho album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Aja / Gaucho
RnB 1983
STEELY DAN A Decade of Steely Dan album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Decade of Steely Dan
RnB 1985
STEELY DAN The Very Best of Steely Dan album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Very Best of Steely Dan
RnB 1985
STEELY DAN Old Regime album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Old Regime
RnB 1986
STEELY DAN Stone Piano album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Stone Piano
RnB 1988
STEELY DAN Can't Buy a Thrill / Aja album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Can't Buy a Thrill / Aja
RnB 1991
STEELY DAN Citizen Steely Dan: 1972-1980 album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Citizen Steely Dan: 1972-1980
RnB 1993
STEELY DAN Remastered: The Best of Steely Dan, Then and Now album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Remastered: The Best of Steely Dan, Then and Now
RnB 1993
STEELY DAN Becker & Fagen Founders Of Steely Dan album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Becker & Fagen Founders Of Steely Dan
RnB 1998
STEELY DAN Showbiz Kids: The Steely Dan Story album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Showbiz Kids: The Steely Dan Story
RnB 2000
STEELY DAN Android Warehouse (The Early Years) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Android Warehouse (The Early Years)
RnB 2002
STEELY DAN The Definitive Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Definitive Collection
RnB 2006
STEELY DAN 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Steely Dan album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Steely Dan
RnB 2007
STEELY DAN Collected album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
RnB 2009

STEELY DAN singles (0)

STEELY DAN movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


STEELY DAN Alive in America

Live album · 1995 · RnB
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For us Steely Dan freaks the empty 80s were rendered even more depressing by the dissolution in ‘81 of the partnership of Donald Fagen & Walter Becker, the men that comprised the core of one of the most influential musical entities in all the world. They had made the 70s even more exciting by delivering a string of albums that defined in clever abstract our generation’s ever-changing attitudes while still capturing the pure essence of what it was like to be young and vibrant growing up during that amazing decade. The sole blessing found in their self-imposed hiatus was that they didn’t have to suffer the indignity of being forced to come up with shallow, petty videos to promote their songs as their contemporaries had to do in order to extend their careers. By the time the 90s arrived we’d wistfully pull out our copies of the likes of “The Royal Scam” and “Aja,” sing along and reminisce about how wonderful it had felt to be intrigued by every fresh offering Steely Dan would give us back in the day. Then, in ’95, it was announced that the duo had finally realized that not only was there gold in them thar hills but that modern concert technology made it possible for them to attain in person the high fidelity standards they’d insisted on in the studio environ. They’d last performed live in ’74 when, frustrated with the myriad of hassles involved, retired from the stage. Reports that their shows were nothing less than scintillating happenings encouraged their loyal following to dream of a permanent reunion between the two and the subsequent release of “Alive in America” confirmed that they hadn’t lost their ability to thrill. We fans ate it up like Bananas Foster.

When Fagen and Becker recorded “Pretzel Logic” they’d jettisoned the “combo” concept and expanded their options and creative potential by allowing studio cats to contribute exactly what was needed on a given tune. In the years that followed receiving an invite to a Steely Dan session became a coveted honor among professional musicians so when Don and Walt put together their backing ensemble for their first tour in 21 years they were able to pick and choose from the best. Anybody who was anybody wanted in on this project. Therefore, from the starting notes of “Babylon Sisters” onward the listener is treated to the sounds of one of the finest groups one can ever hope to hear. Any Steely aficionado would understandably expect flawless renditions of all the gems included on this album but the live ambience that permeates the venue they’re in humanizes both the creators and their creations, resulting in a wholly gratifying experience on many levels. One is reminded of their unique genius when the spellbound audience responds enthusiastically to this song’s signature “You got to shake it, baby” refrain. It’s a chill bump moment to treasure. “Green Earrings” is next and the punchy horn section really gives this tune a huge energy boost. I love the stirring piano solo and the sizzling sax ride that electrify the tune as well as the exceptional guitar lead (supplied by either Georg Wadenius or Drew Zingg) in the last segment. They then segue directly to the greatness that is “Bodhisattva” and deliver a powerful, driving version of one of the coolest compositions in their arsenal. They kick serious tail and the guitarist not only matches Jeff “Skunk” Baxter’s memorable solo on the original but actually takes it to an even loftier level. The group’s astounding performance of this classic on that particular night is worth the price of this CD alone. It’s that good.

