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Citizen Steely Dan: 1972-1980 Box set

123 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, December 14, 1993
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$37.14
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Citizen Steely Dan: 1972-1980 + The Nightfly + Aja (Remastered)
Price for all three: $49.12

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Everything this reclusive studio duo-Donald Fagen and Walter Becker-ever released on their seven platinum-selling albums, plus the hit single FM , two B-sides ( Here at the Western World and a live Bodhisattva ) and a previously unreleased demo of Everyone's Gone to the Movies . Big booklet, too!

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As should be expected, Steely Dan's four-disc box set isn't like all the other rectangular pop-music retrospectives/tombstones. Not for Messrs. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen the typically bloated, ego-jacking crate padded out with childhood recordings, suspect cassette demos, and broken-down session takes, annotated by candid snapshots purloined from some distant relative. Nope, this is simply Dan Mach 1's complete oeuvre, from the craft-conscious pop of Can't Buy a Thrill to the jazzy torpor of Gaucho, laid out chronologically and neatly compressed into four discs, with not even a handful of "bonus" cuts (a live recording of "Bodhisattva," a '71 demo of "Everyone's Gone to the Movies" with Flo and Eddie on the side, "Here at the Western World," a Royal Scam outtake, and their obligatory soundtrack cameo, "FM") to color outside the lines. The liner notes are suitably smart, even if they occasionally strain trying to stay astride of B&F's patent sardonicism. For the aspiring Steely Dan completist, a fine place to start. --Jerry McCulley

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 14, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: December 14, 1993
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000002ORE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,759 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

181 of 190 people found the following review helpful By kaputnik on December 4, 2004
Format: Audio CD
It really does seem convenient, doesn't it - getting all of an artist's work in one nice neat package, with a cute booklet thrown in. And make no mistake about it, everything that's on here is worth owning. The problem is, this particular package was flawed from the very beginning. Lets start with the fact that, had the cheapskate record company been willing to stretch to five discs (and we all know how much a blank cd costs by now), they could have presented each of the albums without interruption (Katy Lied + The Royal Scam fit on one disc), instead of rudely cutting off three of them (mid-side no less). An even bigger problem is that, as Messrs. Fagen and Becker have ruefully recounted many times in the years since, MCA didn't bother locating the master tapes for this... they used the same weak transfers that were done in the 80's and had someone tweak them a little bit. Adding insult to injury, they then reissued the individual albums with a sticker proclaiming them to be "Newly Remastered by the Artist". And you wonder why these guys record for a different label now. Sheesh.

Anyway, the story does have a happy ending. In 1999, Don + Walt presided over a _real_ remastering of the albums, with the help of Roger Nichols, who'd engineered the original albums. Those cds, available today, sound spectacular and feature groovy liner notes that tell a lot more about the band than this booklet does.

Do yourself a favor - get the albums individually. Even the untrained ear will marvel at the immaculate sound, and there's barely any price difference anyway. Enjoy!
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106 of 111 people found the following review helpful By R. Wyatt on December 22, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is a bargain set. Cynical record companies being as they are, it will probably be withdrawn when they release the new Steely Dan album in Feb 2000 and try to maximise their back catalogue profit margin. Buy it now before it goes. It has every track from their seven classy studio albums plus the soundtrack single FM and a few extra demos etc on 4 CDs. The CD remastered sound quality is first class and the packaging is OK if somewhat pretentious - probably what you would expect from a pair of smart alecs like Becker and Fagen. The music itself is uniformally wonderful, I cant think of any other rock act who are anything like as consistent - the result of making use of/ collaborating with the best musicians of the day. The quality of the musicianship. compositional skills and songwriting are unequalled and will probably never be bettered in the pop music field. The seamless integration of fabulous guitar playing with keyboard and horns is sheer quality. Their best period, in my opinion was Countdown to Ecstasy where they used jazz well but didnt take too long thinking about it. Your Gold Teeth is a magnificent cut, an awesome piano solo, great guitar and about as far away as you can go from the 4 minute pop song without distancing yourself from pop music fans. I guess that the strength of Steely Dan is they know just how far to push out the envelope without alienating the listener who doesnt normally like jazz and other exotica. An essential purchase and as sophisticated as popular music can get. The best body of music to come out of the USA in the seventies. Quality.
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95 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Ian K. Hughes on October 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Based on the music alone, this box set ("CITIZEN STEELY DAN") containing the 7 original studio recordings (1972-80) deserves the highest possible recommendation.
The Steely Dan "story" is well-known to aficionado's but perhaps worth a review for the benefit of those new to the music: the intellectual and aesthetic background (beatnik/bebop ethos, Bard College) of founders Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, the amazing debut album, the early touring days and heated breakup of the original band (1974), Becker and Fagen's "retirement" from the road (for the remainder of the 70's), their use of "satellite" studio musicians on subsequent recording projects, disbanding again to pursue solo careers in 1981, re-forming to tour in 1993/94 and most recently, the recording of two studio albums (2000 & 2003) which show no dimming of creative powers on the part of the two principals. From a vantage point 30+ years down the line from Steely Dan's formation, it is clear that Becker & Fagen's music transcends the fleeting contemporary "moment" it continues to elicit interest on the part of listeners (new and old) who appreciate its unique marriage of creativity and craftsmanship, an achievement all the more glorious when compared to the trivial period pieces that comprise most pop and rock offerings.
STEELY DAN CHARACTERISTICS:
1. Song-style: Vignettes, grotesqueries with occasional touches of poignancy. Characters: a dissolute crew of fallen idols, hacks/quacks, junkies, dealers, glamour-queens, gamblers, power-brokers, revolutionaries.
2. Lyric content stock-in-trade: arcane references, self-mocking tone, parody, irony, black humor, the bizarre, hallucinatory, non sequitur, confessional, quasi-redemptive.
3.
Read more ›
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I listened to Steely Dan in high school in the late 1970s and thought AJA was a fine piece of work. Several years after my record player finally broke down and I ended up unloading my LP collection in favor of CDs, I came upon this box set of Citizen Steely Dan. All Dan Fans would be well-served in acquiring it. I don't know what I can add to the various reviews and pretentious critiques over the years of this extraordinary band (or should I say repeated gatherings of excellent studio musicians?)except to say that Steely Dan exemplifies the best of what pop music can be. The songs had far more heart than they were ever given due recognition for. Listen closely to Fagen's lyrics and within the dark passions you can hear the heart what is being said. And for as sleek, cynical, mysterious and driven as their repetoire was, one cannot help but stand in awe of the sheer quality of musicianship displayed over and over again. They avoided the monstrous excesses that plagued the other titanic rock bands (i.e. The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones) which proved too often to be fatal. There was never, nor will there likely be, another band like them. All that being said, we can all look forward to hearing their new album, due out early next year! After twenty years, all the best to you, Fagen & Becker!
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Citizen Steely Dan: 1972-1980
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