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Steely Dan — Only a Fool Would Say That
Album: Can't Buy A Thrill
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1205









Released: 1972
Length: 2:51
Plays (last 30 days): 1
A world become one of salads and sun, only a fool would say that
A boy with a plan, a natural man wearin' a white Stetson hat
Unhand that gun begone; there's no one to fire upon
If he's holding it high he's telling a lie

I heard it was you talkin' bout a world where all is free
It just couldn't be, and only a fool would say that

The man in the street draggin' his feet, don't wanna hear the bad news
Imagine your face there in his place standing inside his brown shoes
You do his nine to five drag yourself home half alive
And there on the screen a man with a dream
Comments (196)add comment
Godlike!!
The lyrics are incomplete 
What a smooth groove...loving the deep pocket on this one, so chill. LLRP!!
 jagdriver wrote:
Coincidental timing, given that Donald is in the news today for alleged spousal abuse?
 
Donald the Deranged is in the news today "coronavirus will go way .. I hope"

How are things in freedumb? 
 Proclivities wrote:

Well, this song is from 1972; that may explain the "retro" feeling it brings about.  I've been in quite a few dive bars; they seldom serve "fancy" cocktails like pina coladas.
 
If it was 1972 and you were drinking in dive bars ... you were missing it 

Couldn't find any dope?

LMAO  
 nomnol wrote:
This is just a great song. Period. One that I have to turn up the volume every time.
 

and great album. please play more Bill.
This is just a great song. Period. One that I have to turn up the volume every time.
 GeneP59 wrote:
I wish it was the 70's right now. {#Music}

Negativity was non-existent, communication was done face to face and you were outside until it got dark. {#Yes}
 
And Peter Pan was still a  straight dude who loved playing with younger kids just for the fun of it.  Further evidence that good drugs made everything seem wonderful.
All of their stuff reminds me of the samples on my casio keyboard in 1986. Ugh.
 GeneP59 wrote:

And hardly anyone was reminiscing about the "good old days".
Remember the campaign slogan, "Don't change Dicks in the middle of a screw. Vote for Nix in '72"? Actually, human foibles being what they are, and always have been, there isn't as much difference between generations as we like to kid ourselves there is.

I wish it was the 70's right now. {#Music}

Negativity was non-existent, communication was done face to face and you were outside until it got dark. 

 GeneP59 wrote:
I wish it was the 70's right now. {#Music}

Negativity was non-existent, communication was done face to face and you were outside until it got dark. {#Yes}
 Your privilege is showing.
Steely Dan on RP?  Will miracle never cease.
 fatcatjb wrote:
and in 1972, nothing sounded like Steely Dan except Steely Dan...smart, crisp, inventive, an obvious nod to interesting drumming, jazzy guitar in a time of endless soaring solos...so smart
 
 Maybe CAN, but they were never as commercial as Steely Dan. Secondly, they never play CAN on here, or at least I have never heard it!


Its that guitar work.  So fine.  The crazy lyrics also help. 
I guess Bill thought this was so good, he'd play it again 15 minutes later.
Extraordinaire!!!  
The girls loved this. 2017 was a hard time for me. This album gave a soundtrack
 fatcatjb wrote:
and in 1972, nothing sounded like Steely Dan except Steely Dan...smart, crisp, inventive, an obvious nod to interesting drumming, jazzy guitar in a time of endless soaring solos...so smart
 

 
I would argue that nothing in 2018 sounds like Steely Dan, except Steely Dan. There is still very little I would rather listen to... Should be at the top of any civilized "desert Island" playlist.
 gratefulgator wrote:
When I hear Steely Dan I get the feeling I should be sitting in some kind of 70s dive bar drinking some kind of 70s cocktail.  Maybe a pina colada or something.  It just feels so retro.

 
Well, this song is from 1972; that may explain the "retro" feeling it brings about.  I've been in quite a few dive bars; they seldom serve "fancy" cocktails like pina coladas.
This "band" had amazing musicians, a wide variety of musical arrangements and instrumentation .... and perhaps the best lyrics to come out of the '70s and '80s.
Ah, 1972 and I'm playing in a small college-town bar band. The guitarist says we need to listen to this new band and hauls out this album. And, frankly, I was unimpressed. Luckily, I changed my mind as time went on and in a year or so I was a fan.

