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es347
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Re: The Steely Dan thread


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No argument from me regarding Ornette Coleman being the real deal but to attach a "wannabe" handle to Becker and Fagen is a bit disingenuous, smiley face aside. Coleman was firmly rooted in a genre whereas SD was a bridge between genres. In the early 70s they were doing things that no one else was doing and it grew from there. I defy anyone to name another "group" that produced a product in the 70s that sounds as current as their stuff does to this day. But then everyone is entitled to their opinion however wrong it may be (insert smiley face here).

I agree with what you're saying, particularly with the part about how in the 1970's Steely Dan sounded way ahead of their time. Where we part company is with the second coming of SD - I feel that their more recent material hasn't progressed much from their 1970's material, not to say that the recent material is "bad" but rather that Steely Dan has lost that cutting edge / ahead of the curve sound that they had in spades in the 1970's.

But then again not everyone has the ability to reinvent themselves like Miles Davis (multiple times) or Ornette Coleman (at least once), to name a few who have done so successfully.

No argument from me re: the post Gaucho releases. Even Fagen's solo stuff was just ok. Becker's...well what can you say? You could see they were running out of things to pine about even on Gaucho. The brooding period was pretty much over by then and nowadays, both being multi-zillionaires, whats a guy got to brood about? Market losses? Their music is still interesting and they can always attract just about anyone to play in a session but the lyrics aren't as interesting and catchy as they were in the 70s. I'm ok with that however because all I have to do is pop the cork on a good sauvignon, turn down the lights and put on anything up to and including Gaucho and I'm drawn in in a matter of milliseconds. Who sez you can't buy a thrill?

es347
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Re: The Steely Dan thread

"He's an artist, a pioneer.. the key word is survival on the new frontier."

Mark, I think he was referring to Brubeck.

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Re: The Steely Dan thread


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"He's an artist, a pioneer.. the key word is survival on the new frontier."

Mark, I think he was referring to Brubeck.

Absolutely. I applied it to Coleman.

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Re: The Steely Dan thread

I love jazz, but it got over my head at about Bitches Brew. It sounds like scrambled eggs to me. I accept that this is my problem, that I can't follow the more complex music, but there it is. So I am a more melodic jazz guy. Birth of the Cool, Kind of Blue, Benson when he was swinging, Coltrane before he left the planet of my understanding, I love that stuff. The more complicated and free jazz is too complicated for me!

Trey

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Re: The Steely Dan thread


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I love jazz, but it got over my head at about Bitches Brew. It sounds like scrambled eggs to me. I accept that this is my problem, that I can't follow the more complex music, but there it is. So I am a more melodic jazz guy. Birth of the Cool, Kind of Blue, Benson when he was swinging, Coltrane before he left the planet of my understanding, I love that stuff. The more complicated and free jazz is too complicated for me!

Trey

Improvisational Jazz can be quite complicated for the ears to discern at times.

Mark

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Re: The Steely Dan thread

I have a CD with Marilyn Mazur and her group. It's so called "avantgarde jazz". Man, it's far out!

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Re: The Steely Dan thread


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Improvisational Jazz can be quite complicated for the ears to discern at times. Mark

Not to mention the brain. Some of it gives me a headache just trying to figure out if the musicians can actually hear each other or if each of their egos being so big they don't care what anyone else is playing.

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Re: The Steely Dan thread


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Improvisational Jazz can be quite complicated for the ears to discern at times. Mark

Not to mention the brain. Some of it gives me a headache just trying to figure out if the musicians can actually hear each other or if each of their egos being so big they don't care what anyone else is playing.

Definitely. Some of that stuff is beyond me at times and can be hard on the ears. Although I dig The Mahavishnu Orchestra w/John Mclaughlin. Have you ever heard of them? pretty Cool stuff

BTW: Walter Becker and Donald Fagen are huge fans too.

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Re: The Steely Dan thread


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Definitely. Some of that stuff is beyond me at times and can be hard on the ears. Although I dig The Mahavishnu Orchestra w/John Mclaughlin. Have you ever heard of them? pretty Cool stuff


Mahavishnu Orchestra I can get into with their slower numbers but there're times when, to my ears, McLaughlin & the orchestra sound as if they're having a ' let's see how many notes we can cram into the bar' competition.
Maybe you need to be coked off your head to enjoy that stuff - they sure sound to me as though they are. The times I've heard them live they sure sounded like they were in a real hurry - more so than the recordings.

rvance
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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?

