16 January 2009

It's fairly normal for me to go in phases of, well, renaissance, if you will (I sure as spit wouldn't!) as regards music. Right now I'm somewhat back in a Steely Dan phase.

Someone finally uploaded this tune, a song never released because some idiot in the recording studio erased the final version, and the band was either too discouraged or too stoned to attempt it again. It is in low quality, but the playing and writing are great.

Steely Dan - The Second Arrangement

Here's another great one from their most recent album Everything Must Go, a much better album than Two Against Nature. This song was described as a metaphor for addiction...not by me, so don't point those pretense-accusing fingers at me! The weird, distorted keyboard solo at the end is worth price of admission alone.

Steely Dan - Lunch with Gina


A Pilgrim's Porridge said...

I enjoyed the Second Arrangement, it's a shame its quality. I am surprised someone hasn't remastered it.

As for Lunch With Gina, I couldn't tell if it was the video or the music that made me shudder.

I prefer the older, dancier songs of Steely Dan's, the vocals also seemed to vary more in the earlier years (early 70's) - perhaps more lyrical exploration too.

What are your thoughts?

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Yeah, I ignore the videos. Lots of crappy fan-made videos out there, but if one just listens to them, they serve their purpose.

When you say "early 70s" I assume you mean the first two or three albums...Can't Buy a Thrill, Countdown to Ecstasy, and Pretzel Logic (which I would consider a stepping stone to their "middle phase"). Those were, in my opinion, more guitar oriented and much simpler in lyrical content. Abstract still, but not as poetic. Their middle transition phase (half of Pretzel Logic, Katy Lied, and half of Royal Scam) incorporated a lot more depth, and the work on their last two albums before the split (Aja, and Gaucho) represents their deepest stuff in my opinion. I would say also least accessible, but I don't think that's true because songs like Peg and Josie are very accessible. The title track to Aja, not so much. And "Third World Man" is one of the best album closers in existence.

Perhaps one reason the vocals seemed to vary more with the early Dan...on their first album, three songs were sung by someone other than Fagen...they fired their lead singer halfway through recording. Midnight Cruiser, Brooklyn (owes the charmer under me), and Dirty Work were non-Fagen vocals.

Which songs did you have in mind?

Percussivity said...

The Coder really likes Lunch with Gina.

Gina said...

Yeah, I've never had lunch with anyone called Steely Dan.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Brandon, here's a good "old" Dan tune: Your Gold Teeth

I've always loved that intro line on the barely distorted Wurlitzer. Around 2:45 an awesome Wurly solo gets going. This is a simpler, more groove-based, less "cerebral" version of the Dan, more jam session based, less writing based. They both have their good points I think.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Dig the bass line..."the fez" from Royal Scam.

Oddly Correct said...

I need to listen to this sometime. Mostly, I wanted to say we miss you and your family very much. Tears flow when the NeuFunk vibe don't show. With no Tito, Mike had to veto any attempts to be funky. No, the seeds were planted that more cowbell be granted, but no Nic would come from that ground.

Percussivity said...

That was... well, oddly correct!