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Steely Dan — Bad Sneakers
Album: Katy Lied
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 420









Released: 1975
Length: 3:15
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Five names that I can
Hardly stand to hear
Including yours and mine
And one more chimp who isn't here

I can see the ladies talking
How the times are getting hard
And that fearsome excavation
On Magnolia Boulevard

Yes, I'm going insane
And I'm laughing at the frozen rain
And I'm so alone
Honey, when they gonna send me home

Bad sneakers and
A Piña Colada, my friend
Stompin' on the avenue
By Radio City with a
Transistor and a large
Sum of money to spend

You fella, you tearin' up the street
You wear that white tuxedo
How you gonna beat the heat

Do you take me for a fool
Do you think that I don't see
That ditch out in the valley
That they're digging just for me

Yes, I'm going insane
You know I'm laughing
At the frozen rain
And I feel like I'm so alone
Honey, when they gonna send me home

Bad sneakers and
A Piña Colada, my friend
Stompin' on the avenue
By Radio City with a
Transistor and a large
Sum of money to spend

You know I'm going insane
Yes, I'm laughing at the frozen rain
And I'm so alone
Honey, when they gonna send me home

Bad sneakers and
A Piña Colada, my friend
Stompin' on the avenue
By Radio City with a
Transistor and a large
Sum of money to spend
Comments (103)add comment
My wife once heard a Roxy Music song when she was a teenager. She didn't want to admit how much she liked it until someone else said they were cool. I had the same event but with these guys. Sadly none of my friends thought they were good. I listened to them a lot anyway and  started looking for friends elsewhere. 

There is nothing weird, bad or edgy or clique-ish-ish about it, I just like it and always will.  Skillful, timely, interesting music, all of it.
 Hasan wrote:
This song seems to be about cobbling any-old-melody-will-do onto the clumsy rhythm of a lousy poetry.

A couple of times I've met groups of Steely Dan enthusiasts.  Cliquey snobs each time, led by some tasteless witch who controls her suckups veterinarian style: always ready with a quick put down!

I can't help but wonder — how many people like Steely Dan 'coz they think liking Steely Dan is a cool pose?



 

Yep, yep that was us alright.{#Wave}

Everybody in my church loves this song...
 
 Proclivities wrote:

You must live in some peculiar corner of the universe or in some 1970s time-warp.  "Groups of Steely Dan enthusiasts...Cliquey snobs led around by some tasteless witch": where on Earth are you running into these people?  Unless you're attending Steely Dan concerts or obscure fan-club meetings, I can't imagine where these "groups of" alleged, outspoken "Steely Dan enthusiasts" even exist.  I think most people who like Steely Dan do so because they like the music.  A "cool pose"?  Need I remind you that the calendar reads 2012 as the present year?
  An Adult Toy Store?


My first college roommate shows up with all this Steely Dan stuff, which blew me away before two or three days had gone by.  Contrasted to my collection of Mountain, Allman Brothers, and Deep Purple.  We got along way too well together.

I ended up leaving 3 semesters later with a 1.8 GPA; he hung in for 6 years to get that BA.  Whew, time flies ...
    
 Kaisersosay wrote:
Yikes,,,tough out there for the people who like Steely. oh well, can't please em all.
Love this song , for all the memories it brings back.
 
I agree. It's like visiting an old friend.
 Proclivities wrote:
You must live in some peculiar corner of the universe or in some 1970s time-warp.  "Groups of Steely Dan enthusiasts...Cliquey snobs led around by some tasteless witch": where on Earth are you running into these people?  Unless you're attending Steely Dan concerts or obscure fan-club meetings, I can't imagine where these "groups of" alleged, outspoken "Steely Dan enthusiasts" even exist.  I think most people who like Steely Dan do so because they like the music.  A "cool pose"?  Need I remind you that the calendar reads 2012 as the present year?
 
Agreed. That was one bizarre post. "The guy who was bitter about Steely Dan."
There's not enough Steely Dan played on RP.
Maybe the best SD album ever. Not that overproduced as the later ones...
 Hasan wrote:
This song seems to be about cobbling any-old-melody-will-do onto the clumsy rhythm of a lousy poetry.

A couple of times I've met groups of Steely Dan enthusiasts.  Cliquey snobs each time, led by some tasteless witch who controls her suckups veterinarian style: always ready with a quick put down!

I can't help but wonder — how many people like Steely Dan 'coz they think liking Steely Dan is a cool pose?
 
