The album name is exceptionally appropriate as it never actually manages to reach a climax, just slowly builds to what one assumes is one. Maybe it's performance anxiety. I hear it's very common.
Steely Dan is one of those sharp break artists for a lot of people, love it or hate it... I fall firmly on the love side, though I can see the objections of a superficiality... But to me that all-surface high gloss is what it's all about. Hardly needed to listen to this one, it's basically on repeat somewhere in the back of my head, along with Pretzel Logic and Can't Buy a Thrill - to me, jus gr about perfect.
An album that lives up to the expectations of a band named after a steam-powered dildo in "Naked Lunch." In some moments, they are taking something seriously enough only to cut it apart, whether it is the new-age spirituality of the West-coast (Bodhisattva) or its excessive consumerism (Show Biz Kids). In other moments, they offer up vignettes of life's losers (The Boston Rag; My Old School; Pearl of the Quarter). And, at their very best, they are offering up an often impenetrable statement on the state of their world (Razor Boy; Your Gold Teeth; King of the World).
Hell ya some steely Dan! I wish I had heard this before Aja as I think this is a great intro to Steely Dan. It’s slightly jazzy and proggy, but still has catchy tunes. King of the world doesn’t sit with me right as an album closer
I mean, I've loved this album for years, so. This is not going to be an objective rating. All the reasons people tend to not like Steely Dan are the reasons I like them, I think. I know every song on every album. I mean, My Old School is a pretty great song however you cut it. It is what it is.
I wasn't sure what I thought about this one, but I read that they focused on incorporating some jazz into their sound, so I listened again, and it was clear as day. Kind of weird how articulating a genre or influence of a genre can lock everything into place. Not as single-friendly as Can't Buy A Thrill, but still just as enjoyable. Best track: King of the World
Day 10 of Music You Must Hear Before You Die and the album of the day is Countdown To Ecstasy by the legendary American rock band Steely Dan. I grew up hearing Steely Dan on the radio and know most of their popular songs. I must admit that, shamefully, I’ve never owned any of their records or dove deep into any of their deeper cuts. I must say, the music these guys have made is as American as it gets, especially when it comes to rock n’ roll. Sure, this is rock music but it has elements of rhythm & blues, jazz, soul, latin and a little funk sprinkled in as well. The biggest standout is the guitars, vocals, and horn arrangements. Lead singer Donald Fagen’s voice is iconic. So warming and haunting at the same time. The songwriting of Walter Becker (RIP) and Donald Fagen is very catchy and intelligent. You can tell that these are some really smart fellas and care A LOT about how their music is crafted. The arrangements and mixing are impeccable. The singles released from this album are Showbiz Kids and My Old School. Both are great songs. My personal favorites were Pearl Of The Quarter, Bodhisattva, and the closing track, King Of The World (very funky almost Isaac Hayes sounding instrumentation). What I like the most about Countdown To Ecstasy is each song has a theme. I was introduced to different characters and felt immersed in some of the stories. I’m so glad I got to listen to this album and get to know more about Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductees, Steely Dan!
It's a quick shot, barely ten seconds. "I'm a fool-to-dooo your-dir-ty work, oh yeaaaaah! I don't want-to-dooo your dirty-work, no mo-o-ore." It's nighttime, the radio plays an old Steely Dan hit, and Tony Soprano is singing at the wheel as he drives somewhere. The endearing yet sociopathic mob boss has the same bored, weary eyes as ever, but that scene is probably the closest thing in the whole series to a moment showing him having the time of his life. Tony knows them oldies-but-goldies standards. And he knows it's always deeply pleasurable to sing along to one of those as they pop up between Journey and Cream on the car's radio. The thing is, would Tony Soprano enjoy *Countdown To Ecstasy* in the exact same way he enjoyed the early hits from Steely Dan's debut, *Can't Buy A Thrill*? Probably not. Very much a transitional effort leading the L.A. band towards the more refined soft-rock soundscapes for which they'll later be known for, *Countdown To Ecstasy* is maybe too sophisticated and left-field for Tony's more immediate, impulsive, 'it's-either-hit-or-miss', tastes. Not that Steely Dan would have cared, at least at the time. Having dumped co-singer/songwriter David Palmer (of "Dirty Work" fame) for this second album, now penning cryptic lyrics with a somewhat dystopian flavor (in keeping with the William Burroughs influence on their band's name), and electing for an ethereal cover that would nicely fit in Brian Eno's discography, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker took very much of a gamble here, even if the years that have passed since 1973 might have erased the extent in which those risks were actually *that* bold. First listens today indeed suggest Steely Dan was mostly a band perfectly content to rely on their earlier charts success and technical prowess to write and perform quite innocuous songs ranging from old rock'n'roll, country and rhythm and blues. Admittedly, they did spice things up by adding a fashionable form of prog-rock once in a while. If only said prog-rock didn't sound so irremediably tame compared to the Floyd or Can, this could have well turned up as a lengendary endeavor. Not in here, though, unfortunately. Such harsh preliminary assessment might not be the full picture, however. As subsequent spins soon reveal, this missed opportunity might actually be a blessing in disguise for amateurs of truly *original* sounds. And playing a huge part in this overall originality, you have the jazz inflexions throughout the album, either in the instrumentation (those vibes in "Razor Boy") or the chord changes, bringing a welcome uneasiness and chiaruscoro ambiguity to the whole shebang, very much in line with the dystopian atmoshere already evoked earlier. Opener "Bodhisattva" is a very striking example of such artful sprinklings. Starting as an old R'n'R standard not sounding too fresh or daring these days, with a vocal hook even bordering on parody or muzak, the track's five minutes still fly by, thanks to those unexpected chord changes, along with slyly imaginative bridges and a synth part whose glossy crispness does a great job as it finally circles around you like a flock of pixellated sparrows, forcing you to let your guard down in front of their aerial spectacle. If this is elevator music (make no mistake, it very much *is*), this might be the sort of elevator music you can hear in Stephen King's "dark tower", granted such tower has an elevator in the first place (can't recall, does it?). The irony that you felt under the surface at the start of the song ends up screaming at you toward its end, and quickly, you begin to reconsider how performative the track really is. Is this stuff *cheesy* music? Or is it a *semblance* of cheesy music, with a more sophisticated agenda behind it, even more shrewd and cunning given that