My problem is that for all their technical wizardry, the labcoat inspired perfection... there is very little feeling...if any at all. Id much rather have a less talented band with Soul..

I get what you say, Teddy, but I've always found them to be utterly soulful in a different way. There are thematic elements, both in their musicianship and in the meaning of what they write and represent that stirs an emotional chord in me. The brain can be a rhythm instrument, too.

I just got done listening to Frank Black's "Teenager Of The Year" and Frank Sinatra with Antonio Carlos Jobim. A sublime swing from one cool to another.

Now I'm going to pick out a DVD-A of SD, or maybe "Katy Lied" on vinyl and complete the trifecta.

What a nice thread, Keld.

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Re: The Steely Dan thread

Hopefully not too thread-drifty...

When this one came out....

...it utterly rocked my world, and I don't know why at age 13 it would do that, but it sure did.

I still have my original LP.

(Maybe it was my dumbass friends over-relating to catcher In The Rye and "Existentialism" that lead me to this antidote.)

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?


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My problem is that for all their technical wizardry, the labcoat inspired perfection... there is very little feeling...if any at all. Id much rather have a less talented band with Soul..

I get what you say, Teddy, but I've always found them to be utterly soulful in a different way. There are thematic elements, both in their musicianship and in the meaning of what they write and represent that stirs an emotional chord in me. The brain can be a rhythm instrument, too.

I just got done listening to Frank Black's "Teenager Of The Year" and Frank Sinatra with Antonio Carlos Jobim. A sublime swing from one cool to another.

Now I'm going to pick out a DVD-A of SD, or maybe "Katy Lied" on vinyl and complete the trifecta.

What a nice thread, Keld.

I love the different takes on SD's soul quotient.

I've always thought of them as offering only what it is that the listener takes to the music, rather than the other way around.

(Interestingly, Axl Rose has said the same about GnR's work.)

For instance....

Some people think of "My Old School" as a bitter and blistering put down of the singer's school experience, but I always took it more as a celabratory tune.

Go figure!

I also like the detached feeling SD gives me...almost like everything they are singing about is offered as recollection of a feeling rather than singing about the feeling itself.

It's hard to describe.

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?


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I also like the detached feeling SD gives me...almost like everything they are singing about is offered as recollection of a feeling rather than singing about the feeling itself.

It's hard to describe.

Yeah, like one of those dreams where you're in the dream, but only as an observer. It's like you are watching yourself watch the dream. I think it has to do with aliens and the astral plane and stuff like that. Whatever it is it's cool when it happens.

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Re: The Steely Dan thread

Dissily wrote: Mahavishnu Orchestra I can get into with their slower numbers but there're times when, to my ears, McLaughlin & the orchestra sound as if they're having a ' let's see how many notes we can cram into the bar' competition. Maybe you need to be coked off your head to enjoy that stuff - they sure sound to me as though they are. The times I've heard them live they sure sounded like they were in a real hurry - more so than the recordings.

The exact reason why I got off the Mahavishnu train years ago. Same with many others whose music seem to lack the necessary "soul".

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Re: The Steely Dan thread

I haven't paid any attention to this thread, but in Syracuse yesterday I picked up a copy of the four disc best-of, 'Citizen Steely Dan.'

I put in a few hours with it and thought that a.) some songs have a permanent burn, having been through radio's wash, rinse, repeat cycle once too often ('Reelin' In The Years' made me hit the skip button, as did 'Rikki,' b.) that their take on the blues was genuinely hilarious and fresh and c.) the music is old enough now that it's passed from being real cool through tired L.A. lite jazz to being, ummm, what it is.

s.

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?


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I also like the detached feeling SD gives me...almost like everything they are singing about is offered as recollection of a feeling rather than singing about the feeling itself.

It's hard to describe.

Yeah, like one of those dreams where you're in the dream, but only as an observer. It's like you are watching yourself watch the dream. I think it has to do with aliens and the astral plane and stuff like that. Whatever it is it's cool when it happens.

