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Can't Buy A Thrill

Steely Dan

1972

Can't Buy A Thrill
Album Summary

Can't Buy a Thrill is the debut studio album by the American rock band Steely Dan, released in November 1972 by ABC Records. The album was written by band members Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, recorded in August 1972 at The Village Recorder in Los Angeles, and produced by Gary Katz. Its music features tight song structure and sounds from soft rock, folk rock, and pop, alongside philosophical, elliptical lyrics. The album was a commercial success, peaking at number 17 on the Billboard chart and eventually being certified platinum. It was also met with positive reviews and later appeared on many professional listings of the greatest albums, including Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000) and Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" (2003).

Wikipedia

Rating

3.72

Votes

11616
Genres
Rock

Reviews

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Tue Mar 16 2021
4

Fuck I am turning into a dad, I appreciate Steely Dan now

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

Dan. Dan. Dan. Dan. DAN. DAN. DAN. DAAAN. DAAAAN. DAN! DAN! DAAANN!

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

Liked it from the first song (the only one I already knew) but it grew on me even more throughout the album. Just enjoyable rock songs on the surface, but very playful and occasionally quite technical instrumentation underneath. Reminds me a lot of a less folky version of America or a more playful version of The Eagles. No idea Why I wasn't more familiar with them before, but I'll definitely listen to more Steely Dan. [Update: spent the next two hours listening to more Steely Dan]

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Fri Apr 09 2021
5

An unsung masterpiece record from The Eagles. The big vocal harmonies shine like they always do, but on this record they're bent around more interesting chord progressions. Since when could they rip guitar solos like this? Who knew a band like The Eagles could write such clever lyrics that aren't about senoritas or driving cars? There's not a single song on this album I would skip. The uptempo numbers cook. The downtempo numbers swagger with LA schmaltz. This could be the high water mark for all 70s soft rock. A+ P.S. The Dan continue to fascinate me. They want to be avant garde. They want to rally against whatever is on trend in music at this moment (probably hard rock?). But they just can't help but write perfect pop hooks. No matter how many jazz chord progressions and flugelhorns they throw in, this is commercial soft rock at its finest. Pointed straight at the center of the American mainstream ear. I suppose its their debut, and on later records they perfected their pompous polish, ditched the conventional vocalist, and lost some of the raw, human feel that makes this album shine brighter than any 10th coat of studio wax could do.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

The last thing I wanted it to be a steely Dan guy but this album really worked for me. Was going to give it 4 but I don’t really know where I’d fault it.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
5

This album will always be special to me. Growing up, my dad didn't listen to ANY music, let alone any albums from previous decades. It wasn't until I moved into the Hamlin and Matt dropped the needle on Can't Buy A Thrill that I first really discovered the world of classic rock. The album's a fuckin banger, and the world it opened the door to for me is equally bangin. Thanks Matt, thanks Hamlin, thanks steam-powered dildo band.

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Mon Aug 02 2021
5

I enjoyed this album very much. It was groovy and easy to listen, with multiple great songs. Great background for a scenic drive.

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Mon Oct 23 2023
4

What a great listen. Strong start and continues through most of the album. Consider me a Steely Fan.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

This was a great ass album. Every song rocked.

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Tue Oct 05 2021
5

Steely Dan's debut and right from the first moment they have that signature sound. Some real classics on this album: Do It Again, Dirty Work, and Reelin' in the Years. Do It Again starts the album with a cool groove and how many songs have such a cool sitar solo? Yes, I said that. I really liked some of the less famous songs also, like “Change of the Guard” and “Fire in the Hole.” “Turn That Heartbeat Over Again” was probably the weakest track which is kind of a shame that an album that starts so strong ends kind of lame. That’s a real minor complaint though. This is a great album. 

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Thu Nov 24 2022
3

I fucking hate Steely Dan. I don't know if it's a result of growing up in the 70s and 80s and being subjected to the soft-rock, nouveau jazz part deus sounds of Steely Dan in dentist's offices or elevators but I've never enjoyed them. I am however, cognizant of their impact and contribution to music and knowing how they are reviewers darlings I did listen to this. And while it wasn't as bad of a listen for me as it was, I still don't get it. But this was a big improvement over some of the brit-pop cycle I've been stuck in. 3/5.

