Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - Rated 240/500!
Two names in particular spring to mind in connection with Steely Dan: Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. The two men discovered while at college at the end of the Sixties that they shared musical tastes, although they played in different bands. They subsequently formed a songwriter duo before making their breakthrough in 1972 under the name Steely Dan (a name which came from William Burroughs novel The Naked Lunch) with their debut album Cant Buy A Thrill. This LP remained for over a year in the Billboard charts, and the single taken from the album, Do It Again, leapt into the Top Ten. This was just the beginning of an extraordinarily successful career which lasted until the temporary disbandment of the group in 1981 (a brand new album entitled Two Against Nature has appeared since then). Every one of their seven studio albums was crowned with a Gold or Platinum Disc.
"Working as hired songwriters by day, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker rehearsed this debut in executives' offices by night. "We play rock & roll, but we swing," said Becker. For proof, check the cool lounge-jazz rhythms of "Do It Again" and the hot guitar of "Reelin' in the Years." - www.rollingstone.com
Cant Buy A Thrill is not as "polished" as later albums, such as Aja or Gaucho for example, but their inimitable mixture of melodic rock, shot through with soul, jazzy rhythms and ambitious instrumental solos made Fagen and Becker stand out from all the others right from the very start (just compare them with the Eagles or the Doobie Brothers!). Apart from the now "classical" songs such as Dirty Work, Midnight Cruiser, Reelin The Years and of course the unforgettable Do It Again, it goes without saying that all the others titles are endowed with all those qualities which make Steely Dan so unique.
"If it's those extra-heavy pressings that make you salivate, this weighty gem is a Joe Louis of the reissue world. While the sound of the original was always good, this hard, carefully pressed platter seems to have more detail and presence. Of the 44 different CD and LP pressings of Can't Buy a Thrill, this is the one to have: you'll never need or want another. Then there's that glorious music... There's not a wrong melodic turn on the entire album, which was recorded in L.A. by a band of New Yorkers who would forever change the definition of soul music." - Robert Baird, Stereophile Magazine, February 2013, p. 62
1. Do It Again
2. Dirty Work
4. Midnite Crusier
5. Only A Fool Would Say That
6. Reelin' In The Years
7. Fire In The Hole
8. Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me)
9. Change of the Guard
10. Turn That Heartbeat Over Again