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Countdown To Ecstasy

Classic Rock and Pop album by Steely Dan

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"We've got 5 seconds before we hit critical Ecstasy!!"

  • Sep 26, 2010
The liner notes on Dan's sophmore trip states that if you are in fact a fan of this album, you won't be too popular at parties with alcohol and your friends should rethink they're relationship with you in so many words.  I love this album so make of they're warning what you will.

Steely Dan's second album had some changes over the first.  First off, the second lead singer David Palmer was gone.  Secondly the rock themes were amped up over the pop themes of Can't Buy A Thrill which was the first album.  Things felt looser and it's performances got better.

Performances on album are one thing but the songs are even better.  All the songs are terrific.  Bodhisattva has a terrific beat with only so many lyrics but great playing.  Razor Boy has a mellow beat buoying a melancholy song.  Boston Rag is laid back but strong in it's playing.  Your Gold Teeth even moreso.  Show Biz Kids is as bizzare as they come with a funeral dirge chorus, an F Bomb and a biting commentary on the rock star life.  My Old School has a rocking beat and is a story song about a raid at Bard which Fagen and Becker felt very strongly about.  The final two tracks are perhaps my favorite.  Pearl of the Quarter has almost a western theme to it about love down in the French Quarter of New Orleans and my most favorite Dan song is the finale, King of the World, a tale of survival after the bombs drop.  It has one of my favorite chorus's to any song and it's a very weird sounding song with reverb, editing tricks and more to make it feel uncomfortable given the subject matter of the song.

Countdown may not have gotten much airplay but the material is first rate to me and one of those albums I can put in and listen to all the way through.  It's the last man on the Rio Grande in albums.

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More Countdown To Ecstasy reviews
Quick Tip by . September 26, 2010
posted in Music Matters
My favorite Dan album turns up the rock, the arrangments and more. A classic for me.
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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The only element of sophomore slump in Steely Dan's second album was the disappointing sales response upon its initial release in 1974. Musically,Countdown to Ecstasyis even stronger than the Dan's terrific debut, pushing the musical envelope with more complex jazz harmonies and intricate time signatures, and carrying their lyrics into even more shadowy realms peppered with sci-fi imagery and street-level slang. The songs are stunning, from the opening blast of "Boddhisattva," a Zen boogie fueled by Denny Dias's and Jeff Baxter's angular, bopping guitars, to the postnuclear apocalypse of "King of the World." In between, they deliver the one-two punch of "Show Biz Kids," with its perfect snapshot of affluent decadence, and "My Old School," in which college daze is remembered through a collision of staccato guitar and blazing horns.--Sam Sutherland
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Label: Mca
Artist: Steely Dan
Release Date: November 17, 1998

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