Sucking In The Seventies

Aja (1977) was my intro to Steely Dan. Musta heard it in the early 80s. It was everywhere back then. Sold like a billion copies. Super-slick jazz-rock. Or something. Never could tell where Steely Dan fit. Which was part of the draw. I went backward from there, the records getting weirder, gnarlier. Their early sound was rougher but still catchy, complex, absurd.
At some point, it was uncool to like Steely Dan. Maybe they became too commercial, too soft, too weird. Who knew? But you certainly weren’t advised to blurt out your affinity at a kegger. Might get you punched, or dumped.
The Dan picked up some punk cred when Minutemen covered “Doctor Wu” on their masterpiece Double Nickels on the Dime (1984). So that was cool. But then, Steely Dan were punks. Becker and Fagan had to have New York sized balls to drop Aja right in the middle of ‘77, punk rock’s Year Zero.
They didn’t care, and they didn’t fit in.
How punk.
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