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Tue May 24 2022
2

I think "soft rock" is definitely an accurate descriptor for this. It's relaxing, easy listening type stuff without anything too challenging happening. That's not to say it's not enjoyable, but I think great albums need to make you think. There are elements of various musical styles like Jazz and Latin incorporated here, but I feel like they get washed away in the overall sound instead of being featured. Overall a couple of tracks I enjoy on here, but not enough to give it a solid 3. Fav Tracks: Do It Again, Reelin' In The Years, Fire In The Hole

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Mon Dec 13 2021
5

I consider Steely Dan to be one of the most exquisite pleasures in all of music. Some of the most intelligent and sophisticated songs you will ever hear. They are in a category of their own. I could listen to their entire discography on an endless loop. Though purists of the Aja/Gaucho camp may scoff at this, I really enjoy this enjoy this early incarnation of the band.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
5

Hey little girl, what’s your favorite steely Dan album? What’s that? You don’t know a lot about steely Dan? Do not a lot of you know anything about steely Dan? Like, you’ve heard the name, but nothing specific?

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Sat Oct 14 2023
5

Probably the best Steely Dan album I've listened to. A handful of songs they everyone knows, and the rest of the album is really nice too.

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Sat Oct 28 2023
5

Do It Again and Reelin' In the Years are obvious classics, the rest of this album is actually bonkers good too though. There's really no other band that sounds like Steely Dan. This an album that feels like it has everything, yet remains cohesive. I love it.

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Sat Jul 10 2021
4

Cette critique ne sera que partiellement pertinente pour une raison très simple que je vais vous exposer. Lorsque j'aime un album dès la première écoute, il est chez moi d'usage de le jouer une nouvelle fois dans le but d'affiner mon analyse le concernant. Pourtant hier, alors que je venais de relancer la première piste, mon compagnon d'écoute elchavez me somma d'écouter une de ses cochonneries sonores. Vous l'aurez compris, cette chanson coupa mon envie de poursuivre ma deuxième écoute des Steely Dan, tout comme une vision de défections couperait un appétit.

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Tue Oct 24 2023
4

steely dan, the kings of yacht rock. start to finish, a solid outing. highlights: “do it again”, “only a fool would say that”, “reelin’ in the years”.

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Fri Mar 12 2021
3

I'm not a huge fan of Steely Dan's sound overall, but I have to admit this album has some bangers....

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Thu May 06 2021
3

Not bad, but distinctly dated, to my ears at least. I didn't listen that closely to be honest, but nothing really caught me.

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Sat Jan 20 2024
3

Fun album I wouldn’t listen to again.

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Sat Mar 19 2022
2

Cursed by its monumentally hideous cover and the fact that it's a Steely Dan album. Two undeniably good singles and one other likeable song, but hell's teeth this is some smug shit.

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Sun Jul 03 2022
2

God, this band took any sort of bite out of jazz when they shoved it into their soft rock snoozefest, paving the way for all the Kenny Gs of the world. Do It Again is a good song, but the rest of this album can fuck right off.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

Why did he waste all those years in the Beano wtf this is class.

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Thu Mar 18 2021
5

Maybe my favorite album since starting this. A couple old favorites and I enjoyed the songs that I have not heard before.

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Sun Jun 20 2021
5

I almost gave this album a four after one listen, but I just had that feeling in my gut - the one that says "give it one more go". Thank God for it, because this is a 5/5. After that second listen, I put "Do It Again", "Midnight Cruiser", and "Reelin' in the Years" on repeat for several hours straight while scrolling through the entire history of the "Good Steely Dan Takes" Twitter account.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
5

With the first notes, you’re fucking in. This album, like all steely Dan albums is instrumental perfection, doesn’t seem to be a misplaced note, and there is not one bad song. This album sounds full and rich, jazz, rock and a little bit of Latin vibes. Easy 5.

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Thu May 13 2021
5

Ich kann mich diesen eingängigen Hits nicht entziehen, auch wenn die Latin-Klänge mich zeitweise an die voreingestellten Beats auf dem 80ies-Keyboard erinnern. Schöner Pop-Rock, Sitarklänge und smoother Gesang. Reelin in the years ist mein all time favourite. 5 Sterne Ohrwurmpotenzial für die nächste Fahrt Richtung Urlaub. Irgendwie kommt mir beim Hören Supertramp in den Sinn, auch ne tolle Band.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
5

Marvellously varied. Super strong song writing.

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Wed May 05 2021
5

I really like this album and everything about it. From the vocals, to the instrumental, to the production. Highlights have been Dirty Work, Kings, Reelin' In The Years (yes I know it's their most well known song but it's so good). All in all, a very solid album. 5 stars from me!

