Saturday Listening

I remember the Kennedy Awards ceremony honoring Led Zeppelin, and in their introduction Jack Black made reference to the “Led Zeppelin Haj”  — listening to the entire Zep oeuvre  in chronological order of album release (which I’ve done, maybe too often).

There’s another such haj, of course, this one involving the peerless Steely Dan, which I followed earlier this week.

As longtime Readers are well aware, I am by no means a fan of jazz music, having repeated the various knocks against the genre time and time again.  (“A bunch of guys all playing at the same time”,  “Five musicians in one room, all hunting for a tune” and so on.)

But Steely Dan aren’t like that.  Their songs feature tightly-structured, complex chord structures and (to many) obscure and inexplicable lyrics about a stranger variety of topics, all delivered with remarkabe skill and, let it be said, massive doses of irony.

I was late to the Dan-train;  I’d heard a couple of their songs on the radio (Reeling In The Years, etc.), but it was only when I got The Royal Scam  as a birthday present, and played it on a long solo car trip — over and over and over — that I realized just how good these guys were.  Later on, our Army band Hogwash covered just about the entire album — and what a thrill that was.

I have the boxed CD set, although it was released in 1994, I think, thus missing their last two albums.

So if you feel like doing the Steely Dan haj  over the weekend, be my guest.  (Given the nature of YooToob, some of the links may have changed, but give it a go anyway.)

Can’t Buy a Thrill (1972)
Countdown to Ecstasy (1973)
Pretzel Logic (1974)
Katy Lied (1975)
The Royal Scam (1976)
Aja (1977)
Gaucho (1980)
Two Against Nature (2000)
Everything Must Go (2003)

Oh, and R.I.P. Walter Becker.


  1. Fortunately I don’t have to go to those links (although the thought and effort is appreciated Kim). I have those albums on CD and MP3 on my computers, phone and tablet. I also have some of them on vinyl around here somewhere.

    BTW I don’t just mean I have all of the individual songs as MP3s (I do). I also have each album as a single MP3 with each song in order as they appeared on vinyl. I like recreating the feeling of putting an album on the turntable and letting it run (only without having to get up and flip it half way through). Some songs just don’t have the right context unless you hear it in the order the artist placed it on the album.

    At any rate thanks for the Haj idea Kim!

  2. Thanks for the thought, have them all in my collection.

    Was playing the desert island game with a Youngish friend last week, I had Reeling in the Years on my selection. He’d never heard of it.

    I said mate, your in for something special here.

  3. I’m a long time Dan Fan. When I was transferring my music collection from CD to mp3 I had to make cuts on what would go on my Creative Labs player with a limited memory. A lot of albums only had 1 or 2 songs make the cut. But I think every SD song made it.

    There are You Tube videos on the making of “Peg” that are really interesting. I had no idea it is a 12 bar blues song or that they went through 4 guitarists to get the solo just right.

    1. I hear you on prioritizing cuts in the early days of the MP3 era. Fortunately in the days of terabyte hard drives and 100+ GB sd cards in phones and tablets I’ve been able to go back and get them all.

  4. Jazz isn’t dead, it only smells funny.

    I just watched the Classic Albums show about Aja on Amazon the other night. Excellent.

Comments are closed.