“Reelin’ in the Years” has been so overplayed that I’ve lost all perspective on it so I was pleased that they took liberal liberties with the number, beginning with the clever piano tease at the onset. A decidedly jazzy slant gives the song a new, more vibrant personality as they allow both the guitar and the sax to vamp freely during the spirited jam. In addition, the brash horn arrangement is killer. Their too-faithful recreation of “Josie” is the only disappointment I encountered along the way in that there’s nothing to distinguish it from the studio treatment. (Okay, I’ve never been that crazy about the song at all. Sue me.) I appreciate that they tossed us a bone by interjecting a brief drum break but it’s not enough to make up for Becker’s pedestrian axe work in the latter half. The only non-Dan inclusion comes in the form of “Book of Liars” from one of Walt’s solo efforts. The tune’s sweet, jazzy flow is hard to resist, the melancholy aura it possesses compensates for Mr. Becker’s unremarkable turn at the microphone and the sax and piano rides elevate the tune from run-of-the-mill status to memorable. The glorious “Peg” is next and they don’t veer far from the blueprints on this one, either, but the vim and vigor supplied by the tight rhythm section fuels the ensemble’s performance strikingly and the guitar lead burns a hole in the stage floor. Face it, “Peg” is too perfect to try to improve in any way. “Third World Man” follows and I’m so happy it’s on here because the song is one of their most overlooked and deserves to get out of the Dan house more often. The lazy groove is hypnotic and the piece’s stunning dynamics are to die for, making for awesome aural contrasts rarely detected in modern times.

“Kid Charlemagne” is yet another one of their stellar songs that doesn’t need embellishment and they do it complete, uncompromising justice from top to bottom. Next up is “Sign In Stranger,” a less-recognizable-but-no-less-entertaining ditty whose eclectic words conjure up imaginative visions of shady goings-on. A loping, playful Caribbean beat propels this number and I admire how they changed things up just enough to keep even the most dedicated of fan on the edge of his/her seat. The hot piano solo is brilliant and the horn section breakdown is euphoria-inducing. They end the set with the magnificent “Aja.” At this juncture the question isn’t if they can master the intricacies of this landmark composition but whether or not the drummer (either Dennis Chambers or Peter Erkskine) can pull off Steve Gadd’s incredulous, bar-setting performance preserved forevermore on the original LP. On this evening, at least, it’s up to snuff and everyone in attendance is fully satisfied. The subtle variations that Fagen & Becker throw in from time to time give it a distinct flavor not anticipated.

“Alive in America” went to #40 on the charts, a respectable plateau for any live album in any era, and that success spurred Don and Walt on to reconciling their petty differences and returning to making notable new music together. Whether it was the lure of box office receipts or just the opportunity to see if the flame of creativity still burned between them, that tour and this record were the catalysts that brought Steely Dan back from dormancy and gave the “group” a new lease on life. I was fortunate enough to finally catch them in concert several years ago and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever witnessed. This disc comes pretty close to replicating the charisma-filled sound I heard that night but you really need to see them in person to get the full effect. It’ll be money well-spent. 4 bright stars.

STEELY DAN Citizen Steely Dan: 1972-1980

Boxset / Compilation · 1993 · RnB
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I don't like compilations, and box-sets in particular. It must be really something unique to attract me and convince me buying the old stuff in new clothes. I prefer original albums as produced, played and even visually designed by artists themselves. It was their statement, no matter how imperfect or flawed in technical terms it may have been.

"Citizen Steely Dan" is a lump sum of all their studio albums from the debut (1972) till "Gaucho" (1980) that marked the end of that period of their work. Even the tracks are sorted chronologically in exact listing as they appeared on original releases but sequences are discontinued between the discs, so if you want to listen to say, "Countdown to Ecstasy" only, you will have to change from disc 1 to disc 2.

If you are a fan that keeps all original albums in collection you don't need this package unless you are a die-hard completest. Oh, yeah, there are several bonus tracks: "Bodhisattva" live showing that SD was in fact a real rock band once upon a time, "Here at the Western World" which already appeared on their first compilation "Greatest Hits" in 1978 (so it is even not a premiere here) and negligible demo version of "Everyone's Gone to the Movies". Nothing crucial to justify the purchase. A friend of mine sent me this box and I plan to rip them all into my mp3 player, divide them into original albums' track listings and add cover images. Only in such a way I could listen to it.