Steely Dan have more or less managed to hide their true game until the very last minute? Retrospectively, it seems that Fagen and Becker have always aimed at straddling that fine line, being the sly, witty bastards that they are. Fans sometimes see in Steely Dan things that non-fans are unable to imagine or even comprehend while listening to their music for the first time. Sometimes it just takes one weird, off-kilter note in a guitar or keyboard solo to change the picture, as in the hard-bop but otherwise predictable and standardized "Your Gold Teeth". Other times, you find yourself being entranced by the implacable grooves of the rhythm section, even though the rest of the instrumentation sounds a little too nice and dandy overall. Not to say 'bland'. You know this is imaginative writing here, no matter what. Too bad you can't *feel* it sometimes. As a consequence, one could easily argue that the prog-rock flavors in Steely Dan's music would have gained from being a little more pronounced than they actually were. Or that a true manifestation of genuine psychedelia during those very specific forays would have helped them faring better today, at least. But maybe it is unfair to compare apples and oranges, and expect from Fagen and Becker a program that was far too much in line with their contemporary day and age--it's a program the band visibly had no genuine interest in, for better or for worse. And ironically, Steely Dan's overall sound was nothing but ahead of the curve in 1973, foretelling the set of styles countless "mainstream" soft rock bands would embrace later on, from Eagles to Supertramp (not to mention other 'neat-sounding' acts even further down the line, during the eighties--Dire Straits, anyone?). Yet there is *another* layer of irony to point out, at least from our vantage point in the 21st century, and this one is far more cruel than the first. None of those groundbreaking aspects objectively present during the course of *Countdown To Ecstasy* are easily discernible today, after all that has transpired since. The music is good in this album, there's no arguing about that. But whether it is still *relevant* remains to be seen. A good chunk of the tracks are saving the record from complete stylistic oblivion though, first because Steely Dan's pop-leaning, post-modernist agenda actually does conceptual wonders from time to time. Or, on the contrary, because the band *also* knew how to drop that agenda in key points of the record so as to focus on the music first and foremost. The mock-country highlight "Pearl Of The Quarter" for instance, is a convincing exercise in style, with its evocative albeit over-the-top steel guitar. And "Show Biz Kids" is a somewhat linear, overlong jam that's probably a little too on-the-nose, but it's stiil part of that interesting postmodern group of songs, thanks to its wry lyrics about poverty (and the fact that "Steely Dan T-shirts" won't save you from it). If nothing else, such attempts are showing how smart and topically meaningful the band actually intended to be. And in the more straightforward tracks, you have rhythm 'n blues homages such as "My Old School", whose Motown-sounding backing vocals suffuse much needed life to the proceedings. But most of all, you have two stunners, not hits per se, but still the liveliest tracks of the whole program. As a centerpiece of the record, "The Boston Rag"' evokes a sense of nostalgia only belied by the animated performance that supports it. And closer "King Of The World" is an apt, skittering conclusion for the countdown uttered in the album's title, a promised "ecstasy" here tainted by heartbreaking descriptions of a post-nuclear America where said "kings of the world" are actually none but a scattered group of survivors slowly dying from radiation poisoning. From the barren realm of The Dark Towers, we've plunged right into the waste lands of The Stand, but the overall effect is the same. And yes, the shakespearian references do help set the appropriate, despondent mood, finally revealing that the titular countdown was nothing but a countdown to nuclear annihilation. I bet not a lot of listeners saw that one coming, whether today or at the time--even though the cover was an ominous sign of the disaster about to surge. *Gravity's Rainbow*'s Thomas Pynchon, would surely have appreciated such a nice touch here. Wasn't Pynchon's mammoth published in 1973 anyway? If a rock album cover could have been used for thsi novel, the one of *Countdown To Ecstasy* would have done a fine job paying homage to its grim-but-carnival-like contents, if not the music itself. To be honest, however, all the tragic post-apocalyptic memorabilia displayed by Fagen in that song is NOT the first reason why the latter should be singled out, along with "The Boston Rag". The real reason is simple, as simple as a back-to-basics New Jersey mob boss's playlist. And the reason is that those tracks are catchy and direct enough to allow you to sing along to them, in spite of the other jazzy flourishings out there. This does not lessen the other merits of "King Of The World", and yes indeed, the admirable guitar interlacing in its introduction is still very much in keeping with the other sophisticated arrangements thoughout the album. But here you have that extra cherry on the cake, and you can eat it too: a glorious, roaring, heartfelt, take-no-quarters chorus. Sometimes Tony Sopranos was right, at least when it came to music. It's not always necessary to split hairs if you want to have a good time. Life's too short for this, with or without a nuclear apocalypse looming on the horizon. [[Number of albums I listened to from the list: 3 Albums left to listen to: 998 Number of albums I've found genuinely relevant: 0 Number of different albums you should *probably* listen to before you die: 1 (so counting this one out, maybe) Number of different albums you should *definitely* listen to before you die: 2]
Classic dad rock. Didn’t really stand out as much as I hoped.
Seriously underwhelming dad rock that fails to try something new
Sweet Rosalie, she's working at the five & dime train back to Hackensack with rosemary wine Yo-deedle doidle dee, cocaine We both like to do cocaine
Wow, I guess I hate Steely Dan. This is so boring. It’s like when you go to a bar and there’s some house band playing. Couldn’t wait for it to be over. No thanks.
I'm not a steely fan. I found this incredibly bland and uninspiring.
I've listened to it twice and disliked. Disliked it the first time. Disliked it more the second. Also, my father-in-law LOVES Steeley Dan. Which may also play into my opinion
More of this, please. The polish of the debut with good instrumentation, complex arrangements (but without the noodling of full-on prog), and nothing cheesy in the songwriting. An optimistic five, but the contrast with the earlier album is what sells it for me. Fitting to look back and see my previous exposure to Steely Dan was the closer of this very album, arguably the weak point of the tracklist.
Won’t you take me by the hand?
This was definitely easy listening. I have heard a lot about Steely Dan but never really taken the time to listen, I could listen to them some more.
What a fantastic album. My Old School is a top 3 Steely Dan track and is a blast to hear. The whole album rocks pretty hard, and you know it’s going to right out of the gate. An absolute gem.
