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Steely Dan Albums

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Poll Question: Which ones should i get?
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6 [25.00%]
4 [16.67%]
7 [29.17%]
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    Posted: July 20 2012 at 18:50
These are the albums my local record store holds. I'm curious on your opinions on these albums and how you would rank them? I've allowed for multiple votes so i could see if two really take the lead. Feel free to post your favorites form each albums. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 20 2012 at 19:03
Katy Lied is my least favorite of the four, though it's a favorite of some fans.  It's pretty straightforward rock, as far as Steely Dan goes, meaning it's got punchy tempos and fun songs but still throws a few curveballs (Your Gold Teeth II is incredible, as is Doctor Wu).  And the chord progressions are jazzy as always.

Pretzel Logic is really diverse and daring.  Lots of different tempos, moods, and even a Duke Ellington cover.

Aja is kind of a jazz rock masterpiece, and a big change in direction for them.  Sounds like it was put together by session players and it was.  Steve Gadd is all over this one.  And the songs are great too, a bit more elongated and smoothed out, but still vital.

Royal Scam is kind of a cross between Pretzel and Aja.  Dynamic rock material, really dark songs that seem to paint a picture of the New York criminal underground and the life surrounding it.  But also very produced, with guest session guys like Larry Carlton (whose solo on Kid Charlemagne is rightly famous).

My rankings of these

1. Royal Scam
2. Aja
3. Pretzel
4. Katy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 20 2012 at 19:15
Go for the box set if it's available.  I did and don't regret it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote darkshade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 20 2012 at 19:37
The Royal Scam. The best album on that list.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 20 2012 at 20:30
 ^ yup--  'Green Earrings' kicks ass

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote irrelevant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 20 2012 at 21:44
Katy Lied and Aja are about equal favourites for me. I'd say start with Aja and if you like that, get all the rest. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mellotron Storm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 20 2012 at 22:14
I guess i'm the first to vote for Pretzel Logic. To be honest this is one of the few bands that i'd be happy with a compilation album of songs along with Countdown To Ecstacy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 20 2012 at 22:34
"Say Steve, how would you rank the entire SD discography on a grading system?"

Glad you asked:

Royal Scam A
Countdown to Ecstasy A
Aja A -
Pretzel Logic A -
Gaucho B+
Katy Lied B / B+
Can't Buy a Thrill C+

And I don't know the newer ones well enough to judge, but I didn't really like what I heard.




Edited by HolyMoly - July 20 2012 at 22:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2012 at 04:24
Most of their albums before they left the scene in the 80s are great but if you really must avoid any of those albums, Katy Lied and Can't Buy A Thrill are the weakest ones (while still really good).  Either of Aja, Royal Scam or Pretzel Logic would be a good place to start.  If you really like jazz rock/fusion/funk, maybe Royal Scam is your best bet, failing that Aja.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sean Trane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2012 at 05:27
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

Most of their albums before they left the scene in the 80s are great but if you really must avoid any of those albums, Katy Lied and Can't Buy A Thrill are the weakest ones (while still really good).  Either of Aja, Royal Scam or Pretzel Logic would be a good place to start.  If you really like jazz rock/fusion/funk, maybe Royal Scam is your best bet, failing that Aja.
 
I'd say Gaucho is the one to avoid... it's got nothing t do with SD IMHO: it's just borin,g tango music
 
 
Royal Scam and Countdown To Ecstasy are thir proggiest, IMHO
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2012 at 06:45
If I were to pick a single one it would be one not in stock - Countdown, which has my favorite SD song - King Of The World.  I'm guessing someone already beat you to it. LOL

But then the disco-y Gaucho isn't in stock either.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2012 at 07:10
talk about a group that didn't make anything less than a good/great album.

ranking them in terms of 1a, 1b, 1c and 1d

Katy Lied
Aja
Pretzel Logic
Royal Scam
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sagichim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2012 at 07:25
I'm glad this thread came up since I wanted to bring it up myself. I love Countdown To Ecstasy but never really cared for Aja, it has some good moments but it's quite boring for my taste and I don't like the album's sound, too soft and caressy (???) for me. So judging by what you all said I guess I'll try Royal Scam first.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fox On The Rocks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2012 at 11:15
I've never been big about Aja either. It's got a couple good tunes here and there, but lacks solidity and consistency, in my opinion. Black Cow's got a great groove. My favourite is probably The Royal Scam, mainly for Kid Charlemagne. Pretzel Logic is my second favourite.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fox On The Rocks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2012 at 11:18
Originally posted by HolyMoly HolyMoly wrote:

"Say Steve, how would you rank the entire SD discography on a grading system?"

Glad you asked:

Royal Scam A
Countdown to Ecstasy A
Aja A -
Pretzel Logic A -
Gaucho B+
Katy Lied B / B+
Can't Buy a Thrill C+

And I don't know the newer ones well enough to judge, but I didn't really like what I heard.



Approve Almost this for me, except switch Countdown's position with Pretzel's. They're all suberb albums though; you can't go wrong with any of them. Fagen and Becker - 21st century geniuses. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Horizons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2012 at 12:38
Thanks for all the replies guys, very helpful. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lucas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2012 at 17:15
Pretzel Logic is the one I like the best, the much eclectic of all, with some jazz, some funk, some southern rock, some pop, some country.
Followed by the very jazz-rocky and flawless Aja.
 
katy Lied is also a fine album, close in the spirit to 'countdown to ecstasy'.
Then Royal Scam, as it has two poor tracks, "fez" and "haitian divorce". It would be a 5-star album in my book without these tunes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2012 at 18:27
Ooh, Haitian Divorce is one of my favorites of all Dan's songs! I can understand not liking the Fez though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2012 at 21:17
^^^ I love the chords on Fez.  The Royal Scam album just generally has amazing chord progressions.  I do find the title track a bit boring, though. 

Edited by rogerthat - July 21 2012 at 21:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KingCrInuYasha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 22 2012 at 01:01
Whenever my family went on a road trip, my parents would play a lot of Steely Dan. I've nicknamed three of their albums (Can't Buy A Thrill, Countdown To Ecstasy and Aja) "The Road Trip Albums" because they're the ones I remember most vividly during those trips.

Back on topic, I suggest you start with either Countdown To Ecstasy or Pretzel Logic.
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