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2023/4 Albums Thing 363 - Steely Dan “Can’t Buy A Thrill”

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The older I get, the more I like the Dan. I’m not sure if that says more about me or the Dan. There was a time when the only thing I knew about them was the film clip they used to show continually on The Old Grey Whistle Test, a clip of them performing “Reeling Down The Years”, I hated it. A bunch of greasy looking, lank haired, moustachioed hippies noodling about. Yet here I now am, owning a copy of the very album that song lives on, what happened ?

The start of my conversion was hearing Donald Fagen’s solo album “The Nightfly” (see here if you missed it https://www.whiterabbitrecords.co.uk/blog/read_204163/2023-albums-thing-130-donald-fagen-the-nightfly.html) and was confirmed in the pub (all the best things happen in the pub right ?) when this albums second track, “Dirty Work”, came drifting across the bar one Sunday afternoon. What a song it is. The song that proceeds it and begins this record is one of their better known hits “Do It Again” which I had actually played at a few Open Mics as part of a trio I was briefly a part of.

“Can’t Buy A Thrill” was Steely Dan’s debut album, released in 1972. While Donald Fagen does feature as the lead vocalist on most songs (4 himself and 3 co-leads), because Fagen was concerned about his ability to sing live singer David Palmer  features on five songs (2 solo’s and 3 co-vocals with Fagen) and the quite fantastic “Midnite Cruiser” is sung by drummer Jim Hodder.

What Steely Dan did was perfect US FM Radio, “soft rock”, not something that was gonna catch my ear back in the mid 70’s, I was a Glam Rock kid back then. I needed to be a little more seasoned before I got the Dan, seems like I now am.

Dirty Work - https://youtu.be/kR5Ki6jjPaY?si=BFsbVeafkSTltbvI

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