Baby's first Steely Dan album, maybe the least satisfying from their initial run, save perhaps their debut. And yet, guess what? It's five stars from me, because it's Steely fucking Dan
This is the third Steely Dan album we've had so far (their second chronologically) and I've definitely learned I really like Steely Dan. I liked them before this 1001 Albums thing, but I can't say I listened to their albums closely before - mostly just listened to best of. There's so much I like. Every time they break into an instrumental section, I know I'm going to enjoy it and the songs have such a great groove. Favorite songs on the album: "Bodhisattva" - love the guitar and keys interplay. "The Boston Rag" - the chorus is very CSNY. Great guitar solo. "Show Biz Kids" - Love the beat and the chorus. Of course, I love the repeated "Las Wages" line. Also, did they play a snippet of Reelin' in the Years after the line "They got the Steely Dan t-shirt"? "My Old School" - classic Steely Dan. Great stuff. Easy 5.
This is the most solid of the Steely Dan albums that are on this list. The album has a good balance between jazz and rock never letting the rock aspect get too overtaken by the jazz. Amazing guitar work like usual and solid song-writing. I think they peaked on this album although I still enjoy their later work especially Gaucho.
Nice to hear Steely Dan again. I like this album better, the songs are a bit longer, seem to be more developed. Bodhisattva Vow is one of my favorite non-radio hits of theirs, so I will always give this a high ranking. I should just break down and get all of their stuff.
Nice easy listening. Could put on and relax and zone out.
The great famous rock and roll.
[Rubs hands together in aniticipation] Ohhhhhh man. This record. I love it. It's one of my favorite records from one of my favorite bands. Before I go any further, let me just say its a five. No question. The single "My Old School" is one of my faves from the Dan's greatest hits. But the real gem here is "King of the World" which might be my favorite song by the band. The concept of the song is great - last many on earth is king of the world. The western-style but totally weird guitar on "Razor Boy" is a highlight too. This record is the band at an early stage before everything in the studio became pristine and perfect. Still feels like a band of humans playing totally live, instead of a bunch of androids playing live like on Aja. Also want to talk about the cover art. Front cover is a really interesting water color that looks like it is water damaged, which has a cool effect on a record sleeve. Looks broken in already....ha. And the back cover photo of the band in the studio...who wouldn't want to be there!!?? I don't think this record is particularly loved so I'm optimistic that we'll see more Steely Dan on this list. All of their records (sans Pretzel Logic) deserve a place on this list.
Strangely, but I liked it
Steely Dan is one of the best things to come out of this list for me. Perfect meld of Dad Rock, Yacht Rock, and Psychadelia.
Two Steely Dan albums in a row! And in chronological order no less. This is where they really start to refine their sound. Not a dud in the bunch here. I see some people disparagingly calling this "dad rock" but I think that's a pretty big misnomer. Cheese this ain't.
Another rock sold album from SD. A handful of legendary classics. Love it when they veer into jazz like they do on a few tracks.
I've written before about how much I admire and love Steely Dan. This album, only their second studio album, contains some outstanding songs with the typical elite-level musicianship, obtuse and ironic (and often funny) lyrics, and great energy. Portends the string of albums to follow that I listen to frequently. [Yes, I know: Becker & Fagen, the songs they write, the musicians they bring in, and Fagen's voice aren't for everybody; I'm simply reporting my experience of their music, which I find in a league of its own.]
Good. Fun. One of my favorites so far
las wages las wages las wages las wages la- oh snap did Donald say the f word??
I REALLY love this album! I probably have heard a few of the songs before, but they all felt new to me and I didn’t immediately recognize any of them. “Bhodhisattva” sets things off on a perfect, quasi-religious tone! Really awesome start to the album. ‘And I'll be there to shine in your Japan To sparkle in your China, yes, I'll be there.’ There’s a great guitar ending to “The Boston Rag” that I loved. “Show Biz Kids” is really good. Could there be a more perfect Steely Dan song than “My Old School”? I REALLY love this song! “Pearl of the Quarter” and “King of the World” are also awesome. These guys have super talent, incredible wit, and a cynicism enveloping smooth, jazzy songs that you only think are going down easy. The world and I are both in a place where this seems to be the perfect tone. How interesting that it comes from a 50 year old album.
It's interesting that there were no hit singles from this album. There were no songs that I had known from it. However, I have always loved Steely Dan, and despite being wary of the unknown, I loved this whole album. I understand that there wasn't a standout song, but that also strengthened the idea that the whole thing was consistently wicked-good.
Incredible blend of rock and jazz
Classic Steely Dan
Just sublime piece of West Coast Rock - and the lyrics...
Vraiment nice, de bins jams, bonne tounes, tres musicale. Je me tanne pas decouter ce style de musique. Cest 4.95 mIs pour la note
More I hear of this band the more I love. Yacht rock on warm spring days by the beach... perfecto!
A classic. Great jazz notes and they nailed down the lead singer (Donald Fagen) in this album. Really dig it.
Really liked this jazza rock album. Fav track is probably King of the World
Groovy, rock/pop, varierende, lækre hooks, Chicago-vibes
i like steely dan they show a nice mix of styles that you dont see anywhere else, only lacking a real 'hit'
It was really good. The guitar riffs were excellent - a classic rock album in every respect.
Great, clean, sparkly fun.
You got the Dan man?
Good outing. Steely Dan’s vibe is perfect for a Friday.
Ok, no can’t buy a thrill
'Bodhisattva' by itself is enough to give this album 3 stars, but the rest of the album was really enjoyable, too. I definitely prefer this album to 'Can't Buy a Thrill'
I had fun with this album.
Some very cool tracks on here, all of them well crafted.
Твёрдое четыре с плюсом:)
Why was this album so fun? Steely Dan rules so hard
Pretty great. Definitely some hidden gems on this album.
This is pretty good and clearly Steely Dan but lacks a bit of standout hit. Would probably grown on me but as is, probably more elevator music. Listened again, it’s pretty darn solid if not amazing. Could see how it’s got staying power
Steely Dan is cool and I love 'em. Don't often choose to put 'em on, but am always delighted when I hear 'em. This album was a very chill listen and the end of a stressful day and will definitely be going into my rotation. I also like the face of the guy in the bottom right corner.