Thanks, Bob, wherever you are.
RIP Walter 
macht et jut
 idiot_wind wrote:
Ahhhh...the cool breezy, vibrant, syncopated guitar rifts.

Nice harmonies.

The crazy, cryptic lyrics...white stetson hat? You're younger than you realize?   
 

So freakin cool.  

 
The lyrics section is missing some of the lyrics referenced:

"Anybody on the street has murder in his eyes, 
You feel no pain and you're younger than you realize ..."
I wish it was the 70's right now. {#Music}

Negativity was non-existent, communication was done face to face and you were outside until it got dark. {#Yes}
so freaking COOL. Jazzy, witty, tight harmonies and playing. Love the SD to pieces!!
and in 1972, nothing sounded like Steely Dan except Steely Dan...smart, crisp, inventive, an obvious nod to interesting drumming, jazzy guitar in a time of endless soaring solos...so smart
 
Ahhhh...the cool breezy, vibrant, syncopated guitar rifts.

Nice harmonies.

The crazy, cryptic lyrics...white stetson hat? You're younger than you realize?   
 

So freakin cool.  
 gratefulgator wrote:
When I hear Steely Dan I get the feeling I should be sitting in some kind of 70s dive bar drinking some kind of 70s cocktail.  Maybe a pina colada or something.  It just feels so retro.

 
Harvey Wall Bangers!

Very nice


Also, like the version by Ivy.
When I hear Steely Dan I get the feeling I should be sitting in some kind of 70s dive bar drinking some kind of 70s cocktail.  Maybe a pina colada or something.  It just feels so retro.
 idiot_wind wrote:
The guitars are fantabulous. And the lyrics are classic, cryptic, crazy, confusing, confounding, and koo koo.    

 
precisely  : )
 jagdriver wrote:
Coincidental timing, given that Donald is in the news today for alleged spousal abuse?

 
Two sides..........
Coincidental timing, given that Donald is in the news today for alleged spousal abuse?
Ah....great guitars and strange, trippy, cryptic lyrics.  

And who is wearing that white Stetson hat?
great to hear a steely dan song that isn't in such high rotation. one of my favourites. cheers!
Only a fool would say that they don't like this stuff, but I can't bear it.  Talented people, for sure, highly respected, but it loses me in the same way that most jazz does.  Sorry.
More Steely Dan please
 
Excellent! {#Bananasplit}
 Will62 wrote:
People!! Seriously!! How can any of you dare criticise the very finest of 70's music. inventive, intricate, absorbing and chock full of stunning musicianship. Oh for today's artists to display some of the traits we took for granted from Fagan and Becker.

 
{#Yes} {#Notworthy}
People!! Seriously!! How can any of you dare criticise the very finest of 70's music. inventive, intricate, absorbing and chock full of stunning musicianship. Oh for today's artists to display some of the traits we took for granted from Fagan and Becker.
 richlister wrote:

Is 'Next' better than 'One' ?

 
In this case yes. I say next because the next SD song I hear will probably be my favourite. 
 vesta0424 wrote:
And really not the best of times ... for which reason, Steely Dan gives me the creeps ... only one other artist also gives me the creeps ... Joni Mitchell.   Both are pretty creepy.

Boy_Wonder wrote:
42 years ago.....

 
 


I think this one of their better songs —> 4.
The guitars are fantabulous. And the lyrics are classic, cryptic, crazy, confusing, confounding, and koo koo.    
Even the fillers on this album are good!

Oh yeah...still fresh from 1972!


{#Sunny}


 mortrates wrote:
More Steely Dan - Please!{#Dancingbanana_2}

 
{#Bananajam}  {#Bananajam}  {#Bananajam}..... yes, yes & yes

{#Good-vibes} Love Fagan's falsetto--something he has def outgrown--his highs are painful now, sometimes. But I am a BIG Dan fan, dammit!


That guitar sings !  

