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A Decade of Steely Dan (Remastered)

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Editors’ Notes

There was nothing else quite like Steely Dan on the radio dial in the 1970s, a decade that found the group producing hit after hit. Eschewing soft rock confessionalism and rock ‘n’ roll swagger, the writing team of vocalist/ keyboardist Donald Fagan and bassist Walter Becker brought a sense of sly sophistication to the pop music of the time. The savvy pair took a route to the top of the charts with songs that featured snarky lyrics, jazz harmonies, carefully crafted arrangements, and the top-notch playing of crack studio musicians. A Decade of Steely Dan draws from a six-album run that started with 1972’s Can’t Buy a Thrill and lasted until 1977’s Aja. (The collection also includes two tracks from their 1980 swansong, Gaucho, and the theme song they wrote for the 1978 film, FM.) Fagan and Becker delighted in creating words and music that clashed, as on their striking debut single, “Do It Again,” where the tale of a troubled man is set to an easygoing, Latin-flavored groove that signals no trouble at all. This fine compilation takes the listener on an intriguing tour of Steely Dan’s wonderfully strange and catchy songs.

Customer Reviews

WHAT A GREAT COLLECTION

Save yourself 2 dollars and get the better version here with the remastered version. Believe it or not it is painfully obvious how much better this version is in the little things like the snare sound on Deacon Blues between this and the "Gold Disc" version which costs 2 dollars more. Why? I don't know....

Fantastic

Absolutly stellar album featuring the best of Steely Dan. One of the groups to ever capture the sound of 2 in the morning. The cryptic lyrics compliment the band perfectly and add a deeper meaning to their songs that celebrate romantic sin and vice.

I really wanted to rate this 4 1/2, but it wasn't an option

While "Decade" is certainly a nice sampler of some of Steely Dan's better-known songs, they really aren't a "greatest hits" kind of band (much like Pink Floyd). To pick just 14 songs to put on a compilation like this is an impossible task, as they really have so few truly weak songs. This is a great way to introduce someone to Steely Dan, their sound, and their lyrics, but I would suggest quickly moving on to listening to their songs in the context of the albums in which they were originally released. However, "FM" is a must-have download from this collection, as it was previously unavailable until "Decade" was released. So my rating of "4" isn't because of the songs themselves, but more because this type of Greatest Hits compilation really doesn't showcase Steely Dan's music and present it in its full glory.

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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