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Wed May 05 2021
5

It's got so many greats from Steely Dan, who can say no?

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Thu May 06 2021
5

Already love this album, good way to start

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Fri Jun 18 2021
5

Man I love Steely Dan. Dirty Work and Reelin' in the Years were my faves on this album.

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Sun Aug 08 2021
5

laid-back muziek, melodieus, mooi gezongen. Ik kende het niet maar erg leuke verrassing alweer

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Fri Aug 13 2021
5

10/10. You can't buy a thrill, but it would be thrilling to buy this album. I think Do It Again is one of the more overrated Steely Dan songs, but I have no right to be salty that people enjoy this more than I do, and this is still a good tune to have come on at the grocery store. Dirty work is a fairly drastic mood swing from Dirty Work, and this is pretty common for the album which I think is why I rarely listen to it through, even though I listen to all the songs a lot. Kings, then, jumps back into the more energetic, sarcastic mood of the first song. The we get to Midnite Cruiser which is one of my favorites form this album. The chorus is so catchy, and the lyrics so savory, and broken up into these delightful little bite-sized lines when sung. Next, we have Only a Fool Would Say That, which is where we first get to a Steely Dan song with pretty much nonsense lyrics. I'm not sure what "Of salads and sun" is supposed to mean, and thought for the longest time he was singing "Of Saladin's son" which also doesn't make sense. Still a pretty fun little song. Reelin' in the Years is probably what a lot of people would call the most overrated Steely Dan song, but honestly this song is just spectacular. The only reason I can see to resent it's popularity is that it has spawned multiple live versions now, and both of the one's I know of don't sound right. I love how the lyrics just seem to fall, almost jumbled, out of his mouth, as if the narrator's world is rapidly falling apart. Fire in the Hole is my least favorite from this album, but I've been told that I clearly just hate Pianists. Brooklyn still makes very little sense to me lyrically, but it is a real pretty song. Change of the Guard makes a fun change of pace, but isn't really a stand-out song in my opinion. And then Turn That Heartbeat Over Again is a very sporadic, yet extremely catchy song that sort of reflects the album as a whole with its jumps between fast and slow lyrics occurring line-to-line, but still all fitting together real nice.

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Fri Aug 13 2021
5

Perhaps my favorite Steely Dan album? 10/10

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Fri Aug 13 2021
5

I like this more every time I hear it 10/10

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Tue Aug 24 2021
5

Absolutely loved this album. A few songs wound up forgettable, but the whole thing was worth a double listen-through.

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Mon Aug 30 2021
5

Terrible album cover but I really dig this record. I spin it all the time. Top tier.

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Thu Sep 16 2021
5

Wow, just wow. A true classic!

