Cincinnati Babyhead

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Album : Steely Dan – Count Down to Ecstasy

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I’d heard Steely Dan on the radio. ‘Reelin In the Years’ and ‘Do it Again’ both really cool-tunes.   Somehow this is the album I chose to get and neither of those tunes was on it.  From the opening cut CB was in familiar territory.  Really liked this music. They had their own sound and it was different from the other stuff I was listening to.  No idea what ‘Bodhisattva’ was or meant but I didn’t give a shit the music sounded great.  They lay down a great up beat tempo and then take off with some good playing.  Some real nice guitar licks on this one.  There was no warming up to this record, CB was into it right away.  Jazzy vibe.  Donald Fagen’s vocals and lyrics fit the music.  Great opening tune.  ‘Razor Boy’ also has a jazzy vibe with some vibe work.  Lots for the ear to like in this one.  Their music was really setting the hook.  ‘Boston Rag’ has lots going on.  Fagan’s vocals get in your head.  Some more good guitar work.  Definitely their own unique sound.  Good listening.  Lots of changes in this song.  Soft then it gets a bite to it.  What a great intro to ‘Gold Teeth’.  Cool groove.  They jam out in this one.  Good keyboard work and more slick guitar.  Not a bad cut on side one.   CB was loving this music.

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Another great riff opens ‘Show Biz Kids’ and side two.  SD gets in a groove and pull off a great tune.  The guitar is wicked.  Repeating myself but Fagen’s vocals and lyrics are so cool.   They both get into the brain. Love this tune.  Lots of edge to it.  Don’t know which guy’s playing the guitar but it is great,  These guys knew how to open a song and they do it again with ‘My Old School’.  A  catchy tune with everything working for CB’s ears.  All the elements from the previous tunes with some added punch from some horns.  This one sticks with you.  It has that Steely Dan sound.  Little funky, jazzy and a lot of other things.  They slow things down with ‘Pearl of the Quarter’.  Nice tune.  The album ends with ‘King of the World’.  We get a funky groove at the start.  It’a mixed bag of a bunch of  creative influences.  Guitar work is phenomenal with more great vocals and lyrics.  Even a little ELP like interlude.  4 more solid tracks.  All the songs were written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen

CB still liked old school rock n roll but he’d been expanding his musical horizons for a while and Steely Dan was more of that stretching out for him.  Another good band in his growing music pile.  He wasn’t going to stop at this album.  He was in for more from these guys.

 

14 comments on “Album : Steely Dan – Count Down to Ecstasy

  1. Jim S.
    September 24, 2017

    You know I’m all over this one CB. We should have our own song like they do at colleges. “We are Dan men all our days.” ‘Show Biz Kids’ is Rick Derringer. He used to love playing with those guys. He plays on ‘Chain Lightning’ too. ‘Bhodisattva’, great tune. No attempt from me to learn those solos. Someday maybe. As it happens I’m just now learning Skunk Baxter’s closing solo on ‘My Old School.’ He said he had the solo in his head and was determined to plunk it down somewhere. This is what I miss in popular music today. Great tunes played by accomplished musicians with fat, tasty solos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      September 24, 2017

      Great comment Doc! I did this take a few months ago. We had had conversations on SD. I tried to cast my younger CB back to when I first was digging these guys. I listened to them a lot. It’s quality music. Those guitar solos are absolutely fantastic sounding. You had mentioned before the talent behind them. There is only one Steely Dan sound. Great album great band..

      Like

      • Jim S.
        September 24, 2017

        I doubt if we’ll ever see their likes again. Those guys were twisted. So it wasn’t just the complex music, it was the strange lyrics too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        September 24, 2017

        They appeal to CB on a lot of levels including the ones you mentioned. Blows my mind when creativity comes together like this.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, Another Blogger
    September 24, 2017

    Morning, CB.
    I love this album too. Some amazing songs.
    I must have played my vinyl copy 100 times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      September 24, 2017

      Good morning. Yeah, I listened to SD a lot. Back when it was about the whole album and not one song. I think I played it 101 or 102 times. Thanks Neil.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Aphoristical
    September 24, 2017

    I think this is a step up from the debut, if only because they don’t have that really smooth guy singing some of the songs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      September 24, 2017

      I think if I remember, at the time they might have had only 2 or 3 albums. This was a good entry point. I became a fan. Probably listened to ‘Royal Scam’ the most. But I pretty much dig them all. Lost track after Gaucho and Fagen’s first solo record.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aphoristical
        September 24, 2017

        I’m working up to covering them at the moment, although probably a few acts down the line. I think their third, Pretzel Logic, is my favourite, but it’s a pretty even catalogue.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        September 24, 2017

        I just popped over to see if you had covered them. Good to hear you have them on the radar. “Pretty even catalogue” is a good summation. Every time I see the ‘Pretzel’ cover I get a craving for roasted chestnuts and pretzels smothered in mustard.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. dcw0731
    September 29, 2017

    CB Bodhisattva is “a person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so out of compassion in order to save suffering beings”
    Now I’m going to have to listen to the tune a few more times to put it all together.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on September 24, 2017 by in 1973 Albums, Donald Fagan, Jazz Rock, Steely Dan, Walter Becker and tagged , , , .

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