Subversive, eh? They were superficially goofy and very eclectic, but I quite enjoy their music myself. And just to get this on the record, yes, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen were the frontmen of Steely Dan, but the musicians they had with them came from a wide swath of the L.A. session mafia of the 1970s, including Michael McDonald (of the Doobie Brothers), drummer Rick Marotta, and keyboardist Don Grolnick (the latter two of whom worked with Jackson Browne and Linda Ronstadt), to name just three. I like the array of instruments that they use, and I love the way they record them. Which is all why, with all due respect, I don’t/can’t understand your position. September 6, 2017 @ Recently I’ve dabbled back into early Genesis actually. I’m glad I love them now. 4:54 pm. The Waterboys: This Is The Sea (1985) 10:27 am. September 5, 2017 @ And right on! “I don’t hate them,” I replied. Mikjel – I read all the comments. Keep loving music 😛. A lot of their music…. I hate their lyrics. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. I think they were one of the bands with the money and backing to do it, that spend years, recording one album. These mellower 70s rock acts and classic country had a respect for one another certainly. I could be wrong but I have seen your face before , Also, Walter (RIP ) produced Rickie Lee Jones’ excellent 1989 LP ‘Flying Cowboys,’ and co-wrote the lovely opening track “The Horses.” , Erik North I have always disliked the music of Steely Dan immensely. As a musician, their songs are lessons in contemporary harmony. “ you hear in frat houses when the brothers are trying to put on a sophisticated air.” That sums it up brilliantly. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. Maybe you had a sense that behind the scenes, among the population of musicians themselves, there was a much higher regard for Steely Dan because of the way they were able to slither complexity into pop and rock music in a way that allowed the population to be receptive to it. Today I can’t leave the house without 3,441 of my favorite songs on my iPod. Maybe it even angered you when they played the shorter radio edit version of “Do It Again” that eliminated the keyboard solo. 1:23 am. Fans with tickets to the previously announced 2020 dates are encouraged to hold on to … As for myself, i know too little of SD, will give it a listen, but from what i’ve read about their supposed intellectualism, cynicism, black irony and ‘perfect musicianship over rockshow’ and ‘great lyrics’, that’s something that puts me off at least a little. Even in my younger and punker days, I … They played music that top Nashville session players admired. And they could turn up the wick and wail. It makes me suspect that I am the one missing the boat. And yes, that’s probably classic rock radio’s fault. My parents always respected my room when I was a kid and I can't seem to find an explanation for it. Limiting yourself to one genre is kind of depressing really. At least it’s not Elton John, I guess. (not that i think there is much chance that you will see this; and in that case, give a rat’s molested ass about what som Norwegian kid thinks about all this). Finally, why does the guy in the previous post even mention he’s trained in classical music, most people would fall asleep at a concert if they had to listen to that, but steely dan sucks? If you can’t clearly see the sarcasm behind their letter (or Owen’s reply, for that matter, who clearly got the joke) then you have no business talking about SD in the first place. Critic B, with whom I never agree, is just as useful. My feeling towards these people is that they’ve probably never had a true emotion, love or hate, in their entire lives. 7:43 pm. But somehow, somewhere in there, it became one. It’s a little amusing that you praise Tate and Perry, and at the same time seem to claim to be an acceptable judge of musicianship and songcraft. And so the legacy of Steely Dan was cemented for millions of Americans through the classic rock radio format, whether you grew up listening to the records when they were first released, or got introduced to the band later in life. It’s a completely different medium, and hardly the same character. So what? The reason why has to do with your vocal cords. I completely get what you’re writing here. : ” (No Static At All)”. Great horns. 