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Sun Sep 19 2021
5

Prawie 1/4 listy skonczona, a to dopiero pierwszy steely dan na liscie, wiec jeszcze 5 czeka na swoj czas, bo steely dan to jedna z tych band, ktora nie wypuszczala muzyki ktora mozna by nazwac niedorobiona, chociaz samo nazywanie steely dan banda jest niezbyt precyzyjnym okresleniem, bo jak dla mnie jest to projekt duetu Becker-Fagen, czego tak jeszcze nie widac na debiutanckim cant buy a thrill, ale jednak widoczne sa juz tego przeslanki, sama plyta ktorej dane mi bylo posluchac kolejny raz pomimo tego, ze jest teraz klasykiem rocka, brzmieniowo jest blizsza jazzowi niz folk rokowi, bo tak nieraz okreslany jest gatunek tego albumiku, co wyroznia plyte to z pewnoscia cieple brzmienie, zestawione z sardonicznym wokalem i liryka Fagena, chociaz na plycie sa 3 traki na ktroych mozna uslyszec na glownym wokalu Palmera na dirty work i brooklyn, czyli wokaliste steely danow na wystepy live oraz hoddera na midnite cruise, kolejna cecha mocno definiujaca brzmienie grupy sa influencje latino jazzowe, zderzone z poscigiem perfekcjonizmu jaki napedzal duet tegich glow duetu, upbeatowe brzmienie w polaczeniu z sarkastycznyi tekstami, ktorych bohaterami zazwyczaj sa fikcyjne persony przegranych ludzi, czy to mordujacych, zkukowanych, kukujacych, grajacych, włóczykijow, wszystkich laczy to, ze nie sa w stanie kierowac swym przeznaczeniem, wiec idealna moodowa muzyczka, na co jeszcze warto zwrocic uwage podczas odsluchu, to perfekcjonizm jakim ocieka album od strony produkcji, jest to zasluga duetu, ktory pomagal w nagrywaniu wszystkich studyjnych albumikow steely dana, to jest Gary Katz i Roger Nichols, ktory byli w stanie spelnic wygorowane wymagania jakosci fagenowobeckerowej, ktory potrafili nagrywac po 300 tejkow danych partii zeby znalezc to cos w brzmieniu, a jesli chodzi o szukanie brzmienia to trzeba przejsc do kolejnej kwestii definiujacej zwlaszcza pozniejsze projekty danowe, czyli uzycia muzykow studyjnych, o ile na cant buy a thrill pojawia sie ich tylko czterech i trzy wokalistki robiace chorki na kings i brooklyn, to jednak ci muzycy nie tylko sa zapychaczem tam gdzie bylo potrzebny dany instrument, ale stanowia oni jedne z hajlajtow plyty tak jak gitarowe solo Elliotta Randalla na reelin in the years, unialnosc tego albumu zawiera sie w tym jak lekko sie go slucha pomimo tak ciezkiego kontentu lirycznego, ale nie jest to zdecydowanie popowa lekkosc, tylko lekkosc wynikajaca z tego jak wypoliszowane sa te kompozycje, na plejce juz mam dwa traki najbardziej popularne wedlug spotifaja, wiec wrzuce dwa troche bardziej niszowe, bedzie to dirty work z wokalem palmera, ktory nie posiada tego sardonicznego vibe jak u fagena, a brzmi raczej jak cos z niebieskookiego soulu, co idealnie komponuje sie z motywem przewodniem traczka, czyli byciu pionkiem wykorzystywanym przez babe zamezna, kolejnym pickiem bedzie fire in the hole nawiazujacym do dogowania draftu wietnamskiego, co oczywiscie bylo dosc modne wsrod owczesnych muzykantow, a cala plyta juz byla dodana na poleczke albumow must have, a jednak jak odpalilem na spoti, to wygladalo tak jakby jej tam nie bylo, wiec kolejny raz padlem ofiara spotifajowego namieszania zwiaznego z roznymi wersjami tych samych albumow, z profilu bandy jestes w stanie zobaczyc tylko jedna wersje i nie masz dostepu zobaczyc innych ktore jednak istnieja gdzies w bazie albumow i jesli masz jakies kawalki z danego wydania jestes w stanie sie do niego dostac, ale co gorsze mozesz dodac duplikaty na plejliste bez informacji o powielonych trakach, spotify welkam tu

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Mon Sep 27 2021
5

This is one of my all time favorite albums. Every track. My faves, Do It Again and Midnite Cruiser. Love those solos in the latter.

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Tue Sep 28 2021
5

I love this album. I used to listen to it all the time. Haven't played it for years.

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Tue Oct 12 2021
5

Great listen. Favorite tracks are Do It Again and Change of the Guard.

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Fri Oct 22 2021
5

An absolute classic. Safe to say I'm a Steely Fan.

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Wed Nov 03 2021
5

Great album top to bottom, really want to get into more of their stuff

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

I was already familiar with Do It Again and Reelin' in the Years, and to a lesser extent, Dirty Work, but this is the first time I've listened to the full album and it's a great piece of work.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

This is a legitimate classic. Even though I'd never heard the entire album before, I knew I'd love it. Steely Dan is one of those groups that hits their mark 80%-90% of the time. In that 10%-20% falls pieces like "Midnight Cruiser", which sound like it was written and performed by The Partridge Family.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
5

Perfect Vietnam war era songs. One of the first albums of Steely Dan. Favs: Do it again, Dirty work, Only a fool would say that, Reelin' in the years, Turn that heartbeat over again Genre: Soft rock, folk rock, pop

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Wed Nov 24 2021
5

An incredibly fun album that has a mixture of classic soft rock hits along with deep cuts that just make you want to dance. Most song have an almost tropical vibe. A couple songs, including the opening track, Do it Again, overuse the organ. Reelin in the Years might be one of the best rock/jazz rock songs of all time. The guitar riff paired with the hook in the vocal harmony is top notch. A classic through and through.

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Mon Nov 29 2021
5

Near perfect album. 2nd/3rd best Steely Dan album. 9-10/10 1. Do It Again 2. Only a Fool Would Say That 3. Kings

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Fri Dec 10 2021
5

Brought back memories of when I FIRST HEARD IT. AWESOMQ

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Mon Dec 13 2021
5

What a solid album. My dad would put this record on sometimes, and Do It Again & Dirty Work must have been his favorites because I don't remember the others as well. Amazing that this is their debut album, I think the songs exemplify what is so great about them - depth of songwriting paired with top notch musicianship.