You must live in some peculiar corner of the universe or in some 1970s time-warp.  "Groups of Steely Dan enthusiasts...Cliquey snobs led around by some tasteless witch": where on Earth are you running into these people?  Unless you're attending Steely Dan concerts or obscure fan-club meetings, I can't imagine where these "groups of" alleged, outspoken "Steely Dan enthusiasts" even exist.  I think most people who like Steely Dan do so because they like the music.  A "cool pose"?  Need I remind you that the calendar reads 2012 as the present year?
Have loved this LP for years!    Also 'The Royal Scam'!    And 'Aja' for that matter ....

More 'Dan please.  {#Clap}
Yikes,,,tough out there for the people who like Steely. oh well, can't please em all.
Love this song , for all the memories it brings back.
 Hasan wrote:
This song seems to be about cobbling any-old-melody-will-do onto the clumsy rhythm of a lousy poetry.

A couple of times I've met groups of Steely Dan enthusiasts.  Cliquey snobs each time, led by some tasteless witch who controls her suckups veterinarian style: always ready with a quick put down!

I can't help but wonder — how many people like Steely Dan 'coz they think liking Steely Dan is a cool pose?
 

I never knew there are so many Steely Dan haters until I started listening to RP. I  simply like their smart lyrics and excellent musicianship. But that's just me.
This song seems to be about cobbling any-old-melody-will-do onto the clumsy rhythm of a lousy poetry.

A couple of times I've met groups of Steely Dan enthusiasts.  Cliquey snobs each time, led by some tasteless witch who controls her suckups veterinarian style: always ready with a quick put down!

I can't help but wonder — how many people like Steely Dan 'coz they think liking Steely Dan is a cool pose?


 *HVB* wrote:
One of my favorite bands a weak song despite
 
More likely one of my most despised duos, this song is downright awful.  -1  Really bad disposable pop...
Tiring of MacDonald's voice "Gooooooing Insane"....Oh well....Love Steely Dan regardless. 
One of my favorite bands a weak song despite
 Proclivities wrote:

His voice usually bugged me too.  I would describe it more like "howling" than "moaning", though.  Good tune still.
 
Really? I hear it as sort of a screechy hinge. Ick.
 On_The_Beach wrote:

I personally feel that Michael "The Moaner" McDonald is the only weak link in the Steely Dan chain. I cringe every time I hear his ridiculous voice . . . . but I still love the Dan!
 
His voice usually bugged me too.  I would describe it more like "howling" than "moaning", though.  Good tune still.
 Dinges,_the_Dude wrote:
Oh, I love it when Michael Mc Donald comes in! Great end of the song: no fading away.
 
I personally feel that Michael "The Moaner" McDonald is the only weak link in the Steely Dan chain. I cringe every time I hear his ridiculous voice . . . . but I still love the Dan!



Has it been three years since I commented on this song?  This song is soooo good for the ears...

 
I always played this song when auditioning new HiFi speakers.   Steely Dan took great care in selecting the transducers in the recording studio.  And this song was just a great benchmark for my ears.
Since I rated this a 10, I'm sure I've commented on this one before, but...sooooo gooooood. One of my top 5 Dan songs. Reminds me of the summer I spent with my dad after freshman year at Stanford while my mom and brother were across the country trying to sell our house. We didn't have many CDs and listened to this one incessantly. He didn't know much about music like this, so it was fun to turn him on to it.

 Dinges,_the_Dude wrote:
Oh, I love it when Michael Mc Donald comes in! Great end of the song: no fading away.
 
I like that part too. Wish he had sung most of it...but then it wouldn't have the same impact then would it?
Oh, I love it when Michael Mc Donald comes in! Great end of the song: no fading away.
Like the album, like the band...kinda sick of Donald Fagan's voice though..."You fella!!!"
 Cynaera wrote:

The fact that your puke emoticon didn't appear sorta detracts from the potency of your disgust.  If your nausea sends you to talk to Ralph on the big white telephone, feel free to stay there.  We "steely dan people" will try to remember to whistle you in when an ABBA song plays. {#Lol}

I'm not usually this snarky - it must be the full sun...
 
This song reminds me of a loved one who lost it.  I still cry when I hear it, and I'll be damned (or danned), I'll give it a hey 19, just because they are the best group, besides the Eagles to come out of the 70's.

 vicariance wrote:
I just cannot understand how you steely dan people like this.  I cannot find anything about it that I like.  It literally makes me nauseous {#Puke}.
 