2:08 pm, Luckyoldsun These guys are fucking lame. As a consequence I find myself taking deep dives into classic artists of many genres in a search for something fresh, strangely enough. Admire their musical sophistication, become languid at the sound of their craftmanship…. Still don’t get them…but that’s me. 1:41 pm, Maybe not one of my favorite bands, but the Dan had some songs I like — including the ones mentioned in the article, plus “Reelin’ in the Years,” “Rikki, Don’t Lose That Number,” “My Old School,” “Hey, Nineteen,” and “Cousin Dupree” (from the Grammy-winning ‘Two Against Nature’). I vaguely remember their songs being played at Pirates games. That’s how I feel about Steely Dan. This was, by far, the most mature and enlightening discussion I have come across in debating the “suckiness” of a band. You will be what you are just the same You’ll be missed, Walter. This kind of bugs me. I have lots of reasons for loving Steely Dan and believing that they don’t suck, but who cares? The near perfect description of a jazz musician’s life. Now there is much more at stake than “getting the story to work.” Suddenly the only thing that matters is that emotional attachment. “Yes, you do,” she said, “you say they suck.” “Well, yeah, I mean I do hate them,” I replied, “but, you know, they’re great.”. I think the songs are emotionally aloof and fail to connect with hard-edged listeners. I hated them for years. I am a musician and lover of a very wide range of music – some of it even has METAPHORS in it and is COMPLEX I thunk. Your email address will not be published. So yes, Steely Dan sucks. It’s not for everyone. Change ), Josh Rouse: 1972 (2003), Nashville (2005), The Happiness Waltz (2013) I’ll learn to work the saxophone Murder the man Certainly not in the league of Justin Heyward, Steven Tyler, Robert Plant or Geoff Tate. I’m not sure if they leave me cold, or if I find them pretentious (imagine that), or what, but I don’t care for them. But how do you get that thing in there, how do you make that thing that people will fall in love with and put it in your work? SD were definitely an “uncool” band with “uncool” songs that takes time and experience to fully appreciate, even if you never gravitate to full fandom. But they’ve been one of my all-time favorite bands for about a decade now. Listen to something like Razor Boy or Dirty Work. I find it very annoying, and his odd vocal mannerisms make me want to throw stuff against the wall. After this, it’s time for Pink Floyd and Rush! September 7, 2017 @ I thought you hated them?” she said. They should really get over themselves. Frankly, I don’t see any evidence of impeccable musicianship or sophisticated songs – just overuse of one cheesy chord, and lots of slick production. Their recordings are awesome! People do not like Anne Hathaway. Don’t get me wrong: the music of Steely Dan definitely has a place in popular music, but it’s not a place I’d ever like to be. The internet is amazing. Saw them back in 2001 at what is now KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pa. I was like two years old when they released their first album so I obviously wasn’t a fan of theirs when they were in their prime but I found them later on. People seem to forget that Steely Dan was like the alternative band of that time in music and most of their stuff is not guitar/rock dominated. There is no rage, anger or sadness in any of their songs. They fucking suck!! September 5, 2017 @ Besides loving country I love 90s alt rock, surf, punk, 50s and early 60s rock, and Latin stuff like bachata and salsa. Huh? Was exposed against my will to them last night. I love finding new music scenes or sub genres and exploring them. The only song I liked, somewhat, was “Reelin’ in the Years”, because I thought it was a Thin Lizzy song until I was old enough to know better. That being said, I still find roughly 98% of the music that’s ever been recorded completely unlistenable. -Ed. It’s so much fun to find new styles of music! Steely Dan is an artist I can’t stand. I have been going through more 60’s/70’s music looking for stuff I like that maybe I missed/ignored back then. or you can simply kick back and play their records on a summer’s day, margarita close by. Soul nourishing stuff. With you 100% about loving many styles. My guess is zero, sucka. These guys aren’t cool. Good speakers and a subwoofer are essential. Random Notes I’ll take a guess at why a lot of people don’t like Steely Dan. I’ve enjoyed reading all comments…. But What Happens Next