Auf die Gefahr hin das dritte Album schon wieder etwas zu tief zu bewerten, wollte ich hart sein und doch wieder Abstand zur Konzession nehmen. Denn „Aja“ driftet immer mal wieder auf meiner Oberfläche; ob‘s dieser erneut muckerige „Countdown to Ecstasy“ vermag, bezweifle ich beim Ersthören. Aber ich glaube, dass mich 1001 auf eine scheue Art zum lebenslangen Fan dieser lustigen Dödel gemacht hat. Bonus Punkt: sehe Super Furry Animals’ B-Seite „The man don’t give a fuck“ verkifft durch „Show Biz Kids“ hindurch grinsen. Und wer mit „King of the World“ ein Album abschließt, hat was drauf. Still growin‘ 4.3
Not afraid to say that I love Steely Dan. This was no Aja but damn did it still jam. "My Old School," was the standout for me on this one. I'm not gonna lie I'm writing 10 reviews at once for albums I listened to over the past week, so all I'm going to say is Steely Dan rules and fuck the haters.
Liked this much more than I expected, I didn't realize what a smooth sound these guys have, much less abrasive then I expected. Goes to show you don't know what you think you do sometimes. Might return to it again in the future.
Really enjoyed this album. Interesting to read this album was didnt sell well but was loved by critics; I love me some Steely Dan, but this is more Solid than Spectacular, 4 stars with My Old School being the standout
Great album. I wasn't familiar with all the tunes, but it was solid, top to bottom.
Track 1: "Is this the Allman Brothers or Steely Dan? Ah, yes Steely Dan there it is." Show me the sparkle of yer 'gina. I think I've listened to this album once, maybe twice before. Really digging track two, loving this weird Hawaiian slide guitar? Powerful start to track 3. I think Donald Fagen has some of the most easily-recognizable vocal stylings of all time. I was thinking the instrumentation feels a bit more straightforward (or at least less wild) than other albums and then read that this was the only album Steely Dan wrote for a live band. This is an absolutely delightful sunny day album. Could definitely play rock bocce with a beer in hand while grooving to this. It doesn't quite stand up to other Steely albums, but who gives a shit? I'm grooving in Guillaume's old chair and having a great afternoon.
Not as good as Aja, Pretzel Logic or Can’t Buy a Thrill, but still a solid album. This album is tight, laboratory clean, antiseptic, jazz rock. Every song is good (Razor boy just okay). Bodishava is fun, upbeat. Boston Rag has a chefs kiss hook abd great breakdown. Show is Kids is a hit. My Old School has a chorus that makes nostalgia beat through my heart. King of the World is almost pedantic and sounds proto Phish. Good listen, their other albums better be later on the list.
me like it | sounds newer than it is! great :)
Honestly a great album. It has a wonderful blend of country and more synth elements that really mesh well together. I liked their melodies and energy a lot. Favorite Song: My Old School
Great album. Love Razor Boy
MMmmm I do love a bit of Steely Dan. Good mix of rock jazz and blue, producing this kind of wild album. It's *very* 70s
opening track is amazing. the instruments, wow pourrait être une bonne musique de rock very lowkey boston rags = love the harmonies; god, le solo very cohesive work ok ils se lâchent pour les solos chaque musique est une unité avec une identité propre, c'est en quelque sorte un voyage, un cheminement avec elle et le joyau de la quête = le solo c'est marrant les 2 sons que j'ai pas directement aimés sont les plus courts... the 6 seconds of french are much appreciated 4 or 5... l'idéal serait 4,5 mais bon pas le choix
Fun especially while driving
Solid writing. Excellent musicianship. Really good album.
Great musicianship and harmonies. The upbeat stuff is really fun, but the ballads tend to drag a bit.
Not bad at all. Love Steely Dan!
A lot nicer than I thought it would be. I'm probably not listening to this album again, but can't say I wasted my time checking it out
The third Steely Dan album we've gotten. I think they're really good, but don't seem them as quite that monumental... still, this is very good jazzy hard rock and I enjoyed listening to the album.
Another excellent Steely Dan entry. No classic tracks like Can't Buy a Thrill or Aja, but My Old School is the catchiest. As always, there's a strong jazz element fused soft rock, with this album relying heavily on electric instruments, including the synths, which makes for some interesting jazzy-electric solos. All the tracks are great but nothing extraordinary.
Steely Dan sind einfach großartig. Reicht nicht ganz an die Pretzel Logic ran.
Steely Dan and their SUPREME rota of studio musicians had such an inimitable sound across their studio albums and, while this isn't my favourite SD album (that'd be a toss up between their debut and Aja), it still yields aural treasure on every repeat listen.
Not SD's best, but has some real faves like Bodhisattva and My Old School.
This album was mostly enjoyable. My favourite songs are Show Biz Kids, My Old School and the closing track King Of The World. But I wasn't that big a fan of some of the other tracks. 4/5 stars.
Very good, but not totally captivating. Favorite track is Bring Back the Boston Rag
Of the three Steely Dan albums I’ve heard from this project, this one sits as an easy favorite. Fun, thoughtful, exciting musicianship. Too polished, but that’s always my issue with steely Dan. Boddhisattva in particular was an amazing highlight. Fuck, I don’t like how much I like it. I really have transformed into a dad.
прикольная, в меру сложная, много риффов, разных мелодий, есть синтезаторы, старый теплый звучок
Not the very best Steely Dan album but it’s still Steely Dan.
George St Geegland vibes
Love it. 4/5
The best of the early Steely Dan albums. I enjoy 'Countdown To Ecstasy' so much more than 'Can't Buy A Thrill' or 'Pretzel Logic'. Their obtuse lyrics laced with their usual acerbic wit are still present coupled with their unique brand of soft rock, but the music is overtly jazzier here, more so than either of the two albums that bookend this one. Fagen and Becker were also apparently unhappy with some of the performances on the record and believed that it sold poorly because it had been recorded hastily on tour. And yet I disagree with them. For me, ‘Countdown to Ecstasy’ succeeds in-spite of and because it wasn’t quite as polished and meticulous as some of their other efforts.
I like their style
5: Bodhisattva, My Old School, 4: Razor Boy, Your Gold Teeth, Show Biz Kids, 3: Boston Rag, Pearl of the Quarter, King of the World
I've listened to "Aja" LOTS before but haven't really checked out their older stuff, besides their first release, so I was a bit surprised at how their sound in this album. It of course maintains the cynicism of Donald Fagan's voice, which is signature to the band, but it adheres more to "straightforward" pop, like their first album. Personally I like the jazzier stuff of theirs, but this is good too.
