Review: Steely Dan: Reelin’ in the Years

Steely Dan: Reelin' in the Years
Steely Dan: Reelin’ in the Years by Brian Sweet
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent work on a great musical act. Considering their success, it is really amazing how unsure of their actual performing abilities Donald Fagen and Walter Becker were, at least according to this book. Reality does seem to tally with what’s inside, considering the amount of actual touring Steely Dan did as an official group back in the day.

It’s hard to believe the number of hits Steely Dan had; or at least the number of songs that have gotten serious airplay over the years. While reading this book, I went back and started listening to my albums and there was a couple times on every one where I’d go “Whoa! They did that one, too?” This book really gets into the strange and elongated method that Fagen and Becker had for creating those early masterworks; at times they make Frank Zappa look simplistic in comparison.

This book is a fine look back at a great rock group, two great personalities, and the recording industry of the seventies. Definitely recommended!

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