At last! The STEELY DAN Album-By-Album Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by ohnothimagen, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Paul P.

    Paul P. Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA, USA
    Unfortunately I heard Everything Must Go before I heard this song, so I keep hearing "We're going out of business - everything must go" in the choruses.

    This might be the only Donald song they explicitly cobbled from for the Dan. There's a melodic stretch that seems identical between the two tracks. (i.e Big Noise New York and Everything Must Go.)

    gregorya likes this.
  2. GlamorProfession

    GlamorProfession Forum Resident

    i like Florida Room a lot. it sounds different for him/them and i think it works well.
  3. Black Thumb

    Black Thumb Yah Mo B There

    Reno, NV
    Not the least bit surprising that Mad Ave types would hear the "what a beautiful world this will be" hook and think it'd be great for selling E.D. pills or laxatives or whatnot.

    Nor that DF turned them down. The fat checks waved in his face must've been a bit tempting during writer's block hell.
  4. Black Thumb

    Black Thumb Yah Mo B There

    Reno, NV
    Looking at the credits, I'm reminded that two members of the Blues Brothers horn section are on Kamakiriad: the late Alan "Mr. Fabulous" Rubin and "Blue" Lou Marini.

    I can't see Marini without thinking of the scene in the movie where Aretha tells him to get gone, nor of course Rubin in the "how much for your daughters?" scene.
    ohnothimagen and Jimbino like this.
  5. btomarra

    btomarra Senior Audiophile Still Learning

    Little Rock, AR
    Agreed! Absolutely love this debut album!!
  6. Paul P.

    Paul P. Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA, USA

    Jimbino likes this.
  7. drumzNspace

    drumzNspace Forum Resident

    New Yuck City
    I like the sound of Kamikiriad better than most on here. I don't find it as manufactured and artificial as most. I always thought it sounded good! The guitars, the tight horns. Never thought the drums sounded fake ..
    Really like the songs too!
    My favorite Don solo album by a pretty wide margin.
    Not as good as anything pre-hiatus but as good (or better?) than 2vsNature and EMG.
  8. negative1

    negative1 80s retro fan

    I love kamakiriad, its near perfect, and just edges out the nightfly for my favorite album from him.
    its brilliant from start to finish. and i could just keep snowbound on repeat all day long.

    i have all the singles and promos, and will go into detail on them later.

    i also have the promo gold cd version:
    Donald Fagen - Kamakiriad


    don't know if it sounds better.

    ippudo, GeoffC, rodentdog and 2 others like this.
  9. sekaer

    sekaer Forum Resident

    New York City
    I love the shout out to Long John Nebel...look him up, he was great (before my time, tho)
    Ginger Ale likes this.
  10. Victor/Victrola

    Victor/Victrola Makng shure its write

    I like Kamakiriad but I don't love it. I think I liked it more when it first came out because it took so dang long to get released. But I don't think it's held up well. Gaucho is my least favorite Dan album and I'd put Kamakiriad just below it.

    P.S. Going through some albums I bought about a year ago, I came across one I forgot I bought, the MCA Audiophile 1/2 speed master of Gaucho! I haven't spun it yet, and it's the only MCA Audiophile I own. In fact, I didn't even know MCA had an audiophile line until I saw this album.
  11. drewslo

    drewslo Forum Resident

    This album gets better over time and with every listen. I have gone from disappointment upon the initial release to current day ecstasy . I prefer it to "Nightfly" - the highs are truly higher. I'll go into more detail later when my analytical mind returns.
  12. Koabac

    Koabac Self-Titled

    Los Angeles
    Being a huge SD fan (who grew up in the 80's), "Kamakiriad" was really the first SD-related album I got in real time and with anticipation. I was initially underwhelmed by the more groove-oriented music as opposed to the ornately melodic and exotic chord changes of their earlier work.

    Then a few years later I was dating a really fun, sexy girl who was also a big SD fan and I told her I never really had much time for "Kamakiriad." She told me that I was right, it was more groove-oriented, but just because it wasn't what I was expecting was no reason to not enjoy it based on what Fagen was up to NOW. She grabbed my hands and got me up on my feet and put on the CD on and we danced around my little apartment to the whole album and I fell in love with those grooves and that girl right there and then.

    I truly love "Kamakiriad" as much as almost any SD-related album to this day. It didn't end up working out with the girl, but we're still friends and I'd spend any night dancing with her again in a heartbeat.

    I love how music becomes woven into our lives.....
  13. Bern

    Bern JC4Me

    I had never heard ANY tracks from Kamakiriad....listened to it tonight (along with the bonus tracks) and it's something I would have listened to again. (which I did not do with The Nightfly which I heard upon release). Agree with some of the comments about the programmed bass being an annoyance...and I hear a change in Don's voice between Gaucho and this album. (not bad...slightly different) In some of the songs I thought the vocal was a tad recessed.