Countdown to Ecstasy flew by in terms of time. Loved Bodhisattva and My Old School. Great guitars, keyboarda and vocals. Only a couple of songs I wasn't a fan of but six ones I did enjoy.
So - like Chicago without the horn section? I never really listened to Steely Dan much (I'm not big into the jazz/rock/fusion stuff), but this was a really solid album. It's really well produced, the arrangements are cool, the melodies are interesting, and there are some really great guitar tones.
Rock setentero con algún toque de jazz. Me ha gustado.
Maybe it's just my mood but I was jiving much more to this than Can't Buy A Thrill. Really liked Your Gold Teeth. I don't think I was listening with headphones before which probably wasn't doing it any favors. Between the two albums I can give this a 4, not all exactly my thing but I see it, I see it.
Drugi na liscie i drugi w dyskografii, mam nadzieje, ze rowniez nie ostatni material Steely Danow na liscie, nadal jest grane w podobnym klimacie, ale w troche innym skladzie, nie ma juz Palmera, wiec cale wokale naleza do Fagena, dodatkowo album nagrywany w trasie koncertowej, wiec nie jest az tak dopieszczony pod wzgledem masteringu jak cant buy a thrill czy kolejny plyty danowe, ale jak dla mnie najwazniejsze, ze ostal sie ten estetyzm ktory byl juz widoczny na debiutanckim materiale, polaczony z lirykami przepelnionymi sardonicznoscia, ktorej nie brakuje na tej plycie, stanowi o mnie to cos za co uwielbiam ich materialy, nawet bardziej niz perfekcjonizm brzmienia do jakiego daza w swej muzyce, glowne motywy sa zblizone do tego co mozna uslyszec na poprzednim albumie, wiec zarty na ludziach, czy to szukajacych swojej drogi zycia w ucieczce na wschod, jak na otwierajacym bodhisattva, fajnie jest pokazane jak szukanie czegos orginalnego i duchowego sprowadza sie czesto do odcinania kuponow przez kogos kto wykorzystuje taki trend, podobnie w razor boyu, ktory szuka siebie w materializmie i dobrach doczesnych, takie zestawienie obok siebie dwoch kawalkow pokazuje jak obie drogi sa beznadziejne, jest gemblingowanie zlotymi zebami, narkotyki w starej szkole, dziwkowanie w nowy orleanie, czy post apokaliptyczny survival LA, wiec duet jak zawsze nie zawodzi lirycznie i potrafi pisac kawalki ktorych da sie sluchac wielokrotnie wynajdujac w nich coraz to nowe odcienie szarosci, nigdy sie nie zastanawialem jak tym listowal ich albumy, ale sluchajac countdowna, ktory jakos nigdy nie byl mi bliski, to wiem, ze byloby to pierunsko trudne zadanie, bo skala ocen zamykalaby sie pomiedzy 4-5, na plejke dodam otwierajacego bodhisattve jako najbardziej jazzowo zinfluencjowany kawalek i your gold teeth, a calosc leci na poleczke spotifajowa
Mijn ding wel mooi rustig 70 rock
A pretty decent album.
Gustoso. Non so se l'avrei altrettanto apprezzato se non avessi prima sentito Aja, ma vabbè. Figo.
I listened to the entire album and realized once I got to the end that I hadn't formed an opinion on it at all. Thinking critically about it, there are some great songs on here that are a joy to listen to, and it starts off great with 'Bodhisattva', but the middling parts of the album are just so middling that they left almost zero long-term impression. Great vocals; they definitely are talented, no question about that. So, in short, good vocals, good instrumentals, low remembrance.
PANG-Album rätt igenom
Yep. That's 41 minutes of Steely Dan, all right. I love the cover art.
I was only vaguely familiar with a couple of tracks on this album. It sounded just like Steely Dan... I enjoy the jazz-infused rock. I wasn't quite over the moon with this one, but it is pleasant.
3.5/5. This was good, and just about what I expected. This is not my favorite Steely Dan album I've heard, but it is definitely enjoyable.
Steely Dan has so many cool harmonies and great use of keyboard in their sound. It’s relaxing but also complex. The definition of Yacht Rock which is right up my alley.
Great vibes in this album. I've not listened to a ton of Steely Dan but really enjoyed this.
Not quite 10/10.
Through the vivid melodies and smooth grooves it's easy to overlook the darkness of these lyrics, How they navigate through the themes of drug abuse (Boston Rag), class envy (Your Gold Teeth), post-nuclear devastation (King Of The World), and Material possession (Bodhisattva) is prodigious. I’m really surprised at how much I liked this. Bodhisattva, Boston Rag , Show Biz Kids , My Old School , Pearl Of The Quarter are my personal favourites from the album.
as they always do, Steely Dan do not disappoint this time
listened to again jazzy grooves, i love it
Maybe their smoothest and therefore most perfect jazz-pop fusion. Maybe their most pop. Maybe their least jazz. Maybe the other way round. Maybe neither. It's impossible to say. Their career is one long "what is this?" moment. When things get impossibly smooth, they slip in a knotty something-or-other solo. When they get too abstruse, they break out a magical hook. Admittedly, some of those hooks are hardly transparent. "Can you show me Bodhisattva," say, or "She said, 'Oh no, Guadalajara won't do.'" But they're so perfectly harmonised, and so full of joy, that they sound like they make perfect sense.
It's not super for me, it feels like some real old man music. And like no disrespect it just sounds pretty old.
dan the mannnn
Classic rock with the simple yet refreshing rock formula, no tracks stander out for me but I still enjoyed the record! I’ve got nothing against steely Dan
Show Biz Kids is nice. The Man Don't Give a Fuck by Super Furry Animals has taken that sample. But Donald Fagen is being an ass about it so that's -1!
Classic dad rock. Not their best work but there’s still some tasty riffs in there
Some great songs here.
Ensimmäisellä soitolla alkuun vähän tökki, mutta meni niin paljon biisejä ohi, että kuuntelin uudelleen. Toinen ja kolmas soittokerta häiriintyi ikävästi töiden takia. Neljäs ja viimeinen soittokerta kotosalla tuotti tuloksen. Tykkäsin kyllä levystä, mutta ei tuo nyt kuitenkaan mikään masterpiece ollut.
helt okej grej
not my fave steely dan, but still nice
old pop . ok 3.5
Another solid 70s rock album.
