MCA-1591 Can't Buy A Thrill
Produced by Gary Katz
Released on November 1972
US CHART POSITION #17 . . . UK CHART POSITION #38 (1975) . . . PLATINUM RECORD
Find it at GEMM
MCA-1591 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

M y apologies to everyone who had to slog through the previous terriblous review here. Twin spires. Ugh. And I was sitting on both of them. I guess I just wanted to make some grand statement about the first real Steely Dan album. It is a marvelous thing after all: “Reelin’ in the Years,” “Do It Again,” after Dan it would all be different. The rest of the record isn’t so perfect, though “Dirty Work” (sung by David Palmer), “Only a Fool Would Say That” and “Fire in the Hole” are the sort of secret treasures that Dan fans would learn to hoard over the years. While the vision is there, the band was still a work in progress. Palmer and Jim Hodder take lead vocals and turn the proceedings down a country rock lane where Eagles didn’t fear to tread. Donald Fagen was different, darker, uglier and riveting. Back it up with Skunk Baxter’s solos and it was alligator alley: all bite and bright suspicious smiles. Jazz, audible/edible on Pretzel, didn’t play as large a role on their first two albums. You’ll hear it at work in songs like “Turn That Heartbeat Over Again” and “Do It Again,” but it’s not the obvious jazz of a Pretzel Logic or Court and Spark. Instead, it’s the freedom of jazz that the band takes to heart; changing melodies, tempos, standoffishly smart, by turns charming and contemptuous. Yet Can’t Buy a Thrill is also a nostalgic record: “Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me),” “Midnite Cruiser,” “Kings.” It’s a look back and a look forward; they wouldn’t look back again. Of course the record is required listening; every Dan album up to Gaucho is. However, you can buy it after you have a few better ones (Katy, Aja, Countdown) under your belt.

MCA-1591 back cover
MCA-1591 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. DO IT AGAIN    5:56
  2. DIRTY WORK    3:08
  3. KINGS    3:45
  4. MIDNITE CRUISER    4:09
  5. ONLY A FOOL WOULD SAY THAT    2:54
  6. REELIN' IN THE YEARS    4:35
  7. FIRE IN THE HOLE    3:26
  8. BROOKLYN (OWES THE CHARMER UNDER ME)    4:20
  9. CHANGE OF THE GUARD    3:28
  10. TURN THAT HEARTBEAT OVER AGAIN    4:58

    All songs written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen

CREDITS

JEFF "SKUNK" BAXTER -- guitar, pedal steel guitar, Spanish
WALTER BECKER -- electric bass guitar, vocals
DENNY DIAS -- guitar, electric sitar
DONALD FAGEN -- piano, electric piano, plastic organ, vocals
JIM HODDER -- drums, percussion, vocals
DAVID PALMER -- vocals
Victor Feldman -- percussion
Venetta Fields -- background vocals
Clydie King -- background vocals
Shirley Mathews -- background vocals
Elliot Randall -- guitar
Jerome Richardson -- tenor sax
Snooky Young -- fluegel horn
Roger Nichols (The Immortal) -- engineer
Robert Lockart -- cover design

return to STEELY DAN discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US November 1972 ABC LP ABCX-758 gatefold cover
UK 1972 Probe LP SPB-1062 gatefold cover
JPN 1972 Probe LPPRO IPS-80015 gatefold cover
UK   ABC LP/CS ABCL/CAB-5024 gatefold cover
CAN   ABC LP 9022 758 gatefold cover, gold vinyl
JPN 1978 ABC LP YW-8023-AB  
US 1980 MCA LP MCA-37040  
US 1987 MCA LP/CS MCA/MCAC-1591  
US   MCA CD MCAD-31192  
US   MCA CD MCAD-11886  
BRA 2002 Universal CD 11886  
US 2005 ABC LP ABCX-758 gatefold cover, 180g vinyl

 

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