A Decade of Steely Dan – Steely Dan

I found another great greatest hits album on Amazon’s $5 deals. Or rather, it found me, via some targeted Amazon campaign to email me whenever classic rock albums fall below some dollar barrier. If you recall, earlier in the year I snagged The Guess Who’s, which I owned in vinyl. This one, Steely Dan’s, was never in my collection in any form that I recall. I do recognize about 75% of the songs. They were a little before my time but these guys had some solid air time in the 80s.

This album mostly spans the decade of the 70’s. Reelin’ in the Years and Do It Again were from their debut in 1972. It goes through 1980 and includes Hey Nineteen and Babylon Sisters from Gaucho. That’s it. So it leaves out their comeback.

Yeah, in 2000, they made a comeback and rocked the Grammy Awards. I don’t recall a moment of that. I had some dark days in music from about 1995 to 2001 so someday I’ll need to rehash all of the music happenings in that timeframe.

You know what really messed me up? I’ll tell you. Portions of their song Kid Charlemagne were used by Kanye West in his song Champion from the Graduation album. I think I knew this, but it didn’t hit me until my first listen to the Steely Dan song. It’s not a song I was familiar with so that feeling of recognition was quite a rush. I was in the middle of something else while listening to Steely Dan on the Amazon Cloud Player and immediately flipped over here to make some notes. I was fired up. Graduation is my favorite Kanye West album.

Things are starting to come together. I wonder if Kanye West was familiar with their music before they made the comeback. I need to find an interview on this.

This is really soothing music. Donald Fagan’s lead vocals are smooth, clear, and mellow. The melodies are like nothing I listen to and include a lot of horns and electric keyboards and female background singers. I don’t even know where to classify these guys. I call them classic rock, but that’s oversimplifying their music.

I added Two Against Nature, their post-millennium Grammy Award winning album, to my wish list. I may grab it soon.

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