STEELY DAN Greatest Hits

Boxset / Compilation · 1978 · RnB
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This collection was my induction to the wonderful world of STEELY DAN, so it has a personal value for me. I bought it in the format of double cassette tape, which was issued locally by Beograd Disk label in Yugoslavia in the early 1980s through license catalog of ABC Records.

The songs that immediately caught my attention were "Do It Again", "Reeling in the Years", "Show Biz Kids" (although I was too young to appreciate it back then), "Doctor Wu", "Haitian Divorce" (amazing wah-wah guitar solo), "The Fez" and "Peg". It is quite representative compilation of first six albums, up to and including "Aja", although many excellent songs were omitted.

This compilation is focused more on the shorter, radio-friendly side of the SD so the title "Greatest Hits" seems appropriate in this case. Today the first-time listeners have more and better choice in selecting a proper compilation CD to get a feeling of the SD music, but this old vinyl collection was also important for me because it forced me to buy studio albums later on. I will give 4 stars for historical importance and personal love of this first official compilation!

STEELY DAN Countdown to Ecstasy

Album · 1973 · RnB
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The sophomore act of SD presents a big step forward into a crossover/fusion territory, if compared with the debut. Compositions are a bit longer, better produced and developed with full advantages of the studio technology. The sound is impeccable - Fagen's voice is excellent in delivering those dark, twisted and cynical lyrics about Hippies' fake embrace of the Eastern philosophies ("Bodhisattva"), low life and misery of the American suburbia ("The Boston Rag", "Pearl of the Quarter", "Razor Boy") or the consequences of facing the images of American Dream ("Show Biz Kids").

The overall album is much darker than its predecessor while several songs are noticeably influenced by both progressive rock of the era and by classic jazz. Wonderful instrumental passages of Fagen's piano and amazing guitar work of Dias, Baxter and especially Derringer on "Show Biz Kids" are nothing short of masterpiece.

"Countdown to Ecstasy" also contains one of the most unusual songs I ever heard - "Show Biz Kids". Singing about lost wages in Las Vegas (female backing voices allegedly sing these lines in a rhythmic manner throughout the song), the song is complex but yet sound simple due to unchanged rhythm. There are many overdubbed layers on top of which rests the phenomenal slide guitar bursting out courtesy of the guest player Rick Derringer.

Even if you consider STEELY DAN too mainstream or song- oriented for your unique jazz/prog/avant collection, you should try with this album. The crooner-like ballad "Pearl of the Quarter" and pop-soul of the hit "My Old School" prevents me from giving full 5 stars.

STEELY DAN Can't Buy a Thrill

Album · 1972 · RnB
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STEELY DAN debut is a remarkable record because of two things at least: a sophisticated musical hybrid of rock, pop, jazz and R'n'B along with cynical, sometimes cryptic lyrics and campy cover art in the vein of LITTLE FEAT or ROXY MUSIC on one hand; and on the other the phenomenal piece of art in the shape of the opening mega tune "Do It Again". Distinguished rhythmic pattern, melodic Fagen's vocals and interplay between the solo parts of electric sitar and organ made this track one of the DAN highlights right from the start of their career.

Still, the rest of the album is not on par with the promising opener. David Palmer's vocals on "Dirty Work", "Midnight Cruiser" and "Brooklyn" are too cheesy and better suit to a crooner-type vocalists. Music is often a too straightforward rock'n'roll with an occasional blues or jazz chord that approaches a type of easy-listening soft-rock. I read somewhere that someone had assessed SD as the first "Adult-Oriented Rock" (AOR) band, even before the term was coined. Even if we agree with that, the later work of the duo would certainly overpass any categorization and would be highly evaluated among jazz, rock and soul-pop listeners alike. The hints of the better works to come are present here in the classically arranged "Kings", anti-Hippie vignette "Only a Fool Would Say That" and a fiery boogie-rocker "Reelin' In the Years".

This LP is not essential for jazz collections, but I would surely advise you take a chance and listen to it. If only more songs were done in the way of "Do It Again" (and without Palmer vocals) I would consider 4 stars...

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