I'm noticing a lot of these albums start out kinda weak but then get a lot better with each song. This is one of those albums.
Pretty pretty solid
This album was good. Nothing too noteworthy for me but nothing that stuck out as being bad either. A good listen for some classic rock.
I do love me some Steely Dan, and this record's sound reminds me a lot of CSN&Y. Not as many hits as other Steely Dan albums though.
Pretty good not my style tho
Steely Dan. It’s good.
i liked it but nothing too special for me
It's Steely "polarizing" Dan. I still love Aja better than this one, but c'mon, it's Steely fucking Dan.
Very skilled, good sound and vocals. Wild ride.
Bisschen groovier, hab ich mir gedacht, aber auch bisschen viel more of the same. Noch nicht so geschliffen wie auf Aja, natürlich. Aber das Rhodes-Solo in Your Gold Teeth ist schon geil, King of the World fand ich auch super.
I liked The Boston Rag and Show Biz Kids
Not really for me, but very technical album
solid psych rock, but feels very loose
I mean... I hate to say it but this album was not very entertaining, which has always been an important part of Steely Dan's first album in my mind. Not that the music isn't popularly entertaining, but that the music itself has little interesting instrumental parts. the lyrics seemed pretty straightforward. there was a bit to chew on here and there. I especially liked the line 'my baby's a pearl in the quarter' in 'Pearl of the Quarter.' But in general, kinda lackluster. kinda like they formulated the sound of their first album. 3/5 for being decent, but more like a 5/10.
Love the album cover art. I think that's the gateway to this album - the skeleton key to see through the perfect arrangements, pristine sound. These watercolor people in chairs are the target of the Dan's sharp satire. The "enlightened" (Bodhisattva), the complacent (Razor Boy?), the privileged (Show Biz Kids). The songs are catchy and complex. The solos don't waste a single note. The drums are air tight. After finally listening closely to the Dan (thanks 1001, and Josh) I think I've figured out the element that's always turned me off about them. They're so far above it all. They're not invested. Their lyrics drive a spear into imperfect people, but their music is perfected beyond criticism. They refuse to show their flaws while deconstructing the flaws of everyone else. It make sense in a pop-psychology sense. The most outwardly critical people are secretly the most self-critical. I asked myself, "well what about Father John MIsty, he criticizes absolutely everything that's ever existed (Pure Comedy), and you love his schtick". I answered myself, "well, good question, but he also is willing to risk his own pride and burn himself down with the terrible world" and then I stared at the middle distance for a 30 second count. I enjoyed the hell outta this record, especially King of the World. B+
Kinda just sounded like a worse version of yesterday's Steely Dan. More interestingly, what are the chances of there being two consecutive albums with the same artist? Sounds like a good probability problem
Hmmm. I don't know. I listened to it a lot today and it's OK. I can't see myself loving it, but it was quite good fun.
Expected to like it more than I did
Hanging out by the pool vibe. I like SD and this album is just ok.
I liked listening to this one, some of the songs gave me an elevator music vibe. only reason I'm giving it 3 stars is it didn't stand out to me a lot
Nothing special, but perfectly listenable
Album cover: 5/5 Grooviness: 5/5 Singing: 2/5 (I wasn't a huge fan of his voice and lyrics weren't that interesting to me) Had some nice jazzy solos and electric organ. Your Gold Teeth was my favorite song. I didn't like the second half of the album as much though.
This album was a bit repetitive, but I liked the first few songs. There were some cool guitar solos and guitar parts as well.
Instrumental aspect is really groovy and chill. However the vocals have a cool sound to them, they aren't particularly interesting but neat. Each song has a similar groovy feel. Some parts during a song start sounding a bit repetitive such as in the song Show Biz Kids.
This is the first time I've listened to a full album from Steely Dan. I've heard several songs from Steely Dan, but I was never sure if I liked the band or not. I'm still not sure. I have heard two songs from this album before ("Bodhisattva", "My Old School"). "Your Gold Teeth" got me tapping along as the music played. "Show Biz Kids" was the track that had me saying 'no, thanks'. I'm still not sure about Steely Dan. This album gets an "it's okay... I guess".
Each song sounded like a independent standalone piece of work and lent to the overall sound and mood of the album as a whole. The songs each have their own sound and utilization of compositional devices lend to their individuality. I can see how Steely Dan is an influential as they are.
Despite having moments of musical excellence, Countdown to ecstasy lingers in an underwhelming dad rock bore for great deal of its run time
My Old School var en bra låt. När jag lyssnar på den här skivan dras mina tankar till David Bowies plastic soul (Station to Station) och Rollings Stones Exile on Main Street. En harmlös skiva. Ska lyssna igen och se vad jag tycker.
Quite pleasant like it more than I thought I would.
was aight. i like the rock.jazz vibes pretty cool
Like the vibes but not my favorite Steely Dan album
didn't hate it but didn't love it either...
“Countdown to Ecstasy” by Steely Dan (1973) I was attracted to Steely Dan as soon as I became aware of the sexual innuendo in the meaning and derivation of the band’s name. I liked being ‘in on the joke’. It was something you couldn’t discuss in mixed company, at least back in the 1970s. But I always thought their best stuff was the music that didn’t get played on the radio. The more they leaned toward pop, the less attention they paid to experimental composition. And the less attention I paid to them. Now, since this album produced no hits, perhaps it’s the best of their best. There’s plenty of contempt, erotic subtext, judgment, erudition—just the thing for college students, especially for those (like me) who were starstruck by the the idea that by mastering the liberal arts we could harness success. We were idiots. This is music by and for the cool kids whose parents actually paid for their upper crust education. That’s not a knock. It’s just context for their smugness. It was quite appealing to me in my early twenties, not so much in my sixties. Do we really any longer care (“My Old School”) about the late 1960s relative status of Bard and William & Mary? They’re both woke now. This album is full of good music. Dual lead guitar riffs are colorful—solo lines are clean and well played, and the jazz keyboard contributions excel. The instrumental passages are wonderful. And the instantly recognizable vocal harmonies carry a lot of freight in these songs. They do tend to overuse the typical Steely Dan chord progressions. Jazzy enough, but enough is enough. “Bodhisattva” is a mockery of the fascination young Americans had with the deformed pop Buddhism of Alan Watts. But its lack of resolution leaves you dangling. “Razor Boy” (the Grim Reaper, wink, wink) is another cleverly condescending advice song. “King of the World”, a suitable closing track, is a post-apocalyptic romp that actually sounds like the amateur radio ambience in which it’s situated. Give it a listen. This is good jazz/pop fusion, but its musically limited scope and lyrical immaturity make fit for an only occasional visit. 3/5
It is so easy to listen to, but doesn't feel all that punchy. Not a lot to bite honestly.
