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Thread: Ok, what's so great about... Steely Dan?

  1. #776
    Member proggy_jazzer's Avatar
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    I love both The Nightfly and Morph, but when push comes to shove I have to give MtC a slight edge based on the sound quality, which I find deeper and more organic than the highly digital sound of Nightfly. Kamakiriad comes in third for me, and Sunken Condos last, BUT, I need to be honest and say I've spent less time with it than any of the others and should re-evaluate. A good project for a frigid weekend here!
    David
    Happy with what I have to be happy with.

  2. #777
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    I only have Nightfly. I find it more mellow than any of the SD albums I'm familiar with (which is most) except for maybe Gaucho.

  3. #778
    Member since 7/13/2000 Hal...'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Sorry if this was already covered, but what do you think of Fagan’s “Sunken Condos?” How does it compare to “The Nightfly?”
    I gave a song or two from Sunken Condos a listen and they didn't grab me, so I haven't heard the whole thing.

    But I'm not really a fan of solo Don. I do still have Morph the Cat, which I really enjoyed, partly because of the production. proggy_jazzer's assessment is spot on:

    Quote Originally Posted by proggy_jazzer View Post
    ...when push comes to shove I have to give MtC a slight edge based on the sound quality, which I find deeper and more organic than the highly digital sound of Nightfly
    Nightfly and Kamakiriad fatigue my ear. Actually, so does Two Against Nature, even though I think it's SD's best in terms of lyrics.
    “From thirty feet away she looked like a lot of class. From ten feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from thirty feet away.” – Philip Marlowe

  4. #779
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    I only have Nightfly. I find it more mellow than any of the SD albums I'm familiar with (which is most) except for maybe Gaucho.
    No Becker, so a nicer and more nostalgic tone in the lyrics. Good coda to the first SD run, I think.

  5. #780
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    ^ Your post is a perfect lead-in to this NY Times piece (paywall unlocked) which is partly a review of Morph the Cat and also an interview with Donald Fagen about the album. Definitely has some details I'd never heard (not that I've read a lot about the band, but I'm trying to!).

    https://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/26/a...smid=url-share

    I've never listened to Morph the Cat, so I'll be remedying that this weekend. I'm certainly interested in it after reading this.
    Last edited by JKL2000; 01-21-2024 at 01:01 AM.

  6. #781
    Member wiz_d_kidd's Avatar
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    When their music first started hitting the airwaves, I thought "Wow! What perfect music!" Everything was so finely tuned, precisely timed, meticulously composed, and laboriously mixed. Now they sound fake, plastic, and over-produced to my ears, and would easily be mistaken for AI. It's a shame because they had some good songs.

  7. #782
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiz_d_kidd View Post
    When their music first started hitting the airwaves, I thought "Wow! What perfect music!" Everything was so finely tuned, precisely timed, meticulously composed, and laboriously mixed. Now they sound fake, plastic, and over-produced to my ears, and would easily be mistaken for AI. It's a shame because they had some good songs.
    It’s a shame for you, but I think you’re in a minority in not liking them anymore for those reasons.

  8. #783
    Just seen an email regarding a 3 night residency for The Eagles with Steely Dan as support in Manchester UK. Not that close to me but still tempting.

  9. #784
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Steely Don.

  10. #785
    Member davis's Avatar
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    Ro answer the thread title, everything. I prefer them from debut through Aja, but I like All their stuff. Favorites include The Royal Scam and Countdown to Ecstasy.

  11. #786
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwoll View Post
    Nightfly is a fantastic album. ( this as East St. Louis Toodle-Oo plays in the background ). Sunken Condos is ok, but more of a 'I need to make an album because I am touring' album.
    My order of preference
    Nightfly
    Kamakiriad
    Morph the Cat
    Sunken Condos
    My assessment as well. Kamakiriad, while a completely different album than Nightfly, shares that album's musical excentricities and I mean that in a good way. I never liked Morph or Condos as much as the last two Steely Dan albums. They're ok. The Nightfly is a desert island disc for me.

  12. #787
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    What's so great about Steely Dan?

    Two words: Skunk Baxter.

  13. #788
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I need to make a short compilation of all the "gentleman loser" songs in the Dan catalog. That theme is endlessly fascinating, running from "Midnite Cruiser" to "Deacon Blues"
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  14. #789
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Kid Charlemagne
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
    -- Aristotle
    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
    “A Man Who Does Not Read Has No Appreciable Advantage Over the Man Who Cannot Read” - Mark Twain

  15. #790
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Until recently, the only SD album I owned was Aja on CD, but I've started buying used SD and Donald Fagen CDs, mainly because I'd like to have the booklets for the credits. I have a couple more SD CDs on the way, and I've gotten a few of Fagen's solo albums on CD already. One that I got is Sunken Condos, which I actually think is pretty good. I've also got Nightfly, which is good, and Kamakiriad, but I haven't listened to that one enough. Morph is the one I still need to get, it seems to be a little harder to find a decent used copy, but they're out there. I ordered one and for some reason the seller decided not to sell it, or they no longer had it or something.

