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