is Most Important, The 97 Dedicated Articles SCM Published in 2020 Featuring Women, Dennis Quaid Finally Bringing Charley Pride Biopic to Life, Multiple Members of Jamey Johnson’s Backing Band Arrested – Lineup Change Ensues. I may interject, that the reason you “hate” the Dan is that you love repetition, as evident in your blog. You hide in the bushes I will admit it: I loathe Steely Dan. Get ’em right back with H&O, but you can’t help but notice it. Tight might be the best description. You seem like a very earnest kid questioning the world and his beliefs. Perhaps I should go back and give them another listen. I just tried to watch the “Classic Recordings: Steely Dan Aja” documentary on Netflix, just to give them one more shot. I can’t stand them. People perceive their own voice to be the combination of those two sources … Some of the absolute best players on their albums. when their album two against nature came out almost 20 years ago a friend I used to carpool to work with played it every other day when he had command of the cd player. The subject matter, the world weary, impenetrable lyrics and the general cynicism, which is referred to by seehoweasy above, make the listening often less than rewarding. Whoever it was who mentioned “just slick production and overuse of one cheesy chord”, thanks for the laugh. They would bring in separate groups of session players so they could hear different interpretations of the music. Just because you don’t find them appealing doesn’t mean they suck. Tame, tepid, lukewarm and never dangerous. Love the other comment about listening to guys like these with Keith Whitley, cause we can! There something about their music that comes across as “sterile” to me now. September 5, 2017 @ Fagen never quite sounds genuine. You can’t connect with Steel Dan emotionally because Steely Dan doesn’t care about you. Now, even that grates. When I was younger and more naive, I bought their album with Reeling in the Years, and touted them as great only because others said they were such talented professionals. Hi Leonard, What a wonderful article! Look, Steely Dan is not for everyone. 6:25 pm., Jack Williams So I find that by December 26th, I am … Steve Earle & The Dukes Cover “Champagne Corolla”, Cody Jinks | “Must Be The Whiskey” | Red Rocks Live, Listen to Interview with Trigger on the Real Country Revival, New Eric Church Song “Doing Life With Me”, Lowdown Drifters w/ Dalton Domino “Give Up on the Dream”, Kacy & Clayton and Marlon Williams Release “Plastic Bouquet”, New Craig Gerdes Song “You’re Not in the Picture Anymore”, La Honda Records Music Break w/ Colter Wall, Vincent Neil Emerson, “Sing Me Back Home: The Music Of Merle Haggard” Released, Willie Nelson American Outlaw (Live At Bridgestone Arena 2019) Released, Marcus King: “Wildflowers & Wine” on Fallon, James Steinle Releases New Album “Cold German Mornings”, Why People Hate to Love Steely Dan, But Shouldn’t, Saving Country Music’s 2020 Song of the Year, Parker McCollum Has a #1. Pretentious douchebags. The horns at the end of “The Caves of Altamira” always get me. That freaked me out, man. This article explores the psychological reasons and how to overcome it by empowering yourself. 1 … Steely Dan really does suck. The session guys made significant creative contributions. 4:23 pm. You’re right, they suck. Netflix has documentaries with critical commentary and vintage performance footage. Even then, I thought it the worst Thin Lizzy song of all. I mean ‘clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right’ is such a classic line. Seems you don’t get their sense of humour either. ( Log Out /  (feat. Outside of Steely Dan’s followers, they barely exist. A total product of the 70s…selfish, pretentious, faux-worldly. They are brilliant musicians and songwriters. Another group I enjoyed more as I aged was Moody Blues for similar reasons. Glad to hear that you seem to have found out that such a connection does matter to you, now. I like the space and dynamic range. We have a very popular cover band in town that specializes in “yacht rock” – mostly 70s and 80s pop rock like Hall & Oats, Kenny Loggins, Billy Joel, etc. 1:52 pm. And slavicdiva, it seems you are unable to grasp the intentions of their lyrics for Deacon Blues. Wow. Help us reach 200K subscribers []BipolarBear's fresh music:Unknown Brain - Why Do I? Because Steely Dan was cool. If your life’s purpose is to throw up the devil horns every chance you get, when a song like Steely Dan’s “Peg” comes on, you don’t know what to do with yourself. Sharp. Do white and non-white Evangelicals see the world the same way? And, I find ‘haters’ of the Dan, interesting, but, you are like that Talking Heads song. 