People have long asked the question are you a bigger Beatles or Stones fan to peg where someone’s tastes are rooted. We prefer the question Ella or Billie? In our opinion, how people answer that one says much more about their personality. (For the record, we prefer the Stones and Billie Holiday). Generally, people love the music of all four so discussing their “rivalries” rarely causes much friction.
If you want heated debate, bring up Steely Dan. No band has ever been more polarizing. There’s simply no gray area when it comes to these undisputed kings of Yacht Rock. You either love Steely Dan or hate them. We love them. In fact, we don’t trust people who don’t like them. People who hate Steely Dan are bad people who probably dislike kittens and rainbows too. Not only is Steely Dan a great band, they can predict the future. How else can you explain their cautionary letter to Owen Wilson a full year before his suicude attempt?
The people over at Aquarium Drunkard must be good people since they are hosting Steely Dan’s The Lost Gaucho Album. If you’re a fan, go grab it now. The sound quality is pretty solid (a bit on the sharp side) but fans will be pleased. Here’s the story on the tracks via BigO Worldwide:
As to why so many songs were dropped from the final lineup of Gaucho, a case can be made that this early version was too close in style to 1977’s Aja – shorter songs, sweeter melodies and more accessible lyrics. The finally released Gaucho seemed purposely obscure, deep and complex. Was it to spite their record company MCA? Is it possible that The Second Arrangement was never erased but that Becker and Fagen concocted the story to avoid releasing what they thought was the better version of Gaucho? Listen and decide for yourself.
Speaking of rivalries, look for Sean Manning’s Rock & Roll Cagematch: Music’s Greatest Rivalries Decided in August. Should be a great read. More on this anthology when the publication date draws nearer.