MCA 2-6008 Greatest Hits
Produced by Gary Katz
Released on November 1978
US CHART POSITION #30 . . . PLATINUM RECORD (12/7/78) . . . UK CHART POSITION #41
Find it at GEMM
MCA 2-6008 cover  

T his was the first Steely Dan record I owned. I liked what I’d heard on the radio, and was delighted to find all those songs neatly collected on one double elpee. It is exactly what it claims to be: Steely Dan’s Greatest Hits from 1972 through 1978. The only exception is a welcome one in the previously unreleased “Here At The Western World.” A languid number that earned some radio play of its own, this “bonus” track also partially atones for the absence of “Deacon Blues,” since the two are similar in mood. Though not traditionally viewed as a singles band, Steely Dan’s singles were usually the crown jewels from their respective albums, so Greatest Hits is the most flattering perspective of their songcraft you’ll find. I’d even say that, for some, this is all the Steely Dan you need to own. The two-disc Showbiz Kids digs deeper, tells more of the story, perhaps gives away too much of the story. Greatest hits records are always in danger of being erased, forgotten, replaced, and it’s a shame. Record companies tread lightly around live albums, even collections of miscellany on occasion, but greatest hits records are cashed in like old coins for a brighter, newer (and more profitable) currency. Forgotten is the fact that greatest hits records were for a time the coin of the realm. Personal collections bulged with the booty of hits compilations by Kiss, The Eagles, Steve Miller Band, The Beatles, The Beach Boys. Did record collectors really differentiate between Frampton Comes Alive and Kiss’ Double Platinum as they would an original document and a duplicate? I know I didn’t. Of course, all of this will be lost as people begin to mix their own compilations by downloading individual songs. Freedom, the new generation says, but you’re just another line in the liturgy of commerce. And the world said Sell us the song we love. But how do we make more profit? And the world said Sell us the band we love. But how do we make more profit? And the world said Travel along with me, muse. But how do we make more profit? And the world said Give us the best of the best. But how do we make more profit? And the world asked for albums that never grew old. But how do we make more profit? And the world wanted more on a single disc. But the discs became heavy and cumbersome. So the world said Sell us the song we love. But I don’t think I’d call it progress. Incidentally, using my handy historical cyclometer, paid subscriptions to specific bands/labels should be the next step. Whoopee!

MCA 2-6008 inner gatefold MCA 2-6008 back cover
MCA 2-6008 inner gatefold MCA 2-6008 back cover

TRACK LISTING

    record one
  1. DO IT AGAIN    5:50
  2. REELING IN THE YEARS    4:35
  3. MY OLD SCHOOL    5:45
  4. BODHISATTVA    5:18
  5. SHOW BIZ KIDS    5:21
  6. EAST ST. LOUIS TOODLE-OO    (Duke Ellington/Bubber Miley)    2:46
  7. RIKKI DON'T LOSE THAT NUMBER    4:34
  8. PRETZEL LOGIC    4:30
  9. ANY MAJOR DUDE    3:06

    record two
  10. HERE AT THE WESTERN WORLD    4:00
  11. BLACK FRIDAY    3:39
  12. BAD SNEAKERS    3:39
  13. DOCTOR WU    3:53
  14. HAITIAN DIVORCE    5:48
  15. KID CHARLEMAGNE    4:38
  16. THE FEZ    (Walter Becker/Donald Fagen/Paul Griffin)    3:54
  17. PEG    3:54
  18. JOSIE    4:30

    All songs written by Walter Becker/Donald Fagen unless noted

CREDITS

Elliot Schiener -- engineer
Karen Stanley -- production coordinator & lifesaver
Pete Turner/Image Bank -- cover photo
Anton Corbijn -- inside photo
Steve Bernstein -- art direction

return to STEELY DAN discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN November 1978 ABC 2LP/8T AK-1107/2/T gatefold cover, picture sleeves
UK November 1978 ABC 2LP ABCD-616 gatefold cover, picture sleeves
JPN 1978 ABC 2LP YS-8065/6 gatefold cover, lyric insert
US 1980s MCA 2LP/2CS MCA/MCAC-2-6008 ABC reissued w. gold stamp
US 1990? MCA CD 6008  

 

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