Bright, nice, even my mother would have liked it.
Steely Dan is just at this intersection between prog (my jam) and easy listening (not my jam) that does not do it for me.
Like a jazzier Thin Lizzy. Sometimes the groovy noodling got a bit tiresome and aimless, although there are some strong vocal hooks that stuck in my head too. When King of the World finished Spotify played it again, and I let it. That speaks poorly of Spotify's algorithms but highly of the track, I think. I never reached ecstasy, but to be fair this album only ever promised a countdown. The pressure's on the next album to provide it though.
Steely Dan are one of those bands that become a lot more fascinating when you read a bit about them rather than instantly dismissing them like I have been guilty of on this list. Absolute perfectionists, true musicians musicians and it shows in the production and songwriting. Apparently this is one of there worse albums as it was recorded on tour, I look forward to finding some of the others in the generator!
I'm only really familiar with Steely Dan's greatest hits collection and with that I found a handful of amazing tracks mixed in with a collection of wishy-washy ones. The same can be said about this studio album.
Groovy and distinctive sound with some nice numbers throughout. Just missing the wow factor.
Some lift music at certain points but also some brilliant guitar riffs
I've always liked Bodhisattva and the start of My Old School is great (perfect Steely Dan funk). There are some great funk pieces in other songs and some nice musicianship, but I don't like this album as much as some of their others. Most of the songs felt at least a minute too long. I could've done without some of the decadence for a tighter package.
groovy with some tasty solos
Steely Dan for sure. Show Biz Kids my favorite track. Raw and some songs go on a bit longer than I'd like
I was so very excited based on the album cover and name. Maybe a song in I forgot I was listening, and didn't notice when the album ended and Niel Young came on.
I was wondering where I had heard of this specific album, but then after listening to it, I remembered. It was in the dictionary, under the definition of the word "Mediocre".
Knew the name Steely Dan but not too much of his music. Super noodly guitar riffs, enjoyable but wont come back to it much.
Un poco rollo. No me ha llamado la atención.
Dad rock vibes, but not NEARLY as basic as other dad rock. Pleasant and interesting, just wish it was longer. 6/10.
Fínasta Steely popp.
A fine collection of Yachty delights
Standout tracks: The Boston Rag; Your Gold Teeth Skipped Tracks: King of the World Summary: It's a musician's band, and I'm more of a lyricist so its never going to be my favourite. However, it's a good vibe! They are a very good musician's band! Same rating as Pixies but almost for different reasons. Pixies are closer to my preferred genres, but I just can't quite love them, but Steely Dan is really different to my preferred genres, and yet I'm not mad at it, so it's kind of more of an achievement. King of the World ruined it for me though.
I dig it
3.5/5 , it was a Steely Dan album, meaning it was really good. Bit sure I would come back to this one over Aja but definitely a worthwhile listen for fans
Kinda ok. JBW obvi hated it
Feels like Todd Rundgren with a bit of the uniqueness sapped away, not a bad album but not particularly exciting either.
Prima maar niet heel bijzonder, beetje herhalend
I liked this one! There were some good songs in there. King of the World was the standout for me.
Pretty great second album after an amazing debut album
I've heard a lot about Steely Dan and their production quality/perfection. I really want to dedicate more time to this album, but have now gone through it 3 times, playing in the background while I work. It's fine, but didn't stand out. Maybe this would change with nice headphones and a dedicated 40 minutes to do nothing but listen, but that's just not how I consume music.... All that said, these 3 stars are more a reflection on me, and less on them. Unless they deserve 3 stars, and then it's totally them.
det var bra. inte så polerat kanske men.
Det var väl bra, typ?
Förväntade mig steely. Fick steely. Mer bops än väntat. Känner mig lite kd idag så den får bara en
This is the first Steely Dan album I've actually enjoyed. The guitar has more of a hard rock tone and the music is less atonal overall. Still not my jam, but I'm glad to see they have diversity.
Takie pitu pitu
Who knew I'd like a Steely Dan Album.
Love Steely Dan. This album is pedestrian
Really wanted to 4 star this because "My Old School" was a banger, especially that breakdown w/ cowbell and all... but the rest didn't live up.
Often faded into the background but pleasing nevertheless
It was ok, but not my thing. It would be unfair to give it a high or low score. The production was good thou
My first time listening to these guys. Yes, I can see that they have some good songs, but I am neither excited nor regretting that I hadn’t listened this until now. Am I a weird person? Or the question is, am I not weird enough to be fascinated by Steely Dan?
This album comes out of the gate hot, but kind of looses steam for me throughout. Still a great album with amazing musicians. Any chance to listen to steely Dan is a good time.
Loved 1st track in particular. Almost a 4 but not sure how likely I'm going to go back to listen.
Decent listen. Some great songs but some poor ones too
Easy listen, good background music
Solid album, there were some quite catchy songs and I appreciate the instrumentation a lot. Felt a bit too flashy at times though, probably 3.5/5
This was alright, a pretty chill vibe for the album and some nice instrumentals. Overall thought it was just kinda fine nothing too special.
Already listened to it
Jolly good fun!
Steely Dan, a band that seems to have a cult following spanning so many odd generations of people, and I've never quite gotten into them. I can think of two songs I know, and they aren't on here. This is a decent project, a couple tracks I'll keep but I still don't quite see the appeal. Maybe it would be more obvious on a different album? I'd put money down betting we'll get another album so let's wait and find out. Favorite tracks: My Old School, The Boston Rag. Album art: Cool art, if not a little unsettling. Some alien looking men in chairs, some more alien looking creatures walking behind them. I have no idea what I'm looking at and I like it. 3/5
Another classic rocker that I don't know too much about from the name and a few hits. This was a fun album and really leaned into those rock roots. Felt like a mix of Lynard Skynard, Eagles, and others of that era. I thought Show Biz Kids was a cool one but nothing made too big an impression.