The fact that your puke emoticon didn't appear sorta detracts from the potency of your disgust.  If your nausea sends you to talk to Ralph on the big white telephone, feel free to stay there.  We "steely dan people" will try to remember to whistle you in when an ABBA song plays. {#Lol}

I'm not usually this snarky - it must be the full sun...
 ddog wrote:
Besides Peg this is one of my favorite Michael MacDonald backups..
 
It's truly an exception in his career.

 vicariance wrote:
I just cannot understand how you steely dan people like this.  I cannot find anything about it that I like.  It literally makes me nauseous {#Puke}.
 
You Sir, are devoid of all musical taste!{#Snooty}
 freeform wrote:

Chicago and Grateful Dead? Such high praise! Is Steely Dan worth? :)
 
I think pre Cetera Chicago is worthy of handling Steely Dan's jock strap, but the Dead are not even worthy of sniffing it!

Love the Dan...
I just cannot understand how you steely dan people like this.  I cannot find anything about it that I like.  It literally makes me nauseous {#Puke}.
Chicago, Grateful Dead and Steely Dan somehow similar?  Curious...

Big Band horns, psychedelic noodling, and jazz...all are cool in their own right, but similar?
 
freeform wrote:

Chicago and Grateful Dead? Such high praise! Is Steely Dan worth? :)
 


 Stefen wrote:
I never really connected with Steely Dan.   I somehow group them with Chicago and the Grateful Dead.
 
Chicago and Grateful Dead? Such high praise! Is Steely Dan worth? :)
It's not often that a song new to me gets a Sucko-Barfo right at the  start, but f*ck me, that voice is awful and hurts my ears. I had to hit mute for health & safety reasons. I know Steely Dan have done some good stuff but this isn't in their pantheon of all-time greats, I don't think.

Back in five minutes...
 WonderLizard wrote:

Not a chance. To channel PG, you need wit, erudition, and defining taste.

 
..and to be a pretentious tool.

I never really connected with Steely Dan.   I somehow group them with Chicago and the Grateful Dead.
 peter_james_bond wrote:
I love this cd but I've always found the sound a little muddy, has it been remastered yet? Or let me put it this way, does anyone have a remastered version and is the sound much cleaner?
 
As I recall the story, the original masters were lost or destroyed before the LP was released. Walter and Donald had to high-tail it back into the studio to make reparations.

 rabaak wrote:

Donald Fagan has done some nice stuff solo. I really like Night Fly.
 
Most definitely!!!
i am working on a magazine interview with elliott randall this very moment. what are the odds?

Besides Peg this is one of my favorite Michael MacDonald backups..
Love this album, along with the memories that come with it.
 WonderLizard wrote:
IMHO, not one clunker among their first six albums. I mean, who else could pull off a remake of Ellington's "East St. Louis Toodle-oo" with a pedal steel (Pretzel Logic)? I'm less fond of their new millennium output.
 
Donald Fagan has done some nice stuff solo. I really like Night Fly.
Not clear on the Metheny quotes either.  Love the Michael McDonald backup-vocals though.

 divisionlane wrote:


as a huge Pat Matheny fan I am sorry to say I don't get the connection-can you enlighten please?
 


 crockydile wrote:
Good song, thoroughly overplayed on FM. Now, RP. Am I channeling Physics_Genius?
 
Not a chance. To channel PG, you need wit, erudition, and defining taste.

 philbertr wrote:
Nice little Pat Metheney quotation in the intro and nods throughout!
 

as a huge Pat Matheny fan I am sorry to say I don't get the connection-can you enlighten please?
 ScottishWillie wrote:

I loathed this and everything Steely Dan did in the mind/late 70’s when this was released (I was a punk). Now in my early 50’s I love just about everything they did.
This should tell me something about myself, but I’m not quite sure what it is?

 
Pogoing causes irreparable brain damage?
 On_The_Beach wrote:

Wisdom (and good taste) comes with age!

 

{#Yes} God, I love the Dan, I just wish RP would play them more than they do!{#Pray}
 ScottishWillie wrote:

I loathed this and everything Steely Dan did in the mind/late 70’s when this was released (I was a punk). Now in my early 50’s I love just about everything they did.
This should tell me something about myself, but I’m not quite sure what it is?

 
Wisdom (and good taste) comes with age!

