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Steely Dan – Can’t Buy a Thrill (1972)

November 3, 2013

[Album 257/1001]220px-Cant_buy_a_tcant_buy_a_thrill

Which of the following bands has 4 albums on the 1001?

a) The Smiths
b) The Cure
c) Steely Dan

Did you say Steely Dan?  If so, kudos!  Talk about flying under the radar (the others have a trio apiece).

In the 1001 albums book, some albums receive a two-page spread, some receive a full page, and the rest receive a half page, text-only write-up.  Each of the four Steely Dan records received the latter; they seem to have had quite a successful career, albeit very quietly!

I was familiar with more of Can’t Buy a Thrill than I initially realized.  Reeling in the Years is a soft rock staple, Do it Again has a nice latin vibe.  For the remainder, on the first run-through it might be dismissed as just another ‘smooth sounds of the seventies’ record but it holds up nicely on repeated listens.  Dirty Work & Kings are the other two strongest tracks in the set.

Finding a specific song may be a challenge however.

What’s with the tracklist?  I listened to an audiocassette, see below for my attempts to determine the correct running order for Can’t Buy a Thrill.  Who would have thought finding an easy listening running order would be so difficult?

As printed on the

cassette itself

As listed on the

cassette cover

According to Wikipedia

The Actual Running order, according to my own ‘name that tune’ efforts, typing while listening on my cassette!

Side one:
1. Reeling in the Years
Fire in the Hole
4. Change of the Guard
5. Turn That Heartbeat Over Again
Side two:
6. Do it Again
7. Dirty Work
8. Kings
9. Midnite Cruiser
10. Only a Fool Would Say That
(no sides indicated)
1. Do it Again
2. Brooklyn
3. Dirty Work
4. Kings
5. Change of the Guard
6. Midnite Cruiser
7. Only a Fool Would Say That
8. Fire in the Hole
9. Reeling in the Years
10. Turn that Heartbeat Over Again
Side one:
1. Do it Again
2. Dirty Work
3. Kings
4. Midnite Cruiser
5. Only a Fool Would Say That
Side two:
6. Reeling in the Years
7. Fire in the Hole
8. Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me)
9. Change of the Guard
10. Turn that Heartbeat Over Again
Side one:
1. Do it Again
2. Brooklyn
(not sure about any brackets!)
3. Dirty Work
Change of the Guard
Side two:
6. Midnite Cruiser
7. Only a Fool Would Say That
Fire in the Hole
Reeling in the Years
Turn that Heartbeat Over Again

I don’t know if the running order in this case is significant but Jeff “Skunk” Baxter’s ‘stache certainly is.

How did I not know about this?!

Glad to see that forty years later, he’s taken the handlebar moustache to a new level:

(1972, bottom right of course)

(date unknown, but moustache excellence unquestioned)

From → 1970s

  1. I’ve had a full beard essentially all my adult life. Many of my favourite bands are also beardy. At one time, all Beatles had a full beard (at another, they all had moustaches, and of course various other combinations). At one time, everyone in Jethro Tull, even John Evans, had a beard. And David Palmer (now, after a sex change, Dee) had a Sherlock Holmes pipe and deerstalker hat as well. Except for Roger Waters, everyone in (post-Barrett) Pink Floyd has had a full beard at some point. Most famously, Mason (and, for a while, Wright as well) had the rock moustache, a wonderful handlebar. He shaved it off around the same time Neil Peart shaved off his circus-director moustache. To me, this really signified the end of 1970s rock.

    • I’d argue that there was a correlation: generally speaking, the more facial hair the beatles had, the better the music!

      Phillip, I shared your Ian Anderson quote about Kurt Cobain (“that chap who died who did something with a cello on MTV”) with one of my students today – the good news is, the reason it came up in the first place was that he was listening to Jethro Tull! He quite appreciated Anderson’s lack of specific Nirvana knowledge as well.

      • Student—in what context? University? Age? Nice to see some young people listening to Tull.

        Apparently the next album will be “folk metal”, but it is unclear if it will come out under the Tull name or und Ian Anderson, the requirement for the former being that Martin Barre play guitar. Unless Martin dies (and maybe not even then), Ian really can’t do anything under the Tull banner without Martin, even if he does own the name etc legally.

      • High school math students,15-16 years old, definitely nice to hear someone say something other than Taylor Swift/Kanye/Eminem when they say what they’re listening to. You’ll be pleased to hear I see Rush t-shirts in the hallway on a weekly basis!

  2. Steely Dan has become one of my absolute favourites – ever. And I have just started getting into them over the last 4 or 5 years. So many great songs!

    • They’re one of those groups that I don’t realize how many of their songs I already know. I remember seeing Glass Tiger in concert once, thinking I knew a song or two, and was pleasantly surprised that I knew pretty much the whole set!

  3. I love Steely Dan. This type of sound is one of my favorites. Sometimes on Pandora I listen to the Steely Dan station and just love the music. I know some of these songs aren’t on this particular album, Hey Nineteen.. love it. Reeling in the Years! AMAZING! Rikki Don’t Lost that Number, Do It Again, Peg.. I mean come on. This music is just one of the best and makes for a nice relaxing night.

    • Relaxing is it exactly, it certainly works in that context – perhaps not pump-up, pre-game music, but for a low-key evening it gets the job done!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Steely Dan – Countdown to Ecstasy (1973) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. 1972 | 1001albumsin10years

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