Dr.Spivey,

I like the way you said that. SD is one of the groups that has a tune for any mood. If I have a crappy day at work, SD always puts it in perspective.

Mark

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Re: The Steely Dan thread


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Dissily wrote: Mahavishnu Orchestra I can get into with their slower numbers but there're times when, to my ears, McLaughlin & the orchestra sound as if they're having a ' let's see how many notes we can cram into the bar' competition. Maybe you need to be coked off your head to enjoy that stuff - they sure sound to me as though they are. The times I've heard them live they sure sounded like they were in a real hurry - more so than the recordings.

The exact reason why I got off the Mahavishnu train years ago. Same with many others whose music seem to lack the necessary "soul".

I can totally dig where your coming from. Very understandable.

McLaughlin is primarily a guitar shredders, guitarist. I think that is probably why I am so in to them. At 47 years old my fingers don't move that fast anymore but nevertheless, still like his ability and accuracy. You will find this to be a common thread with guitarists that like to play fast pentatonic scales etc;.. more about agility than feeling for the lack of a better description.

Mark Evans

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Re: The Steely Dan thread


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Hopefully not too thread-drifty...

When this one came out....

...it utterly rocked my world, and I don't know why at age 13 it would do that, but it sure did.

I still have my original LP.

(Maybe it was my dumbass friends over-relating to catcher In The Rye and "Existentialism" that lead me to this antidote.)

Got it! Unbelievable album.

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Re: The Steely Dan thread


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I haven't paid any attention to this thread, but in Syracuse yesterday I picked up a copy of the four disc best-of, 'Citizen Steely Dan.'

I put in a few hours with it and thought that a.) some songs have a permanent burn, having been through radio's wash, rinse, repeat cycle once too often ('Reelin' In The Years' made me hit the skip button, as did 'Rikki,' b.) that their take on the blues was genuinely hilarious and fresh and c.) the music is old enough now that it's passed from being real cool through tired L.A. lite jazz to being, ummm, what it is.

s.

What I have found is that a healthy dose of Donald Fagen's solo albums, Kamakiriad and Nightfly have always rejuvenated my love for SD material. Try it.

Mark Evans

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?


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back before I had taste, I had a couple.

now that I have taste, I stay far away from that miserable, cliche elevator light nonsense.

Glad you said it first my man. I gotta say SD a huge part of what went wrong with rock in the 70's. Over production and a kind of inward looking direction. That and the whole Prog genre! Shutter...

I won't belabor the point other than saying when bands like SD, ELP, YES and Dire Straights (among others) hit it big, it just took all the edge out of rock and morphed in non-threatening adult-contemporary. Think about the first couple Fleetwood Mac albums- not bad song can be found almost. But they very quickly became parodies of themselves- worshiping what they did in the past without ever taking any risks. Technicality is fine, but honestly not much to go on if it's only that. Worst of all might be Jefferson Airplane's downward slide into Starship- but I could name dozens more!

On the other hand, if you feel nostalgia for it cause you got high (or laid) when you heard their albums back in the day, I can understand that.

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?


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back before I had taste, I had a couple.

now that I have taste, I stay far away from that miserable, cliche elevator light nonsense.

Glad you said it first my man. I gotta say SD a huge part of what went wrong with rock in the 70's. Over production and a kind of inward looking direction. That and the whole Prog genre! Shutter...

I won't belabor the point other than saying when bands like SD, ELP, YES and Dire Straights (among others) hit it big, it just took all the edge out of rock and morphed in non-threatening adult-contemporary. Think about the first couple Fleetwood Mac albums- not bad song can be found almost. But they very quickly became parodies of themselves- worshiping what they did in the past without ever taking any risks. Technicality is fine, but honestly not much to go on if it's only that. Worst of all might be Jefferson Airplane's downward slide into Starship- but I could name dozens more!

On the other hand, if you feel nostalgia for it cause you got high (or laid) when you heard their albums back in the day, I can understand that.

Hey, we can't all like the same music. That's okay. But as much as I liked Yes and some other proggers (and hated several others), there's NO EFFING WAY you can put The Dan in THAT category. They were unique, incorporating a jazz sensibility without sounding like Chicago or B.S.& T.