I just like later Streely Dan better than their early stuff. It’s fun enough though.
Alright. Not as good as Pretzel Logic. None of the songs are bad, but there's not some huge hit that will blow your mind here. It's all quite safe dad rock you hear on the radio. I mean I guess I can't complain, the title only mentioned a countdown. Maybe the ecstasy in question is their next project, which just happens to be Pretzel Logic. I really like Pretzel Logic, have I mentioned that already.
A bit rushed, no? Mind you, we spend forever and a day complaining about the perfectionism on Aja, so, you know, dismounting high horses and all that.
Already listened to it
7/10 Best song - Show Biz Kids
This was fine just went on a bit.
dobar album, sviđa mi se, ali nije na nivou Aje.
Ovo isto sto je rijana rekla. Facts.
En lähellekään ekstaasia päässy, mut ei tää huonokaan ollut
Countdown to Ecstasy? More like Countdown to Snoestasy!
Lite tråkigt men ett par goa melodier men inget jag väljer att lyssna på igen.
Did not care for this or Steely Dan. It was fine. Really did not like the noises I heard on Show Biz Kids. No thanks.
Reminds me of if jazz, swing and jam bands had a baby. It's a little frenetic for me sometimes, a little cheesy other times.
I'm lukewarm towards Steely Dan even on their best albums, and this didn't feel like one of their best albums. Pretty sleepy at points, and while it's admirable they try different sounds in a few songs, overall this thing feels inessential to me.
There isn't much to dislike about this album, but similarly there isn't much to like either. It's difficult to have any opinion at all. Nothing much happens, good or bad. The averageness of it begins to hurt about halfway through. By then I would have been happy to hear something I disliked, just to get away from all the bland.
Have not done enough cocaine to fully appreciate this album. Best I can do is 2 stars.
Not bad. Not my favorite. I got bored listening to it.
Bon album, mais n'a pas éveillé en moi des sentiments particuliers.
I'm not sure if I've listened to this record before. It felt a little... gimmicky? Was that the point? I didn't like 'Bodhisattva,' and 'My Old School' was forgettable. I like their other big records more, I swear!
Destila calidad, buena voz y mucho sintetizador. No me ha despertado muchas emociones
omg I'm so over the way this makes me feel like an old man.
Not as good as Can't Buy a Thrill. Sounded ok, but honestly kind of bored me.
less good than the others
19th May 2021 Listened to this throughout the day in the flat whilst cooking, in the shower etc. Didn't really enjoy this one, a bit too white dad rock for me trying to be something it's not.
Have nothing good or bad to say, I enjoyed it somewhat
Didn’t enjoy it…never have been a fan
I can respect their talent as songwriters. Not my style though.
Surprised by the range of influences on this LP, but a bit disappointed in how monotonous the album becomes after the first few tracks
Definitely no Aja
Quite jazzy, not what I was expecting
This is music for the whitest of white people, isn’t it? I’ve never listened to an entire album by Steely Dan before and I’m all but positive this means we’ll be seeing that Aja record. I don’t mind this stuff; the guitar work is impressive and I get that there’s overall some good musicianship here. But it just doesn’t seem to go for any big emotional moments at all. Like, if I have a choice between listening to this or any of the early Yes records, I’m picking the Yes records every single time. On repeat.
Nothing against Steely Dan, but this is not their best work.
All kinds of interesting genre mixing going on and I have to acknowledge the great technical skill on display. But as a matter of taste I just don't really like it.
Sounded fresh for the early 70's, nothing really stood out though.
I guess they’re saving all the ecstasy for their next album? Very meh. Unremarkable.
Ya es el segundo disco que me sugieren de este artista y sigue sin entrarme. No más, por favor. No obstante, The Boston Rag es un temazo.
I can appreciate the technical aspects of this album, but blimey it's boring.
I couldn't really find anything that stood out to me about this album. Not bad but not really my thing.
Not for me. Pretty dull.
Not my bag. Experimental rock with jazz influences…
Not for me mate.
Ziemlich belangloser Jazz-Rock ohne wirkliche Höhepunkte.
I notice the social commentary much more than on albums I’m slightly more familiar with. This was nice and pleasant, but hardly any of the catchiness of other stuff by them.
p301, 1973. 2 stars. Early hipster jazz-rock. Look how well we can play our instruments! Look how fast we can go! Look how precise we are! Look at the polish and sheen and shiny chrome! All at the expense of any emotion or feeling. It doesn't help that Donald Fagin sounds stoned on every track. And it has an electric piano ffs. The entire album sounds like something you'd hear in the lift or restaurant in an expensive hotel. Technically excellent, but zero heart or soul. 2 stars for some sharp lyrics and for the guitar work, even if that does stray into 70's "look how fast I can play" wankage a lot of the time. Thank god for punk.
Reconheci o primeira música, mas esperava mais das camadas de jazz.
Listened to it and then completely forgot about it. So obviously wasn’t so bad that I noticed, but also not good either
A little too clever and knowing. I like my music dumbed down. There's some great musicianship and production, if that's your kind of thing. I quite enjoyed the riff on Boston Rag. But it's hardly Teenage Kicks.
Considering where this band got their name, this album was rather a let-down. I’m not quite old enough for this stuff to be nostalgia-triggering, and I don’t find much about this that I actually enjoy. Bland tunes, a voice I barely noticed and lyrics that didn’t really grab me. My Old School put me in mind of Minder and it’s theme tune. That’s about all I can remember about this, tbh. Countdown to the end of the album, more like. Not for me.
Actually almost rocks a bit at times. I prefer it to Can't Buy a Thrill (especially the way you can look at the album cover without having to regret that you have eyes), though I still don't care for it that much; the same sort of smugness permeates this album just like the first, and the line about "the Steely Dan t-shirt" in "Show Biz Kids" does have a certain acidity to it, but possibly not in the way Becker & Fagen intended...
Always found these guys too precious.
A few good songs reminded me of high school
a countdown that never reaches blast-off
Audio equivalent of a sensory deprivation tank. It nothing’d me.
I refuse to listen to Steely Dan
Really not my cup of tea. Ray seventies soft rock at its worst!
boring. grandpas music.