Wednesday, May 25, 2016

40 Year Itch: There's No Scam Like The Royal Scam

"Turn up the Eagles/The neighbors are listening."
-"Everything You Did"

   In May of 1976, Steely Dan released its fifth album, the smart and cynical Royal Scam. The title suggests a theme that is interwoven through the album: as desperate characters come face to face with being cheated in one way or another: the immigrants of the title cut, the star abused by his druggie friends ("Kid Charlemagne"), the sniper holed up with a box of dynamite in "Don't Take Me Alive".

   This is a classic transition album. You can hear traces of Katy Lied and what would become, with more breathing space, the classic sound of Aja.

   As usual, this is a Steely Dan album so complex you can listen to it for years and still make new discoveries. Take a moment, if you haven't yet, just to listen to Larry Carlton's guitar solos on "Kid Charlemagne." Yes, theres gas in the car! 

No comments:

Post a Comment