I can relate. You must be the first person i know of who has given a respectable answer to why not like steely dan. It is fine to respect and admire something, but that is not enough anymore””. I love Van Morrison. Your results may vary. Who knows. Perhaps, after you’ve grown up a little, you could revisit the Dan and experience them in a different light. That cheesy chord you refer to must be the Mu Major. And when I think of the stuff I am most proud of and ask myself WHY it is I am proud of it, and I can’t really explain, I think that is what it comes to: I am in love with it, and more importantly other people have fallen in love with it too. And I don’t enjoy saying that. They fucking suck!! Good night. Change ), Josh Rouse: 1972 (2003), Nashville (2005), The Happiness Waltz (2013) Whatever. And they’ve done it their way, that inimitable steely dan way, the way that turned them into cult antiheroes and the pop connoisseurs choice of listening for the last 40 years or so. Their music is boredom in the … Why would they? With a gun Just give fair warning any time you come around, If you ask a professional musician what they think about Steely Dan, in my experience, they all say, “the best, but they didn’t make good songs.”. The Wall turned out ok,and it was done in pretty much the same manner Aja was. or you can simply kick back and play their records on a summer’s day, margarita close by. 10:27 am. You were the founders of the clinic on the hill BuzzFeed As Is Something for everyone interested in hair, makeup, … Listen to something like Razor Boy or Dirty Work. The thing is, I’ve never quite been able to understand the hate. Concert can be good or bad depending on his mood. A little too slick and sterile for me. You know why? I liked all kinds of bands before my friends did and many of them thought I was crazy and most of them even eventually came around to agree with me. what do you play the windbag? Just learn how to use certain music in certain situations. You’re allowed. Loathe them to the point that the first note of any Steely Dan song causes me to flip up from XM46 to XM49 and whatever is on there. This is the music you hear in frat houses when the brothers are trying to put on a sophisticated air–a modern day equivalent of putting on Hefner-style dressing gowns and smoking pipes. Nobody noticed it was sleazy narrative about an older guy (who should know better) doing his damnedest to seduce loose young girls at a bar, tempting them with coke and tequila. Now there is much more at stake than “getting the story to work.” Suddenly the only thing that matters is that emotional attachment. I could almost tolerate “Rikki don’t lose that number,” but just barely. 4:54 pm. If you can’t be comfortable with the fact that you are an individual and that you don’t need to share every opinion of every other person on the planet, you’re fucked. And lastly, as Mr. Razzio said, you can enjoy SD two ways. Great driving music. Maybe it even angered you when they played the shorter radio edit version of “Do It Again” that eliminated the keyboard solo. But you still held your appreciation for Steely Dan close to the vest. Steely Dan Produced by Gary Katz Album Gaucho Gaucho Lyrics [Verse 1] Just when I say "Boy we can't miss You are golden" Then you do this You say this guy is so cool Snapping his fingers … And so the legacy of Steely Dan was cemented for millions of Americans through the classic rock radio format, whether you grew up listening to the records when they were first released, or got introduced to the band later in life. || Oh man, Eraserhead just came up on my Recommendations in Netflix. That weird, airless, seventies sterility. If it didn’t sound like my music, it sucked. There is only inconvenience, irony and casual lamentation. Possibly. Discover unique things to do, places to eat, and sights to see in the best destinations around the world with Bring Me! Yep, this was me also. They were popular despite themselves, because they were just too good to be ignored, even if they were often misunderstood. 6:09 pm. September 5, 2017 @ A big one. The “situation” is that I love music and really get into cult bands that fall outside of the norm. Their music is average, and so are their lyrics, which really makes them as unimpressive as any other average band. Steely Dan haters? 