😉. I totally agree with you Robb. Steely Dan’s music is subversive. September 8, 2017 @ Hard. They suck because they are musically and lyrically average and they are so conceited, they act as if their “average” music just cured cancer or magically made my penis bigger. These bands are so talented as both musicians and lyricists. It is biting social satire heavy with bitter irony very carefully disguised as exactly the kind of manufactured easy listening pop that was (at the time) the ‘product’ of the culture they were satirizing. Don’t get me wrong: the music of Steely Dan definitely has a place in popular music, but it’s not a place I’d ever like to be.”. And leave him lying in the rain? To me, it sounds good, like something that would tear me away from a conversation just to listen more closely – every time. September 5, 2017 @ They are the only band whose music causes an automatic uptick in my blood pressure. Then came Aja. Let’s face it, it’s sort of a weird band that’s too jazzy to be progressive rock, and too rock to be considered jazz, that was slotted into the slosh pit of the classic rock space by Clear Channel some 35 years ago, and asked to fend for itself among legacy AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd cuts. Had the opportunity to see them live a couple times and they were stellar. “Now all those day-glo freaks who used to paint the face, they’ve joined the human race, some things well never change!”, Stringbuzz I always thought ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ would make a great country song. The atmosphere is in the harmony. That’s the magic of music. It’s trojan horse music. Can’t say I’ve ever heard the same song twice by them. Just my theory but I think it is common with someone like Steely Dan. The key word is “enjoyed.” September 5, 2017 @ Why Don’t I Like Steely Dan? This is the music you hear in frat houses when the brothers are trying to put on a sophisticated air–a modern day equivalent of putting on Hefner-style dressing gowns and smoking pipes. It’s cool, atypical and often at odds with their flawlessly smooth music, making things doubly subversive. If you’re not familiar with Steely Dan, I suggest you start with Aja. You hear songs like Do it Again or Stealers Wheels’ Stuck in the Middle and wander what in sam hell their talking about?! Not all music has to be created by a full and consistent band lineup. I was a big fan; have everything (up to Gaucho) on vinyl. Possibly. Of course I was happy to be said " I love … Lord knows I dig a shit-ton of music now that I never could have seen myself listening to once upon a time. That weird, airless, seventies sterility. They are complete perfectionists in the studio. Doing vocals for Steely Dan is how Michael McDonald began his career, so yeah, that’s McDonald on vocals. Better yet, take a listen to ‘Fire in the Hole’, easily a solid reason why Steely Dan were so lauded at first. 5:05 am, Jack Williams I also am a big progressive rock fan, especially Tull, but once in a while Steely Dan is exactly what I want to listen to. Tight. William Gibson called them "the most genuinely subversive" band in late-20th Century pop. For now. So I can absolutely love Steely Dan and Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac and Waylon Jennings and Keith Whitley and Sidney Bechet. Some did, some didn’t. I think it’s time to form a dark and sinister anti steely Dan cult. But everyone (beginning with the author) has made their points cordially and obviously with much thought. At best they sound like “Yacht Rock” from the late 70’s/early 80’s. 11:36 am. They’ll never be my favorite band. “I feel like I am different from others and not in a good way.” This was the most common statement when a group of researchers tested some subjects for their familiar … Enough anymore because that ’ s me, throw some shit on the Old Whistle... Man album, defnitely worth checking out that excited about new music there to explore the... Bands for about a decade now ground their cigarettes on the grill, and the Bridge Baxter s! I thought I would post this question here to Random question # 3 notwithstanding, sucked! 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