My Top Five Favorite Steely Dan Songs [Video]
Walter Becker, one of the founding members of rock legends Steely Dan passed away over the weekend, leading me to revisit my big pile of Steely Dan albums.
Here are my top five Steely Dan songs. Remember, there is no right or wrong when it comes to Steely Dan, so feel free to add to the list.
5. Razor Boy -- Countdown To Ecstasy (1973)
After all the mainstream hits on 'Can't Buy A Thrill', this was the song on their next album that told you this band was going to take you into some weird places. Picking up where the Latin feel of the hit 'Do It Again' left off, this marimba laden gem just kind of cruises with little instrumental breaks showing off the talents of the hired gun musicians the band would hire over the years. Now sung live by band's female background singers, which gives the songs dark lyrics a new twist.
4. Don't Take Me Alive -- The Royal Scam (1976)
A rare straight ahead rocker from the band, this song about a desperate man who has given up any chance of rehabilitation is one of those songs that made me think that Becker, who wrote a bulk of the lyrics for the band, seemed to have a good grasp on where society was headed.
3. Rikki Don't Lose That Number -- Pretzel Logic (1974)
What made Steely Dan appealing to me was their ability to tell stories with their lyrics, most of which were open to interpretation by the listener. I often wondered what went on between the narrator of this story and Rikki. Was it a drug deal gone bad, or unrequited love? Either way, I always loved the weird open to the album version of this song.
2. FM (No Static At All) -- FM Soundtrack (1978)
It's hard to believe in this age of corporate radio that the letters FM once meant wild, experimental radio, but most FM stations trying to get a foothold in the era of AM top 40 pop would play just about anything to get your attention. Many of these stations gave Steely Dan album cuts tons of airplay after the hits stopped coming. This is their ode to that era, from a movie about the struggle by an FM air staff fighting to hang on to those ideals.
1. Any World (That I'm Welcome To) -- Katy Lied (1975)
For a kid who was an introvert in a big family, the lyrics to this song hit home for me growing up. Never quite fitting in is something many of us deal with as teenagers, and this song about finding a world where I might fit in was an eye opener. FYI -- I wasn't always a bummer, and YES, I found many worlds I was welcome to in my life.