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Sun Dec 19 2021
5

Literally every song is a banger. An unexpected 5

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

So many under the radar hits

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

Great set of songs, all different yet connected in terms of either sound or meaning; highly recommend.

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Wed Jan 26 2022
5

4.5*. Dirty Work is a song I fell in love with.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

If this isn't perfect, then the definition of perfect needs updating.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

Insert this Steely Dan and let the pleasure take you away… This jazzy, soft rock always hits the spot… What a great fucking album! Top 15 for sure. It’s hard to find a dozen albums I’d rather hear than this one. Reelin’ In The Years and Do It Again are great songs, but Dirty Work is my favorite song on the album. In particular, I love the lyric, “like a castle in it’s corner in a medieval game…I foresee terrible trouble but I stay here just the same…” then the drums lead into the chorus…rat-tat-tat-tat…mmmmmm yeaaaaahhhhh However after listening again today, I prefer side 2 over side 1. The screaming lead guitar on Reelin’ In The Years is classic while Fagen’s piano on Fire In The Hole is outta this world. The last three tracks all have something special too. Interesting fact that I didn’t know before today is that Walter Becker and Donald Fagen were in a band with Chevy Chase before Steely Dan.

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Sat Feb 05 2022
5

I love Steely Dan so I'll take any excuse to listen to them. I think they have better albums than this but this is still a great album.

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Tue Feb 22 2022
5

Love the blues and R&B influence on this album. Not a bad song on the album

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Tue Feb 22 2022
5

5.5…one of my all time favorites….solid rock and roll…was housesitting on Maui late 70’s and these guys lived next door, came out and played volleyball with us….regular guys, good fun…..but I’ve just always loved their music

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Fri Feb 25 2022
5

Love steely Dan amazing album

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Mon Mar 21 2022
5

Okay take my 5 stars meme album

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Tue Apr 12 2022
5

Great leadoff album for the week. Another personal favorite

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Mon May 02 2022
5

I love that Steely Dan sound. Smooth, elegant, barbs in all the right places. The whole thing polished like a disco ball. Do It Again into Dirty Work is a great one two. Reelin' In The Years is another amazing classic. What a collection of great songs on the same sonic effort.

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Wed May 04 2022
5

Do it again and Reelin' in the years are just *chef's kiss*. I feel like I should be a bit less shy about handing out 5 star reviews, and you know what, this is a very good start. This album is chill and smooth and versatile and clever and just great.

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Wed May 11 2022
5

Lov the build up in “Do it Again” Forgot how much I like this album. Very well written and executed music! Dirty Work was like listening to Chicago, playing so many instruments . Always loved Reeling In the Years- wow what great🎸strumming. well done Steely Dan. .

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Fri May 27 2022
5

Love Steely Dan, great album.

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Mon Jun 06 2022
5

As a Steely Stan I wouldn't put this in their top 3 albums, but it does have some of their best tracks. Awful album cover though.

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Mon Jun 27 2022
5

Wonderful musicianship. Dark lyrics obscured by jaunty tunes. Brilliant.

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Mon Jul 11 2022
5

Classic. Easy listening. Was not familiar with Steely Dan but recognized 3-4 songs. Loved it.

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Thu Jul 14 2022
5

I know some fans consider Can't Buy a Thrill to be an outlier in their catalog, and they don't especially care for it. But it's actually one of my favorites, not just from Steely Dan, but one of my favorite albums period. It's the kind of album I can put on repeat for hours. Fagen and Becker made some masterpiece albums after this one, but Can't Buy a Thrill is easily their most accessible work. There's a softness and more laid back quality to the sound here that's absent from a lot of their later work. But the band's trademark elegant arrangements and musical creativity are all here, as well as Fagen's cagey and unsentimental approach to lyricism. There are the obvious hits that everyone knows, but every track here is a home run. You can drop the needle anywhere on here and you'll land on a gem. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Kings, Only a Fool Would Say That, Reelin' In the Years, Fire in the Hole, Dirty Work, Do It Again, Midnite Cruiser, Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me), Change of the Guard, Turn That Heartbeat Over Again

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Fri Jul 22 2022
5

A lot of great songs. Soft rock, easy to listen. I always appreciate a good saxophone solo! I can't think of anyone who wouldn't enjoy this album.

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