I loathed this and everything Steely Dan did in the mind/late 70’s when this was released (I was a punk). Now in my early 50’s I love just about everything they did.
This should tell me something about myself, but I’m not quite sure what it is?


Good song, thoroughly overplayed on FM. Now, RP. Am I channeling Physics_Genius?
IMHO, not one clunker among their first six albums. I mean, who else could pull off a remake of Ellington's "East St. Louis Toodle-oo" with a pedal steel (Pretzel Logic)? I'm less fond of their new millennium output.
Great song from an even greater album. Esp. "Dr. Wu": awesome pianoplay!
I love this cd but I've always found the sound a little muddy, has it been remastered yet? Or let me put it this way, does anyone have a remastered version and is the sound much cleaner?
Nice little Pat Metheney quotation in the intro and nods throughout!
Papernapkin wrote:
The very definition of ho-hum. SD is Muzak.


I wish. Then maybe I could stand all those places that play Muzak.
Edit: I wondered so I looked it up: Looks like the bug on the cover is a katydid.

 jhorton wrote:
oh my god this is terrible.
This is music for people born without brains,

Bad sneakers and a pina colada my freinds.

 

 
although I might be one of those people born without brains - because I love this song - I feel obligated to say

"friends"

{#Rolleyes} 
 jhorton wrote:
oh my god this is terrible.
This is music for people born without brains,

Bad sneakers and a pina colada my freinds.

 

 
for the defenition of brainless, see above comment poster.


Great song from a great album... love it...


very enjoyable 70s sound, reminds me of going South in the back of a car—{#Daisy}
The very definition of ho-hum. SD is Muzak.
oh my god this is terrible.
This is music for people born without brains,

Bad sneakers and a pina colada my freinds.

 

