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A Decade of Steely Dan

1 rating: 1.0
An album by Steely Dan

Steely Dan: Donald Fagen (vocals, alto saxophone, piano, keyboards); Dean Parks (acoustic guitar, banjo); Walter Becker (guitar, bass) Additional personnel includes: Denny Dias (guitar, percussion); Steve Khan, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Jeff Baxter, … see full wiki

1 review about A Decade of Steely Dan

Decade of Steely Dan - W/O

  • Apr 28, 2002
Pros: some good music, sax & percussion

Cons: basically all songs sound the same

The Bottom Line: Most of the songs are recognizable so this would make a nice collection to have.

Whatever happened to the premise that promises are made to be broken? Oh well, I promised, so I'm delivering, but I had to borrow this CD cause I don't own a single Steely Dan product. Technically, I don't own the product, but I have listened so by rights I can review.

A Decade of Steely Dan came to me with no CD cover and no liner notes. I had no idea what songs were on the CD, the name Steely Dan was familiar but I couldn't bring a song to mind. Color me surprised, I recognized over half the songs included so I guess I ain't that bigga dunce after all.

~~1~ FM
~~2~ Black Friday
~~3~ Babylon Sisters
~~4~ Deacon Blues
~~5~ Bodhisattva
~~6~ Hey Nineteen
~~7~ Do It Again
~~8~ Peg
~~9~ Rikki Don't Lose That Number
~10~ Reeling In The Years
~11~ East St. Louis Toodle-oo
~12~ Kid Charlemagne
~13~ My Old School
~14~ Bad Sneakers

From my interpretation I think most of the songs on this CD deal with young men and young women taking the plunge and stepping into adulthood, in one way or another. Often they are reflecting back on the way things used to be, sometimes looking forward to how things could or will be.

Instrumentally this release is heavy in sax and percussion. For the most part the music is mellow and relaxing, even pacifying. The female backup singers add a bit of allure to some of the songs - sometimes playful, sometimes soulful, sometimes tempting.

I realize that each person, when listening to music especially, attempts to put a story behind each song, pretending WE understand what the writer of the music was bringing to us at the time. Sometimes we may be on target, some songs are just so obvious, but many times it is just like anything else - our opinion - and may not be related to what the writer was thinking at all.

Perhaps some songs don't have ‘meanings', the words are just put together because they work. That is how I was left with this piece of work. Finally I gave up trying to think of the meanings of most songs and just listened to the music, that was acceptable.

What I found listening to this CD, especially considering it is a decade of hits, is that almost all of their songs are alike. The beat is the same, sometimes faster and sometimes slower, but just the same basic beat all the time. The wording is basically the same - but - and this is a biggy - you can understand them! Yes, the words are clear, enunciation is clear, and they were singing about things I recognized. For the most part, I found their music a little bluesy and a little jazzy. Not hard to listen to at all.

Now I feel obligated to purchase my own Steely Dan and that is a step out of my usual confused genre.

Please read the other contributions to this write-off, hosted by the amicable Deaser26, links to writers can be found here:


Thanks Dease for broadening my horizons yet again :)


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A Decade of Steely Dan
Label: MCA Records (USA)
Artist: Steely Dan
Release Date: November 05, 1996

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