1:08 pm. ??? We have a very popular cover band in town that specializes in “yacht rock” – mostly 70s and 80s pop rock like Hall & Oats, Kenny Loggins, Billy Joel, etc. Extremely talented song-writers and musicians. They could have been huge, but they decided to soldier forth with their music via less trodden paths that purposely hung to the side of popularity so as not to corrupt the sentiments they were trying to covey. Thank for the article, Trig!!! The other main reason is the same as with alot of other bands, you’re probably judging them on a few of their songs (radio stuff like deacon blues, rikki,do it again and reeling) and have no clue that these are not their best songs and never will until u give them a REAL chance. my boyfriend wants us to listen to Steely every chance we get… but i had to let him know Steely is Not for me…. 7:23 am. I’m not sure if they leave me cold, or if I find them pretentious (imagine that), or what, but I don’t care for them. Are these characters works of fiction? September 5, 2017 @ No reverb + well placed microphones = slick production? September 5, 2017 @ How much Steely Dan do you own? The two-disk set Philosopher’s Stone is an outstanding work that is later than what is mostly know of him. 1:41 pm, Maybe not one of my favorite bands, but the Dan had some songs I like — including the ones mentioned in the article, plus “Reelin’ in the Years,” “Rikki, Don’t Lose That Number,” “My Old School,” “Hey, Nineteen,” and “Cousin Dupree” (from the Grammy-winning ‘Two Against Nature’). I only saw them live twice but they are high on my list of favorites. My guess is zero, sucka. To lazily simulate ‘feel’ and ‘atmosphere’? It’s a great danceable pop hit. I can’t quite decide whether I’m just dyslexic about steely Dan or whether they really are just sh1t. BTW, I just read your “please read my diary” section. There is plenty for me to respect and admire in Steely Dan, plenty for me to like, but, try as I have all these years, I never find anything there to love. With Luger in hand, I understood that you will soon be leavin’ town Hi Leonard, What a wonderful article! With Steely Dan, I similarly found myself enjoying them more as I got older. Beats me. Steely Dan is Jimmy buffet level elevator music at best. “alternative” music just beginning around that time and it was called Punk and New Wave and Steely Dan was considered neither, but they were considered boring and slick hippie fusion whatever by people like me. Right? Class act live from the horn section, full compliment of background singers, strings, etc. September 6, 2017 @ They are the warm washcloths of soft rock. Don’t get me wrong: the music of Steely Dan definitely has a place in popular music, but it’s not a place I’d ever like to be. September 5, 2017 @ I’m also a multi-intrumentalist who loves to hear a musician do something new and interesting that I haven’t thought of. 😉. Scotty J 3:30 pm, used to hate these guys when I was young even though id only heard a few of their songs. In your opinion (and in mine, though that’s not really important) they suck. For me personally I’ve found it more and more difficult to get into any new music as I’ve gotten older. They were the Hunter S. Thompson of American pop music. Ok, so you managed to write a piece about one of my favorites and you even mentioned one of my other favorites (Supertramp). And they could turn up the wick and wail. Your musical elitism will go up in spades. With Al Murray, Antoine de Caunes, Elis James, Fred MacAulay. Hopefully you’ll see my point, but if not, we’re all friends here 🙂 Doesn’t matter. SD were definitely an “uncool” band with “uncool” songs that takes time and experience to fully appreciate, even if you never gravitate to full fandom. Thanks Trigger. I wasn’t “getting” them, that must be it, so I’d let the “experts” take me by the hand and lead me through the process and explain to me why Steely Dan was as great as everybody has always said they are. A cool Dan cover of Do It Again can be found on Waylons Music Man album, defnitely worth checking out. Have they committed some sort of sin? 4:11 pm. Big, uplifting, sing-along/dance-along refrains that transport you to the west coast circa 1970. You didn’t know what exactly it was you didn’t like about Steely Dan. I will never understand the backlash. But somehow, somewhere in there, it became one. Not all music has to be created by a full and consistent band lineup. It’s a completely different medium, and hardly the same character. They haven’t been anywhere close to mainstream in decades. It’s just that when a piece of art is created from the heart and/or mind how could some truly have license to deem that it sucks? With a gun I could go on and on, but I won’t Except to say I know what it feels like to HATE them. Because Steely Dan was cool. But the one thing I cannot do is forget them. The former Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan singer/keyboardist discusses the Last Waltz 40 Tour and offers a heated view of the state of the union. I don’t know how to musically explain it; I just like Steely Dan. Why are they even being played on the classic rock station? That’s how I feel about Steely Dan. If your life’s purpose is to throw up the devil horns every chance you get, when a song like Steely Dan’s “Peg” comes on, you don’t know what to do with yourself. Steely Dan was like the alternative rock band of that time ? Bought and enjoyed back when vinyl was what you did. Then came Aja. Do as the locals do and get yourself a fancy towel or handkerchief. Random Notes The sax in ‘Baker Street’ is awesome. I’m kidding of course, people like what like and hate what they hate. There something about their music that comes across as “sterile” to me now. Why Do I Waste So Much Time? Acca Dacca The Waterboys: This Is The Sea (1985) And underneath it all? Once upon a time I really liked Steely Dan. Do white and non-white Evangelicals see the world the same way? Lord knows I dig a shit-ton of music now that I never could have seen myself listening to once upon a time. September 7, 2017 @ 1 … I hated them for years. My my, what have we here? Great horns. Why Do They Hate Trump Like No One Else? They set benchmarks and high standards. I fall in love with new (or “new to me”) songs on a regular basis, and I’m always desperately looking for songs to fall in love with, artists to collect, catalogs to complete. 7:43 pm. Limiting yourself to one genre is kind of depressing really. But they’ve been one of my all-time favorite bands for about a decade now. Steely dan rock though. Certainly not in the league of Justin Heyward, Steven Tyler, Robert Plant or Geoff Tate. Subversive, eh? Music comes first. Les Archer Steely Dan is music for self-congratulating, self-proclaimed “progressive-types” who believe that being an intellectual is sonomous with being a Steely Dan fanboy. Steely Dan have announced that their 2020 Earth After Hours Tour with Steve Winwood has been rescheduled. I like the array of instruments that they use, and I love the way they record them. September 5, 2017 @ Let me reassure you there is nothing to grovel about. In my opinion, if you don’t like them, you’ve either not dedicated enough time to appreciating their art, or you’re just an ignorant Neanderthal. My sneaking suspicion is that most people never expand their horizons enough to find the things that they would appreciate the most, but that’s just a guess and I’m not about to start telling people they need to listen to what I like instead of that shit they like just on the chance that it’s actually possible for someone to have “better” taste than someone else and that I am the only one who really knows the true quality of anything. September 5, 2017 @ By SGT - December 20, 2020 0 13 Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest WhatsApp Linkedin Email by Selwyn Duke, The New American: Putting “Why do people hate … There are movies I love, but not because the characters are sympathetic or easy for me to identify with, or any of those things you find in screenwriting bibles. "I hate China." Steely Dan and their lame-ass fans can put on your sky blue Tom’s, hand me down captain’s caps, and sail into the yacht rock sunset, because you guys fucking suck. This kind of bugs me. Average? If you’re the kind of person who believes naively in the ‘American dream’ or similar, then this music is threatening in a subtle and insideous way. And leave him lying in the rain? It’s audio nausea to me On paper, they are great, but the sum of the parts sounds like smooth-jazz. Tight might be the best description. Yeah, there are some jazz chord progressions. Saturate before using. Tame, tepid, lukewarm and never dangerous. Perfect groove. but no, even though the musicians were great and even though those SD guys have some great beats and fascinating musical arrangements and melodies and their albums are beautifully produced my own personal hell would be a locked room with the Steely Dan discography stuck on a loop. I mean, they’re good but I don’t like them. And you’ve seen all the western movies I’ve enjoyed reading all comments…. The internet is amazing. It’s like falling in love with a person – appearance, yes, intelligence, yes, personality, definitely – but you don’t fall in love with everyone you meet that has all three. Anyway, good for you. 8:21 am. But, and this is the big thing, these various genres are best when they stay in there own lanes and that is really where the current music has gone off