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
86 Ratings
86 Ratings
warbaby43 ,

This

and the other four of their first five are truly amazinng!!!

Ralphie the Buffalo ,

ralphie

GR8T.

droidles ,

Their best

I know I'm in a minority here but this is my FAVORITE Dan album with Royal Scam a close second. I admit this is partly due to the fact that it brings back so many memories of the fun I was having in college at the time, but also, as a professional musician myself, this album showed me that the Dan was already producing music that was in a class by itself, no one else even close.
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