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The Very Best of Steely Dan

Steely Dan

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Album Review

Putting together a "best-of" compilation for a band as hell-bent on achieving perfection as Steely Dan can be a daunting task. Fortunately, The Very Best of Steely Dan takes a kitchen-sink approach as it delivers two discs of remarkably precise jazz-rock from the storied outfit. A career retrospective, the album tracks Steely Dan from their more group-oriented beginning, which found legendary guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter in the lineup, to their more withdrawn period in the second half of their career when Becker and Fagen focused on the perfectionism allowed by the studio environment. This helps to give listeners a taste of the band's complete history all in one shot rather than over the course of a couple of volumes. In the end, The Very Best of Steely Dan is like the closing arguments of two attorneys who are both arguing their client is innocent, just for different reasons, with both of its two discs making a compelling case for why Steely Dan were one of the great soft/jazz-rock bands of the '70s.

Customer Reviews

37 years of magic

Every home should have one - absolutely immaculate!

Steely Dan

A unique sound which for me falls into no precise genre making it very exciting and entertaining. I listen to Steely Dan wherever I go and there are few better feelings than walking into a shop or restaurant and hearing the sound of Donald Fagan singing away.
I'm still only 23 and have been listening to Steely Dan for over 10 years!
Long may it continue.

Biography

Formed: 1972 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Most rock & roll bands are a tightly wound unit that developed their music through years of playing in garages and clubs around their hometown. Steely Dan never subscribed to that aesthetic. As the vehicle for the songwriting of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, Steely Dan defied all rock & roll conventions. Becker and Fagen never truly enjoyed rock — with their ironic humor and cryptic lyrics, their eclectic body of work shows some debt to Bob Dylan — preferring jazz, traditional...
Full bio

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