Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Dan, Man

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A few weeks back I stumbled across a link to some Steely Dan music that was recorded at the time of 1980's Gaucho album but was never released - the "Lost Gaucho" it was called. My interest was piqued - the Dan are one of my all time favorite rock bands. It's a pretty fascinating set of tunes, largely because they are mostly demos, so the sound is a lot more stripped down than the Dan usually is. This got me into a bit of a Dan phase at home, listening to the old records. Yes, records. I own the CD box Citizen Steely Dan, which is a collection of all of their albums in one box set. I hate how it's sequenced though - the albums are split up and carry over onto the next CD, you know, so they could fit it all on 4 discs. The lack of continuity infuriates me, so when I get the jones for the Dan I always go back to the crusty old vinyl. Besides, I really do think that the vinyl sounds better anyway. So while I'm listening to this stuff I start recording a few tracks, and presto! Here are 3 tunes from 3 albums, ripped from the vinyl, unprocessed except for the mp3 part. Are these my fave tunes? Not necessarily, but I feel like they do represent what I like about the Dan - jazz + rock + the best studio musicians a man can buy + lurid, sordid tales of sex drugs and rock and roll = a catalog of classic records that I will be listening to when I'm 95 - assuming I live that long!

Any Major Dude from 1974's Pretzel Logic - the first Dan I ever heard. Love the combo of country/classic rock with the deep jazzy keys.

Haitian Divorce from 1976's The Royal Scam - the Dan do reggae, and pretty well! Great story too.

I Got The News from 1977's Aja, the first Dan I ever spent my own money on. This is always the tune that people call the throwaway song from Aja - strangely one of my faves! Probably because of it's disco leanings and it's fantastic piano vamping.

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