8 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Steely Dan’s sardonic genius ripened impressively on their second album, Countdown To Ecstasy (1973). Band masterminds Walter Becker and Donald Fagen advanced closer towards perfecting their tangy jazz/pop/rock formula while serving up social critiques of ever-greater refinement. The fact that they named their group after a marital aid mentioned in a William S. Burroughs novel gives a clue to their opinion of mankind — but what’s surprising about Countdown To Ecstasy is how listener-friendly it is. You don’t have to be a lit major or a jazz snob to dig tracks like “Bodhisattva” (a turbo-charged satire of guru-worship), “Show Biz Kids” (a slinky put-down of decadent wealth) or “My Old School” (a wry anecdote set to a cha-cha beat). Fagen’s coolly insinuating vocals and Jeff Baxter’s versatile guitar stylings are a big part of this album’s appeal, leading the listener through increasingly esoteric territory, including the angular planes of “Your Gold Teeth” and the nervous confines of “King Of The World.” Countdown To Ecstasy is smart, superbly-played and highly satisfying.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Steely Dan’s sardonic genius ripened impressively on their second album, Countdown To Ecstasy (1973). Band masterminds Walter Becker and Donald Fagen advanced closer towards perfecting their tangy jazz/pop/rock formula while serving up social critiques of ever-greater refinement. The fact that they named their group after a marital aid mentioned in a William S. Burroughs novel gives a clue to their opinion of mankind — but what’s surprising about Countdown To Ecstasy is how listener-friendly it is. You don’t have to be a lit major or a jazz snob to dig tracks like “Bodhisattva” (a turbo-charged satire of guru-worship), “Show Biz Kids” (a slinky put-down of decadent wealth) or “My Old School” (a wry anecdote set to a cha-cha beat). Fagen’s coolly insinuating vocals and Jeff Baxter’s versatile guitar stylings are a big part of this album’s appeal, leading the listener through increasingly esoteric territory, including the angular planes of “Your Gold Teeth” and the nervous confines of “King Of The World.” Countdown To Ecstasy is smart, superbly-played and highly satisfying.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
87 Ratings
87 Ratings
Here Comes Mars! ,

One of their very best

This one didn't sell as well as the debut--no hit single--but to my ears it was a big step forward. It is also the SD album where they sound the most like a real band (because, well, they were a real band at the time, road-tested and synergistic). A little bit of jazziness shows through in Your Gold Teeth and Razor Boy, but mostly this album is progressive pop with some great stretched out solos. Denny Dias plays his best solo ever on Bodhissatva; Skunk Baxter plays his best solo ever on My Old School. Best bets are the FM classics Bodhissatva, The Boston Rag, My Old School, and maybe King of the World. Everything else is good too. This is a true 5 star album. I'd recommend it to anyone.

DMcC ,

Steely Dan....Do it Again!

Some of my favorite Dan tunes are on this album. Certainly show the diversity in their tastes and style. Tragically overlooked pieces. If you have never heard Steely Dan, or have, CHECK THIS ONE OUT!

King Crimson ,

Incredibly Underrated

Such a great album; I'd say honestly that this is the Dan's second best album; Aja being first. Bodhisattva, My Old School, and King of the World (so underrated) are all great songs. I recomend this to Dan Fans and music lovers alike.

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