The band's best and most overlooked songs

By Chris Willman
March 17, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

STEELY DAN’S BEST TRACKS…

”MY OLD SCHOOL” (1973) An inordinate number of rock’s best guitar solos are on Dan discs. Hell, an inordinate number are on this song.

”RIKKI DON’T LOSE THAT NUMBER” (1974) It’s about a drug deal. No, it’s a gay coming-out anthem. Actually, sometimes a classic come-on is just a classic come-on.

”BLACK FRIDAY” (1975) Financial ruin never produced such sheer exultance.

”DEACON BLUES” (1977) Was there ever a weirder chorus for a hit than this U of Alabama-referencing lament?

”HEY NINETEEN” (1980) A blissfully mellow yet queasy anthem for everyone who has to age. Not that we know anybody like that.

…AND THEIR MOST OVERLOOKED

”ANY MAJOR DUDE WILL TELL YOU” (1974) Proves Steely Dan could render empathy almost as effectively as nastiness.

”EVERYONE’S GONE TO THE MOVIES” (1975) This proposition to a minor mixes cheerful chords with creepy undertones.

”THE ROYAL SCAM” (1976) The title song of their darkest (and best?) CD is a cynical take on immigration.

”WEST OF HOLLYWOOD” (2000) They finally eschew irony for existential terror.

”PIXELEEN” (2003) A hilarious blend of Lara Croft and Thirteen.

For more song picks, go to ew.com/fagen

Advertisement

Comments



EDIT POST