    Anyway, still enjoying my Steely Dan journey, which only began for real a couple of years ago at the height of COVID.

  16. #791
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    A question to those in the know: do you think SD will tour the East Coast again? I'd really like to see them (such as the band is now) at least once.

  17. #792
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwoll View Post
    Kid Charlemagne
    Was Owsley Stanley a gentleman? A loser?

  18. #793
    Member since 7/13/2000 Hal...'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Until recently, the only SD album I owned was Aja on CD, but I've started buying used SD and Donald Fagen CDs...
    What don't you have, yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    A question to those in the know: do you think SD will tour the East Coast again? I'd really like to see them (such as the band is now) at least once.
    Oh I'm sure. DF lives in NYC and concerts there are a given. You just might have to wait a year or two. Besides, they're currently touring with the Eagles and who would want to see that???

    I've seen them 1˝ times. The first time was actually the New York Rock & Soul Revue that included Boz Scaggs, Phoebe Snow, and Michael McDonald in addition to Becker & Fagen. Funny thing about that show: a lot of people made a beeline for the beer stands when they weren't playing SD songs. And from what I understand, the overwhelming response to the SD songs is what got them to start touring again.

    The second time I saw them was in '94, which was lucky because Dennis Chambers played drums. Interesting thing about that show (to me) is that I never really cared for Green Earrings until I heard it live. It was considerably more funky than the studio version.

    They're a good band to see live. Just don't expect the arrangements to match what's on record; they change them up a lot.

    Oh, and keep an eye out for any tours and get your tix as early as possible because resale prices are exorbitant.
    “From thirty feet away she looked like a lot of class. From ten feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from thirty feet away.” – Philip Marlowe

  19. #794
    Member since 7/13/2000 Hal...'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    Was Owsley Stanley a gentleman? A loser?
    At the very least he was a gentleman scholar. I saw a documentary where he was discussed in depth (I think it was The Sunshine Makers, which is available on Amazon). The dude was self-taught in sound design, acoustics, electronics, and chemistry and from all accounts his LSD was as pure as you could find that wasn't made by the pharmaceutical company Sandoz. And the dude never studied chemistry in college. In fact, I don't think he ever attended more than a semester or two of any college he went to.

    Was he a loser? IDK. He did spend two years in prison and also almost got into trouble with the Secret Service when he walked up to a 13 year old Chelsea Clinton backstage at a Dead concert to show her the jewelry he made, which made a White House employee very nervous.
    “From thirty feet away she looked like a lot of class. From ten feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from thirty feet away.” – Philip Marlowe

  20. #795
    Member Rajaz's Avatar
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    My guess is that when Steely Dan were becoming popular, it was during a time when groups like Crosby, Stills & Nash, Yes, America and Seals & Crofts were the "thing" with powerful harmonizing vocals that made them standout. Their Jazzier side became a factor later and saw them cross-over into a different genre.

  21. #796
    Quote Originally Posted by Progtastic View Post
    Just seen an email regarding a 3 night residency for The Eagles with Steely Dan as support in Manchester UK. Not that close to me but still tempting.
    That combination will be playing in The Netherlands as well

  22. #797
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal... View Post
    What don't you have, yet?
    Including the two CDs that are in the mail now, all I have so far is:

    Steely Dan:
    Countdown to Ecstasy
    Aja
    Two Against Nature

    Donald Fagen:
    The Nightfly
    Kamakiriad
    Sunken Condos

    If anyone has titles they want to sell, hit me with a PM. Just keep in mind I'm extremely cheap.

  23. #798
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    If you are in the mood for fondling, just get the Citizen Steely Dan Box and the Cheap Xmas box off Discogs. A couple years ago, Cheap Xmas was easy to find but now the prices are insane. It's the only place to find the bonus disc
    .
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  24. #799
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    If you are in the mood for fondling, just get the Citizen Steely Dan Box and the Cheap Xmas box off Discogs. A couple years ago, Cheap Xmas was easy to find but now the prices are insane. It's the only place to find the bonus disc
    .
    I'd rather have the individual albums with all their own tracks on individual CDs, with the cover art and credits. I'm not aiming for a complete collection, just the disks I like enough to care about that stuff. So far I've been paying $8 - $10 per disk with shipping. I should probably try to hit a few used record stores if I can manage to find any. There's ONE near me, but it's mostly vinyl.

  25. #800
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Every SD album through Gaucho is mandatory imo. There isn't a weak album there.

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