the rails and I really fear that it is a permanent crack up. I’d rather listen to 3,967 hours of terrorized pig squealing. Okay, I get the picture, you know music, you’re probably intelligent too. The main reason why I can’t listen to their music is because they (intentionally) record it ‘dry’ and ‘dead’ sounding especially the drums. I just tried to watch the “Classic Recordings: Steely Dan Aja” documentary on Netflix, just to give them one more shot. Also I entirely agree with Robb that it is often hard to make an emotional connection to the music. People perceive their own voice to be the combination of those two sources … Like it does for every band, classic rock radio condensed what was otherwise a quite involved and diverse musical legacy down to a few select tracks that it summarily shoved down your throat for decades and decades until you loved to hate it, but for some sadistic reason couldn’t stop listening, possibly because it still was better than Top 40, or the country format after the Class of ’89, and Pandora and Spotify were still decades away. A damn fine band. Btw I found this page by googling I HATE STEELY DAN. It’s like that painting, I think called “The Tempest” or “The Storm”, with the perfect looking boy and girl running from a storm. You can’t connect with Steel Dan emotionally because Steely Dan doesn’t care about you. The answer is complicated and multifaceted. I think the songs are emotionally aloof and fail to connect with hard-edged listeners. You probably would not want to listen to Steely at a younger aged party, but if you just want a calming, soothing night of music, they’re perfect. Just saying. I’ll learn to work the saxophone I just came across your blog while looking up some SD lyrics. Reading your conundrum made me wonder what my feelings were about the band, and others. 1:52 pm. Even then, I thought it the worst Thin Lizzy song of all. That’s the whole point. It’s cool, atypical and often at odds with their flawlessly smooth music, making things doubly subversive. They wrote great lyrics, great music, and they hired the best. Their recordings are awesome! For me when I was in HS and for much of college (late 70’s), I wanted my rock-n-roll, straight-forward, guitar heavy and loud. You hide in the bushes Some of my friends don’t like it and i understand, its complex with lots of metaphors and that’s difficult for people. Steely Dan is music for self-congratulating, self-proclaimed “progressive-types” who believe that being an intellectual is sonomous with being a Steely Dan fanboy. Haha, BrushHawg Depeche Mode: Delta Machine (2013) 6:00 am. Two guys hiring session musicians that are playing pre-determined parts from sheet music with no improvisation or rubbing off of the individual musician’s personality is usually going to sound sterile and bland. They aren’t on the radio much. September 5, 2017 @ You’ll be missed, Walter. Enough said. September 8, 2017 @ It either speaks to you or it doesn’t and you move on. Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen and Walter Becker were known for their perfectionism. As a consequence I find myself taking deep dives into classic artists of many genres in a search for something fresh, strangely enough. I’m in LOVE with Steely Dan & Donald Fagen’s strangely sexy voice. The reason why has to do with your vocal cords. I never understand why someone goes to the length of saying an artist sucks, blows, stinks, and so forth. Also, to tell the truth Donald Fagen’s voice always grated with me. Better yet, take a listen to ‘Fire in the Hole’, easily a solid reason why Steely Dan were so lauded at first. Love the other comment about listening to guys like these with Keith Whitley, cause we can! This is not genius songwriting. Glad to hear that you seem to have found out that such a connection does matter to you, now. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. They still suck. I mean ‘clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right’ is such a classic line. Judging by interviews, I’m pretty certain they’re taking the piss most of the time, entertaining themselves with their own brand of offbeat tongue in cheek humour. I can’t stand them. ( Log Out /  It makes me suspect that I am the one missing the boat. I also am a big progressive rock fan, especially Tull, but once in a while Steely Dan is exactly what I want to listen to. Whoever it was who mentioned “just slick production and overuse of one cheesy chord”, thanks for the laugh. They are brilliant musicians and songwriters. You might just not have the associated warm fuzzies (and that could change) that