I recall reading liner notes on their particularity on the studio microphones.   I believe they were ultra expensive AKG's.

 

Excellent guitar players with strange, trippy, cryptic lyrics.

That's why these guys were one of the best bands in the 1970s!   


Perhaps my favorite of all their classics....

 
42 years ago.....
{#Dance}
More Steely Dan - Please!{#Dancingbanana_2}
Nice!
Very appealing, thank you.
A beautiful tune from the Dan, with a spectacular guitar solo.
 oldsaxon wrote:
There are so many really great songs on this album. Only a fool would choose one over the next. 
 
Is 'Next' better than 'One' ?
There are so many really great songs on this album. Only a fool would choose one over the next. 
Wow, deep cut Dan. Haven't heard this in ages and it's sounding very nice.
Boy has this song aged well.  And this from their debut album — they were just getting started.
What were they thinking with that terrible cover art for the album? Just plain bad. Maybe someone ok'd the cover art...and then they came up with this title track.
Love it.
there are no  words for the pain this causes me
{#Cheers}
I really enjoy this entire record
love hearing this whole album...this song is awesome.
This came along at just the right time, back then, and right now.....sounds nice to hear again....
LOVE this one...

Steely has a lot of great tunes but this is up there near the top

 
 SpamNRice wrote:

...Only a Fool Would Say That! {#High-five} Best album ever... or damn close!
 
Yep.
Very nice!
For some reason this strikes me as one of the the very best songs, ever.  It's ability to mood-alter in a positive way is strong.

8

 mandolin wrote:
...nooooooOOOOOOOOOoooooo not steely dan!..  {#Stop}

 
...Only a Fool Would Say That! {#High-five} Best album ever... or damn close!

Yeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssssss, Steely Dan!{#Music}

 
mandolin wrote:
...nooooooOOOOOOOOOoooooo not steely dan!..  {#Stop}

 


Awesome! These are the songs that keep me here...
 neuticle wrote:
bad Bill! naughty Bill!
 


"He must be spanked.  And then you must spank me."
...nooooooOOOOOOOOOoooooo not steely dan!..  {#Stop}

Just recently saw them in Boca Raton, FL in an amphitheatre. It was pretty obvious Don doesn't think Boca is home to the most fervent of Dan fans, they did a very "AM radio" set of songs and walked off, no encore, but OMG I thought they were AMAZING. If only they'd done "Don't Take Me Alive" I'd have died right there of happiness.
More DAN!!
 bindi wrote:
these guys SUCK??   Only a fool would say that!   Love SD!!!
 

Nope, I love them the best of all.  Sorry guys.  {#Hearteyes}
these guys SUCK??   Only a fool would say that!   Love SD!!!
 helgigermany wrote:
Love Steely Dan!!
 
Love em more!{#Hearteyes}{#Lol}
Love Steely Dan!!
Yea, I always loved the sound of these guys!    {#Dancingbanana_2}  {#Dancingbanana}  {#Bananajam}
"Nice Les Montgomery-style guitar work. I presume it's "Skunk" Baxter."

I think you mean Wes Montgomery.  Yeah, the Dan were heavily jazz influenced and used many jazz musicians on their albums.  Another song from this album which was a minor hit was Dirty Work which had a different lead vocalist, David Palmer, on it.  I think he left shortly after.
bad Bill! naughty Bill!
 lysisphere wrote:
I'd take Gogol Bordello...
 
I agree! As much as I LOVE the Dan, it's a come-down after that rockin' Zippers tune!

Deep Joy - any Dan track gives me such pleasure and evokes a time, place and climate that I have never experienced except in my dreams....
I'd take Gogol Bordello...
Steely Dan, Squirrel Nut Zippers & Paco de Lucia what a line up, doesn't get much better than this....fav radio station of all time, and that is saying alot! 

 jools wrote:

No - I am from South London originally, emigrated to Brighton.. But I can be if there is a large inheritance on the cards...
I wish!
Nice to meet you though Jools. 



Bill just pointed out that this album debuted in 1972. I purchased this album when it came out. Thanks for making me feel exceptionally old, Bill ... {#Lol}
love this song.
 Dillinquent wrote:
 jools wrote:
Oh, The Dan - how perfect for a rainy day in UK
 Hear, hear...

