A Tale of Two Bands: Steely Dan’s “The Royal Scam”

(via CultureSonar) BY CAMERON GUNNOE

Hindsight bias is fascinating, particularly with students of a culture as opposed to those who experienced cultural events firsthand. Today, Steely Dan is regarded as two master craftsmen of studio sophistication – cynical jazz-heads with little patience for all but the cream of the musical crop.

The early-to-mid 1970s were a slightly different story, however. With the emergence of progressive bands like Genesis, Yes, and Jethro Tull, those not paying attention might have lumped Steely Dan in with any number of pedestrian rock bands of the day.

Sure, preemptive moves had been made to suggest the ultimate direction of the outfit. But as far as heady chords and swearing off the road, The Beatles had beaten them to the punch a decade earlier.

Today, listeners generally glean their interpretation of the Steely Dan “sound” from the group’s sixth LP, the high watermark, Aja. But during the first half of their career, a general pop audience may have been more likely to associate the group with their 1972 debut, Can’t Buy a Thrill

Read more: https://www.culturesonar.com/a-tale-of-two-bands-steely-dans-the-royal-scam/?mc_cid=f7ff15132b&mc_eid=b43e532c6f

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