Steely Dan: Can’t Buy A Thrill

By Andrew Tyler
Disc and Music Echo

This one’s already speeding up the Billboard and Cashbox charts – currently around the 30 mark and likely to jump about 20 places by next week. Quite understandable and justified let it be said.

Still only a few months together, the band produce a remarkable range of sounds in the medium-to-heavy bracket – lots of excellent piano from Mr. Jeff Baxter and many powerfully melodic and lyrical songs from the founding duo Donald Fagen (also on keyboards) and Walter Becker on bass. The pair met at college and later played for a couple of years with Jay And The Americans. They were soon hustled off to the West Coast by producer Gary Kannon for a staff writing job with ABC/Dunhill. Putting together a band was the next logical step so in addition to Baxter, Kannon brought in Dave Palmer on vocals, James Hodder on drums and Denny Dias on guitar.

“Reelin’ In The Years” is the most instantly likable of the package and would have made a strong single. They settled, instead, for a compacted version of “Do It Again” that has a crispy-crunchy Latin feel and some nice changes.

Comparisons are always difficult and usually invalid but if you were to imagine a combination of CSNY and Chicago you’d still be miles off but headed in the right direction.

It’s fair to say that Steely will have a place on the nation’s turntable for as long as they produce music of this magnitude. And word is that they might well visit our shores February or March, depending on how the single and album make out.

Disc and Music Echo was a weekly British popular music magazine, published between 1958 and 1975.



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