Is that cousin Jools,  from Norcott?

 
No - I am from South London originally, emigrated to Brighton.. But I can be if there is a large inheritance on the cards...
 jools wrote:
Oh, The Dan - how perfect for a rainy day in UK
 Hear, hear...



Oh, The Dan - how perfect for a rainy day in UK
 Dave_Mack wrote:
I just saw Steely Dan on their internet request tour.  Naturally, they didn't play any rarities.  That's the sort of tour I'd love to see.  There are real gems in the less-played realms of their catalog.  Nice to hear this one.
 
Yeah, I passed on a chance to see their "Bread Line in '09" mini-tour earlier this year - and they were in town, no less, no driving involved. I'd heard that the tours are becoming a "greatest hits" show and I wanted to see them take chances on older tunes like this.

Nice Les Montgomery-style guitar work. I presume it's "Skunk" Baxter.
I just saw Steely Dan on their internet request tour.  Naturally, they didn't play any rarities.  That's the sort of tour I'd love to see.  There are real gems in the less-played realms of their catalog.  Nice to hear this one.
Aah, great!
 spaceman wrote:

I know exactly what you're talking about, although it took some time for me to be able to admit it.

I've hated everything I've ever heard from Steely Dan (I only ever hear them on RP), and I really really want to know what's so special about them - because jugding from the comments and the ratings, a lot of the listeners here love them. I get that "alternate dimension" feeling with other areas of music... I'm in love with the old Genesis prog rock, for example, and I know that many people think that they're too pompous. I like heavy metal, and some people think metal is too loud and noisy. I like certain flavors of electronica music, and some think that that's too artificial and inorganic. I like some of the experimental stuff that Peter Hammill has done, and that is too inaccessible for some people. I can understand all of that.

But Steely Dan - what are they too much of? For me, their music just sounds uninteresting, uninspired, and boring. Bland. Mainstream, if you will. I'm not trying to start a flame war, and I respect that you like their music, but... I can't understand why. There must be something I'm missing.

Is it the lyrics? Or maybe you "had to be there" when they were hot? Where I live, hardly anybody has even heard of the Dan, let alone grown up with their music. Help me out here... I get to hear at least 1-2 Steely Dan tracks on RP every day, and I would really like to know why people listen to this kind of music.


  Steely Dan's turn of a phrase is unique, lyrically. They also use Voice as an instrument, typical of Jazz. The turn of phrase then becomes, metaphorically, like a tweak in the sax, a guitar riff gone to the side. The emotional content of their songs is dynamic, beneath the smooth exterior, which itself speaks to the nature of how we handle emotion in our communication. While smooth talking a prospective date, we might be churning with desire beneath the surface... like that. At least, that is my take on Steely Dan.


A great album — good to revisit it.
 von_Hayek wrote:

The one and only Keith Carlock! Watch him play "Babylon sisters" along with Jeff Young, Jon Herington, and Freddie Washington:

https://de.youtube.com/watch?v=MSOpUMjWZ8s


 
wow, that was cool!!

Back in the 70s I used to play this Album often..Still my favorite Steely Dan LP
 tompoll wrote:
Saw these guys live about a year ago. Fantastic. Whoever the drummer was burned right through Aja. Michael McDonald joined them for a few songs including Peg. They did Deacon Blues. What a treat!
 
The one and only Keith Carlock! Watch him play "Babylon sisters" along with Jeff Young, Jon Herington, and Freddie Washington:

https://de.youtube.com/watch?v=MSOpUMjWZ8s


Guys — Listen to "Now I'm a Fool" by Eagles of Death Metal, from the album "Heart On", released this year. They totally ripped off the verse from this song! WOW!
 redeyespy wrote:
SD appreciation is hard to put into words, like tapping into an alternate dimension or something. A dimension into which not everyone can see. Even the newer stuff. To those without the "eyes," it just sounds like vapid smooth jazz. Some know better.
 

I know exactly what you're talking about, although it took some time for me to be able to admit it.