    The mid/late 80's music and me did not see eye to eye and I ended up listening to CCM around 90 or so. And still do.

    Like Big Noise, New York.

    Black Thumb likes this.
  14. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly... Thread Starter

    Almost seems like it's just about unanimous that "Snowbound" and "On The Dunes" are the real keepers here:cheers:

    Once again, excellent Nightfly review- and I never noticed until you just pointed it out that there are indeed no horns on any of the side two tracks (it's synth horns on "Walk Between Raindrops")- just like side one seems more keyboard/piano based with more guitar on the second side. And you raise an interesting point about the overall lack of horns on the album- perhaps after Aja and Gaucho Fagen was simply horned out at that point and was looking for a different sound.

    And the difference in his voice between Kamakiriad and Two Against Nature is even more drastic...first time I heard 2VN I was like, "What the hell happened to Fagen's voice?":laugh: On Kamakiriad he almost sounds like the Fagen of old, by 2VN he sounds like a totally different person IMO. Mind ya, his voice changed over the course of the 'classic seven' albums as well- he doesn't sound the same on Can't Buy A Thrill as he does on Gaucho. Thinking about it, I do believe I like Fagen's early singing the best.
    Black Thumb likes this.
  15. smilin ed

    smilin ed Forum Resident

    It was the Chesterfield Kings.
    Black Thumb likes this.
  16. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly... Thread Starter

    Sounds like he never gave 'em up...if he hasn't, he should!
    Black Thumb likes this.
  17. zebop

    zebop Well Known Stranger

    I like this. The songs are good, I remember the "Tomorrow's Girls" video and surprised it wasn't a big hit. The production here on some of the tracks, (particularly Tomorrow's Girls) has that classic Steely Dan/Gary Katz sound more than the two SD albums that followed.

    Lots of great groove throughout, "Trans Island Skyway," "Teahouse on the Tracks," the beginning of "Florida Room" but the subject matter here is so insular, more so than the thoughts and nostaglia of a young person growing up in the 50s and 60s.
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  18. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly... Thread Starter

    Well, let's have 'em, then...the Kamakiriad videos:
    "Tomorrow's Girls":
    zebop likes this.
  19. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly... Thread Starter

    zebop likes this.
  20. tenor1

    tenor1 Well-Known Member

    For me it's just Snowbound. Well, if I'm generous, maybe Florida Room or Tomorrow's Girls as well.

    This is the only Donald Fagen album that I've heard that I dislike. I didn't like it when it was released, and when I listened to it a few weeks ago I still found it a chore to get through the whole thing. (I haven't heard Sunken Condos though - I didn't even know of its existence until reading this thread.)
    ohnothimagen likes this.
  21. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly... Thread Starter

    Not gonna lie- listening to Kamakiriad this weekend was a bit of a chore for me as well; I really only like about half the album. Getting though Becker's solo debut Eleven Tracks Of Whack later on this week will be an even bigger chore for me!:laugh:

    We'll get there eventually, but Sunken Condos is awesome. Go get it. IMO it's Fagen's second best solo LP after The Nightfly.
    bibijeebies and marc with a c like this.
  22. Ginger Ale

    Ginger Ale Snackophile

    New York
    I know we bought Kamakiriad as soon as it came out. Not sure in what form, but maybe LP? didn't get played as often as the other SD albums. And it does seem a bit sterile, as compared even with Nightfly.
    zebop and ohnothimagen like this.
  23. Roger Thornhill

    Roger Thornhill Forum Resident

    Ilford, Essex, UK
    A bit late but a single review of Kamakiriad from Q.

  24. drumzNspace

    drumzNspace Forum Resident

    New Yuck City
    Looking at the personnel, what strikes me is how much of the playing the 2 of them took on themselves. Don is credited with all keyboards while there is only one sideman credited with Hammond organ way down in the credits. And Walt is the only bassist and lead guitarist listed, with only 1 other guitarist (not "lead") listed dead last in the credits. The remainder of the musicians are a slew of horns (arranged by Don himself - which are amazing imo), and a bunch of background vocalists (including Amy Helm ). Don is also credited with the rhythm arrangements. Walter produces. I personally think it's an amazing sounding album and a huge achievement.

    I've heard mention of annoying bass loops. Maybe some loops but I also hear some great playing and tone throughout as well.

    I get why many consider it a SD in all but name but to me the distinction is in the songwriting -- all but 1 song written without WB whereas SD albums contain DF/WB collabs credited on every track.
  25. Black Thumb

    Black Thumb Yah Mo B There

    Reno, NV
    I get that feeling too, in spots it feels like a cast album missing an actual show. Elsewhere, there's a sense that an accompanying novel should've appeared with it (following along with the lyric sheet gives me that impression).

    Or one could just invoke those dreaded '70s terms: "concept album" or (gasp!) "rock opera".

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