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At long last, the classic Steely Dan catalog is back on vinyl. Led by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, Steely Dan released seven albums from 1972-1980. The vinyl series kicks off with Can't Buy a Thrill (celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022) which features the band's breakthrough hits, "Do It Again," "Reelin' in the Years," and the recently viral, "Dirty Work."
Walter Becker and Donald Fagen were remarkable craftsmen from the start, as Steely Dan's debut, Can't Buy a Thrill, illustrates. Each song is tightly constructed, with interlocking chords and gracefully interwoven melodies, buoyed by clever, cryptic lyrics.
Their debut kicked off an amazing run of albums, like 1973's Countdown to Ecstasy and 1974's Pretzel Logic, that are just as fantastic.
This new 2022 reissue of Thrill shines fine light on the little details of the recording. Listen closely for the cymbal crashes and related decay on 'Do It Again,' 'Reelin' In The Years,'" and 'Dirty Work' for some quick examples. Said crashes, courtesy drummer Jim Hodder, are much more natural, realistic, and present on the new version than on my original copy. Additionally, Denny Dias' acoustic guitar strums on 'Dirty Work' sound more full-bodied and woody. Walter Becker's bass on 'Midnight Cruiser' is punchier than on my original LP, and the instruments and vocals on 'Only A Fool Would Say That' feel richer and rounder comparatively, especially the acoustic guitars. Donald Fagen's acoustic piano on 'Fire In The Hole' sounds very natural, rich, and open, complemented by those beautiful pedal-steel guitar lines by Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter. Then listen for that badass amplifier tone on the guitar solo during 'Change Of The Guard,' which never came through this strongly on the original edition I have. I went back again to double-check, and the whole song sounds very squashed down on the '70s mastering, comparatively... In general, this new edition of Can't Buy A Thrill is a solid, basic reissue. If you don't have it on vinyl or are hoping to upgrade from an older copy without breaking the bank, this will be more than adequate for most general high-fidelity listening situations.
- 50th Anniversary Reissue
- 180g Vinyl
- Do It Again
- Dirty Work
- Midnite Cruiser
- Only a Fool Would Say That
- Reelin' in the Years
- Fire in the Hole
- Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me)
- Change of the Guard
- Turn That Heartbeat Over Again