I've hated everything I've ever heard from Steely Dan (I only ever hear them on RP), and I really really want to know what's so special about them - because jugding from the comments and the ratings, a lot of the listeners here love them. I get that "alternate dimension" feeling with other areas of music... I'm in love with the old Genesis prog rock, for example, and I know that many people think that they're too pompous. I like heavy metal, and some people think metal is too loud and noisy. I like certain flavors of electronica music, and some think that that's too artificial and inorganic. I like some of the experimental stuff that Peter Hammill has done, and that is too inaccessible for some people. I can understand all of that.

But Steely Dan - what are they too much of? For me, their music just sounds uninteresting, uninspired, and boring. Bland. Mainstream, if you will. I'm not trying to start a flame war, and I respect that you like their music, but... I can't understand why. There must be something I'm missing.

Is it the lyrics? Or maybe you "had to be there" when they were hot? Where I live, hardly anybody has even heard of the Dan, let alone grown up with their music. Help me out here... I get to hear at least 1-2 Steely Dan tracks on RP every day, and I would really like to know why people listen to this kind of music.


Going to see them on the 26th. Can't wait...
Ah, the early stuff. Even earlier, before Fagen and Becker became Steely Dan, they penned some rather odd tunes. My favorite titles: "Bus Driver is a Fruitcake" and "Take a Dip with Dinah"! :lol:
MojoJojo wrote:
That does it. I'm poppin the cap off a beer and groovin... :dancingbanana:
Make that two, I'd like one too!
ce wrote:
Yes, they named the band after the dildo "Steely Dan" from William Burrough's "Naked Lunch". Wikipedia (click here) and others often claim that the dildo was "steam powered". As an intrigued SD fan, I've read "Naked Lunch" and failed to find any dildo-related steam or even power. In fact the mighty Dan, though still Steely, is hardly mentioned at all in the book. WP's reference links to the SD site do not mention steam either. (click here) (click here)
"Mary is strapping on a rubber penis. "Steely Dan III from Yokohama," she says, caressing the shaft. Milk spurts across the room. "Be sure that milk is pasteurized. Don't go giving me some kinda awful cow disease like anthrax or glanders or aftosa....""
stale.
redeyespy wrote:
SD appreciation is hard to put into words, like tapping into an alternate dimension or something. A dimension into which not everyone can see. Even the newer stuff. To those without the "eyes," it just sounds like vapid smooth jazz. Some know better.
That's it; you either get it or you don't. I liked everything up to "Aja".
Saw these guys live about a year ago. Fantastic. Whoever the drummer was burned right through Aja. Michael McDonald joined them for a few songs including Peg. They did Deacon Blues. What a treat!
That does it. I'm poppin the cap off a beer and groovin... :dancingbanana:
marmelock wrote:
:bananasplit: :guitarist: :sunny: :guitarist: :bananasplit: One of the most underrated SD songs.. There's also a great version by Ivy of it on the 'Me, Myself and Irene' Soundtrack, which is almost only Steely Dan covers. Excellent version of 'Any major dude will tell you' by Wilco on this by the way ...
In the same vein here, I really liked "the push stars" version of "bad sneakers" from Me Myself and Irene... btw... I am a big SD fan, most especially Aja (jazz) one of my "desert island" albums... but I can find something to enjoy from any of their releases...
redeyespy wrote:
I think you're on to something. SD appreciation is hard to put into words, like tapping into an alternate dimension or something. A dimension into which not everyone can see. Even the newer stuff. To those without the "eyes," it just sounds like vapid smooth jazz. Some know better.
Hard to put into words it is... ...but you just did a pretty good job there. :group-hug:
fretman wrote:
Their name sounds like a dildo from a Burroughs book...
Yes, they named the band after the dildo "Steely Dan" from William Burrough's "Naked Lunch". Wikipedia (click here) and others often claim that the dildo was "steam powered". As an intrigued SD fan, I've read "Naked Lunch" and failed to find any dildo-related steam or even power. In fact the mighty Dan, though still Steely, is hardly mentioned at all in the book. WP's reference links to the SD site do not mention steam either. (click here) (click here)