they are so good that i'd give them a 10 if they weren't so whiny and annoying, to the point of obscuring the intended ironic message. they ony get a seven because they are a pain in the arse on the whiny annoyance front. i really love Aja, tho. less whiny. more harmony stuff. not meant to come off as too harsh; steely dan is basically a good thing.
The Dan are always my "origin and refencepoint" from which I judge other musicians and music. When I first learned about The Doobies, way back in the 80's, I thought Michael was black: such a warm and soulful voice he has! The illusion and the magic, though, were somewhat shattered when I saw/heard Donald and Walter playing back and forth the part of the track with the voice of Michael in the song Peg ("Peg, it will come back to you") on You Tube. A pity, in a way: now, when I hear "Peg", I have to ignore what I saw and heard on You Tube. Knowing how a song is "made" in the studio can be rather disillusive...
parrothead wrote:
I agree about M. McDonald, I must add that when he joined the Doobie Brothers it was down hill for the Brothers at that point. I've met Michael before at some open jams in Atlanta GA area and he is a real nice guy. I did not have the balls to tell him how I felt about his Doobie Bros. affiliation, which was best unsaid at the time. But now I can say it hear and no one knows who I am! Hee Hee Heeee.....
This is Michael! I'm looking for you! I'm going to stalk you and torture you with my beautiful and soulful voice. :lol:
Dave_Mack wrote:
Always been one of my absolute favorites. I think Michael McDonald isn't so great as a lead singer, but his voice is an interesting instrument, and used perfectly here by Fagen and Becker. (And also notably in Peg.)
I agree about M. McDonald, I must add that when he joined the Doobie Brothers it was down hill for the Brothers at that point. I've met Michael before at some open jams in Atlanta GA area and he is a real nice guy. I did not have the balls to tell him how I felt about his Doobie Bros. affiliation, which was best unsaid at the time. But now I can say it hear and no one knows who I am! Hee Hee Heeee.....
One of several FANTASTIC early SD albums.
Always been one of my absolute favorites. I think Michael McDonald isn't so great as a lead singer, but his voice is an interesting instrument, and used perfectly here by Fagen and Becker. (And also notably in Peg.)
Sublime stuff :music: :meditate: :music: The production quality of their stuff is amazing.
a remarkable CD - musicianship with no equal at the time. Local radio station played "Black Friday" at the same time each morning, which I listened to on my drive to college.
Goin' insane Yes, I'm laughing at the frozen rain And I'm so alone Honey, when they gonna send me home? I'm singing this at the top of my lungs - I know all the words. The Dan - The Best.
Kurt_from_La_Qui wrote:
Hey! That's what I said! First... though. :nyah:
No kidding. Sorry about that. In my defense, two minutes don't count for s&#t on this forum; some of the postings are weeks apart.
alanthecowboy wrote:
I hate to break it to ya, but that sounds a lot like Michael McDonald singing backups. Luckily he didn't ruin Steely Dan the way he did the Doobie Brothers.
Hey! That's what I said! First... though. :nyah:
redeyespy wrote:
Some interesting theories out there as to what this song is about. One take is that it is narrated by an insane asylum inmate.
I've had a pair of bad sneakers once... they smelled so bad... I burned them.
JrzyTmata wrote:
Mike could only wish he were this talented.
I hate to break it to ya, but that sounds a lot like Michael McDonald singing backups. Luckily he couldn't destroy Steely Dan the way he did the Doobie Brothers.
littleguy wrote:
Please make it end. Same category as Michael McDonald....
Well... he was in the band at this time. It seems when he comes on the scene, things have a tendency to go downhill soon after. Look what happened to the Doobie Bros. Well, they may not be the best example. He didn't help matters there, though. Did I just say there though? Is he the Silver Surfer of Musicdom?
Some interesting theories on what this song is about. One take is that it is narrated by an insane asylum inmate.
littleguy wrote:
Please make it end. Same category as Michael McDonald....
WTF...? :beat:
kazuma wrote:
Strange comment, given that his very distinctive vocals are so prominent on this one. Let's have Dr. Wu, too!
Jerry Mulligan on alto!
hippiechick wrote:
A favorite for me, for many reasons.
I feel the aame way, for my own reasons, of course. A great album!
hippiechick wrote:
A favorite for me, for many reasons.
ditto
A favorite for me, for many reasons.
dmax wrote:
Go to the Dan site and read some of the history of the mixing and production. Fascinating.
I like the text on the album itself (liner notes):
This is a hi-fidelity recording. Steely Dan uses a specially constructed 24-channel tape recorder, a "State-of-the-Art" 36-input computerized mixdown console, and some very expensive German microphones. Individual microphone equalization is frowned upon. The sound created by musicians and singers is reproduced as faithfully as possible, and special care is taken to preserve the band-width and transient response of each performance. Transfer from master tapes to master lacquers is done on a Neumann VMS 70 computerized lathe equipped with a variable pitch, variable depth helium cooled cutting head. The computerized logic circuits of the VMS 70 widen and narrow the grooves on the disc in accordance with its own bizarre electronic mentation for reasons known only to its designers; this accounts for the lovely light and dark patterns that can be seen on the surface of the pressing. Vinylite compound is used. For best results observe the R.I.A.A. curve.
Man, this was a soundtrack for my later high school years. I could tell it was good, but I didn't realize how good until later. Go to the Dan site and read some of the history of the mixing and production. Fascinating.
On_The_Beach wrote:
Wrong. Regrettably, Michael McDonald did some vocals for the Dan. That mistake aside, Steely Dan is head and shoulders above MM.
:yes:
littleguy wrote:
Please make it end. Same category as Michael McDonald....
Wrong. Regrettably, Michael McDonald did some vocals for the Dan. That mistake aside, Steely Dan is head and shoulders above MM.
buddy0407 wrote:
I don't think I've ever heard this song anywhere else except on my own stereo. Premium Steely Dan.
then you haven't been in my car.
JrzyTmata wrote:
Mike could only wish he were this talented.
Strange comment, given that his very distinctive vocals are so prominent on this one. Let's have Dr. Wu, too!
littleguy wrote:
Please make it end. Same category as Michael McDonald....
Mike could only wish he were this talented.
Awesome song by the best band ever! Woot woot, Hugh
littleguy wrote:
Please make it end. Same category as Michael McDonald....
I couldn't agree more.
Please make it end. Same category as Michael McDonald....
Good Stuff.
Far above the din of 70s corporate rock.
I loved this album..still sounds good.
holy cow! this hasn't been played in ages. good to hear it again! only two songs from this album in the library. we need more.
redeyespy wrote:
From one of their most lyrically fascinating albums--"Katy Lied." Love the imagery.
Precisely. Imagery.
I don't think I've ever heard this song anywhere else except on my own stereo. Premium Steely Dan.
From one of their most lyrically fascinating albums--\"Katy Lied.\" Love the imagery.
Originally Posted by rjs: The original CD, Katy Lied, is a "must have" - every song is tops!
Agreed rjs. One of my favorite albums of all time.
The original CD, Katy Lied, is a \"must have\" - every song is tops!
A pina coloda, my friend. Any thing by Steely Dan is tops.