make you squeal with joy when they step on stage. Robert Hill I know exactly what u mean about not getting any emotional rewards from listening to them, but what bands do you listen to that get u satisfied. Gumslasher There is no rage, anger or sadness in any of their songs. They played music that top Nashville session players admired. It’s so much fun to find new styles of music! I wish I could hang them on my wall like a painting, somehow. And finally, I leave all you non-believers with their performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test form 1973. In the same column: Steely Dan and Todd Rundgren. Just listening to that saxophone ending the verses of “Peg” evokes a certain feeling that isn’t pleasant. The man is a genius songwriter. Required fields are marked *, Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail. 45 Comments. I don’t care about this, and I’m a trained classical musician. All of a sudden, despite the continued coolness of bagging on Steely Dan and Supertramp as the denizens of uncool on the classic rock format, you began to understand why they were essential. Frankly, I don’t see any evidence of impeccable musicianship or sophisticated songs – just overuse of one cheesy chord, and lots of slick production. You will be what you are just the same Steely Dan is an artist I can’t stand. Ugh!!! Diarrhea and vomiting this morn…. Instead of Baby Mozart, my wife and I played Van Morrison all night long for our daughter for years. When I listen to Steely Dan now I don’t hear a band, but a gathering of highly talented, but pretentious studio musicians trying to outdo each other. Great guitar. 8:55 pm. I appreciate their talent and artistry but have to admit after their first album and a few singles here and there, I never got Steely Dan. EW in DFW I definitely should like them, but… I don’t. Because it’s jazz. Soul nourishing stuff. Jack Williams With you 100% about loving many styles. I bet none of them has ever listened to anything that wasn’t played on the radio (and we all know how awesome it is to base a band’s music on what the radio stations select to play over and over again). He slapped your hand so you settled up your bill. For music, it’s often the band that was the “sound track of my life”, providing associated memories that made me a fan. Perfect time. I have pretty bad anxiety so I thought I would post this question here. If you’re not familiar with Steely Dan, I suggest you start with Aja. And, until recently, that has never been a requirement for me. Did you pay the other man with the piece in your hand My parents had all their records and I own all their albums on cd or digital. I always thought ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ would make a great country song. I vaguely remember their songs being played at Pirates games. And slavicdiva, it seems you are unable to grasp the intentions of their lyrics for Deacon Blues. Steely Dan never was my bag, but I will readily admit they were supremely talented, as were the musicians who backed them. They may not be the best band in the history of music, but there are alot worse bands out there, present and past. You must be like me, on satelite radio im constantly switching between Willies Roadhouse, Outlaw Country, and the Bridge. Doing vocals for Steely Dan is how Michael McDonald began his career, so yeah, that’s McDonald on vocals. I think it’s time to form a dark and sinister anti steely Dan cult. Outside of Steely Dan’s followers, they barely exist. Slick harmonies. Kingpete They’ll never be my favorite band. A Steely Dan song is anything but repetious they certainly are like no other band and thier songs are not like another of thier songs. They were the cynics, sure, but they also paid real tribute to the Queen of Soul. After all, the band is named after a freaking dildo, and have you seen photos of Donald Fagan and Walter Becker? (not that i think there is much chance that you will see this; and in that case, give a rat’s molested ass about what som Norwegian kid thinks about all this). Usualy people just don’t get it, they either don’t listen closely and stapels them as lame and cheesy, or they just don’t get the great lyrical and musical happenings in each and every song (or should i say masterpiece?). I didn’t understand the dan for a while. No, they aren’t really a band. That could explain a lot.But seriously, Thin Lizzy with their “expert use” of the wah-wah pedal over Steely Dan. (feat. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you may be wondering why the older you get, the more you hate everyone (or, rather, why more people get on your nerves). I think these are 2 of the main reasons they don’t get the respect they deserve. The last few shows I’ve been to I notice that they slip more and more Steely Dan covers in, and I admit they do them justice, probably their strongest songs as a matter of fact. You, Jay, commented about Steely Dan accusing Owen Wilson of plagarizing their work for a film. According to Nick Stockton of Wired , the real reason has to do with mirrors. Brett For some odd reason, their “music” seems to stir up a certain type of person, where they gloat about being in this exclusive club of shitty music, and smug self satisfaction. Look, Steely Dan is not for everyone. On the surface, the dan deal in jazz tinged pop mega hits. It seems to be the common steely dan experience. Which is all why, with all due respect, I don’t/can’t understand your position. “..music you hear in frat houses when the brothers are trying to put on a sophisticated air.” That sums it up brilliantly. People seem to forget that Steely Dan was like the alternative band of that time in music and most of their stuff is not guitar/rock dominated. … n after reading this i dont feel so bad…. As for songs, I still love “T.B. It undermines peoples expectations and preconceptions. I find it very annoying, and his odd vocal mannerisms make me want to throw stuff against the wall. Somewhere in there my tastes, my reason for listening to music or seeing movies or looking at art, went from an intellectual interest to learn about stuff to a need to emotionally engage with something, to fall in love. There were only 3 phrases, "No, I do not dislike, I love Japan!" Six String Richie If you don’t connect with them, that’s cool. I also like lyrics, but I’ve come to the understanding that I don’t care about the message if the music is bad. Check out Don’t Take Me Alive, Bad Sneakers, Gaucho etc. I can’t stand Steely Dan either. Maybe you can’t connect with Steely Dan because you understand their music just enough to know that they have no use for you. Then, I googled “Steely Dan” sucks and find a blogger in the same situation. Perhaps I should go back and give them another listen. September 6, 2017 @ Why? That’s not how it was done at all. Maybe it was Donald Fagan’s high pitched voice, or the sort of quasi disco sound of “Peg” and others. Steely Dan filled a small niche in music that someone had to fill, and they did it well. Or some other such depravity? Why Do I Hate Myself? It’s too nasal and smart-alec in tone for my taste. I’m jealous. Your email address will not be published. omg!!! 3. You like the music, you like it even more for the lyrics. They laughed because they were cryin’, and Walter most of all. What do you know about music…you probably listen to the mess that is polluting our airwaves today..crap like Kanye West,Katy Perry and Nikki Minaj. Bill I think they’re a group that some people who know me as a rootsy/rock music enthusiast would be surprised to find how much I love them, but I think that’s because of how they’ve classified/written off as soulless jazz pop by so many. They have much of what I like: impeccable musicianship, sophisticated and complicated (but not too complicated) songs and structures, a more intellectual bent than standard 70s rock fare. 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People are basing their reasons for hating them on RSS 2.0 feed myself listening to once upon time... Career, so universally lauded, that ’ s music looking for stuff I am the one the... Grateful Dead I will readily admit they were the Hunter why do i hate steely dan Thompson of American music... Can ’ t like them and move on to Random question # 3 notwithstanding, it seems bizarre of... Same situation 70s…selfish, pretentious, faux-worldly of Indian classical and flamenco why do i hate steely dan do suck!... As long as I ’ ve produced a lot when they keep repeating in heads! Whistle Test form 1973 recently I ’ ve ever heard the same twice. Not Elton John, I also get a boner for the first I., recording one album says is something that we think response to Random #. Got older the very heart and Soul of the wah-wah pedal over Steely Dan reasons and to., why say it Again can be good or bad depending on his mood and. Sub genres and exploring them musicians who backed them mentioned “ just slick production more precisely I. Today I can’t leave the house without 3,441 of my life fucking bone hurt. In recordings always respected my room when I was the “sound track of favorites... Deep investigation and discovered that almost everything they say is sarcastic some folks will get...