Their musicianship was an east coast reaction to all the terrible west coast hippie bands who couldn't play a lick on stage.

And songs like "Hey, Nineteen" just swing in a laid back, funky way. No nostalgia needed.

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?


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Quote:

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On the other hand, if you feel nostalgia for it cause you got high (or laid) when you heard their albums back in the day, I can understand that.

you nailed it! and thats not such a bad thing either

rvance:

I am seriously diggin what you are throwin down my friend

couldn't have said it better.

Look when I remember back to the first "really great" recording I heard, which happened to be a Steely Dan album..it kinda changed my ideas on just how really good stereos could possibly sound. I would venture to say that some people would make that same claim.

Simply put, This is the band that got me into "Hi-Fidelity" audio. Thats one phrase that has been echoed throughout the years by many a good Folk.

Mark Evans

....I got plenty of java and chesterfield kings...But I feel like cryin I wish I had a heart like ice...

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?


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On the other hand, if you feel nostalgia for it cause you got high (or laid)

Or? In my day we got both together !

Quote:
Look when I remember back to the first "really great" recording I heard, which happened to be a Steely Dan album..it kinda changed my ideas on just how really good stereos could possibly sound. I would venture to say that some people would make that same claim.
Simply put, This is the band that got me into "Hi-Fidelity" audio. Thats one phrase that has been echoed throughout the years by many a good Folk.


Some truth in that but I'm afraid I was eventually put off Aja because every damned audio retailer I went into insisted on playing it over and over to demo their gear.
You can have too much of a good thing.

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?

Or? In my day we got both together !

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You got that right about getting 'both together'!

Some truth in that but I'm afraid I was eventually put off Aja because every damned audio retailer I went into insisted on playing it over and over to demo their gear.
You can have too much of a good thing.

I know, I have to agree. Remember when that Kenny Loggins album came out.. and the record stores played "This is it" every hour on the hour. It was to ad-nauseum

Mark

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?

All on vinyl
Then the redbook box set.

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?


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All on vinyl
Then the redbook box set.

Another man of great taste. He has to be! He's a Dan Fan!

Mark

BTW: Welcome to the forum.

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?

My wife loves Steely Dan, she says, "They are like sculpture."

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?


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My wife loves Steely Dan, she says, "They are like sculpture."

Does she have a sister?

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?

Two?

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?

While I agree with the points made against SD, they are not a rock band. I love rock, punk, ska, reggae, hard swingin country, and lots of other types of music. I also love prog and SD. It is just different, and it sure ain't rock!

Trey

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?


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While I agree with the points made against SD, they are not a rock band. I love rock, punk, ska, reggae, hard swingin country, and lots of other types of music. I also love prog and SD. It is just different, and it sure ain't rock!

Trey

I am of the opinion that Steely Dan is an amalgumation of Jazz/fusion and swing.

They are simply in a class all by themselves.

When you have musicians like Michael McDonald, Steve Khan, Mark Knopfler, Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter, Jeff Porcaro, Victor Feldman, and Dean Parks..playing on your recordings, You simply can't put SD into any specific genre.

Mark (I will love Steely Dan till I die) Evans

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?

Well said. I would throw in pop, but you did the heavy lifting!

Trey

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?

I once knew a chick who could dance to Steely Dan music. All of it.

You haven't lived until you see a woman successfully dance to Royal Scam and not look like Elaine Benes.

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?


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I once knew a chick who could dance to Steely Dan music. All of it.

You haven't lived until you see a woman successfully dance to Royal Scam and not look like Elaine Benes.

Let's get it started! ...Im lovin me some Royal Scam by Steely Dan......

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?


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While I agree with the points made against SD, they are not a rock band. I love rock, punk, ska, reggae, hard swingin country, and lots of other types of music. I also love prog and SD. It is just different, and it sure ain't rock!

Trey

Bodhisattva
Black Friday
Chain Lightning
Cousin Dupree
Kid Charlemagne
Peg
Show Biz Kids

They may not be a rock band...but they can.

I think they're Beyond Rock.

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Re: Which Steely Dan albums do you own?

rvance, your point is of course accurate. I am not sure that all those songs are rock, but the lads can rock when they choose to. The wonderful "Reeling in the Years" comes to mind. It rocks out!

Trey

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