Prime Music

Buy New

Includes FREE MP3
of this album.
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
$5.15 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Sold by Garots Media.

More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player


The Royal Scam [Original recording remastered]

Steely DanAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)

Price: $7.14 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
   Provided by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. Terms and Conditions. Does not apply to gift orders.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Want it Thursday, Oct. 23? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Complete your purchase to save the MP3 version to your music library.


Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 1999 $7.99  
Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 1999 $7.14  
Vinyl --  
Audio Cassette, 1989 --  

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.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Kid Charlemagne 4:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Caves Of Altamira 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Don't Take Me Alive 4:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Sign In Stranger 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Fez 4:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Green Earrings 4:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Haitian Divorce 5:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Everything You Did 3:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Royal Scam 6:30$1.29  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Steely Dan Store

Visit Amazon's Steely Dan Store
for all the music, discussions, and more.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Frequently Bought Together

The Royal Scam + Pretzel Logic + Katy Lied
Price for all three: $17.12

Buy the selected items together
  • Pretzel Logic $4.99
  • Katy Lied $4.99

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 23, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: 1976
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Mca
  • ASIN: B00003002D
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,822 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This scam went off without a hitch, reaching #15 in 1976 and hitting the charts with Kid Charlemagne and The Fez . The Dan are at their wry, sardonic best here, with gems like Green Earrings and Haitian Divorce -and this reissue has complete lyrics and original artwork for the first time since the album's original release!

Ever the primary conceit of mainstays Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, 1976's The Royal Scam marks the first time the Steely Dan duo actually owned up to the fact. Musically, it's their edgiest, most guitar-driven record (thanks to Becker and a murderer's row of session greats that includes Larry Carlton, Elliot Randall, Dean Parks, and Denny Dias). Lyrically, the songs cut an ever-sardonic, presciently discomforting slice of modern life that was a couple decades ahead of the game (who else was extolling the virtues of condom-couture, à la "The Fez," mid-Me Decade?). Though it didn't garner the radio attention of Aja, its more jazz-suffused, multiplatinum follow-up, Scam boasts a diverse, occasionally muscular musical rhetoric and some of the Dan's most telling portraits (the deranged, yet all-too-familiar killer of "Don't Take Me Alive," "Kid Charlemagne"'s drug-culture celebrity, the tropical convenience of a "Haitian Divorce"). Small wonder many Dan fans consider it their best. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steely Dan for Guitar Lovers May 20, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Die hard rock fans who cringe at the sound of horn sections and piano solos often dismiss Steely Dan with comments such as, "but they're JAZZ," as though uttering a dirty word. I think The Royal Scam would be a good place to begin for those who may be willing to give Fagen and Becker another chance. Try the following: program Kid Charlemagne, Don't Take Me Alive, The Fez, and Green Earrings on your CD player, put on your headphones, pump up the volume, and by the end of the last track you'll be in air guitar heaven! Then start playing the entire CD from beginning to end several times in a row (it is designed as a concept album), listen to the lyrics carefully (it can be like poetry, obscure but worth the effort of interpretation), and I'll bet (like so many of my at-first resistant friends), you'll become a convert, ready to try more of their recordings (perhaps Countdown to Ecstacy would be a good next choice). Steely Dan's music is NOT jazz (although they have fused its elements into their sound seamlessly), but like the best jazz (not the "smooth" psuedo-fusion variety), it may at first seem too complex or disjointed to an ear accustomed to and expecting the easy pleasures of formulaic top 40 hits. But once the Dan's music has insinuated itself deep into your system (mind, heart, and soul), the intoxicating pleasures that it ultimately does give up will never grow tired, dated or stale. Steely Dan is timeless. Trust me!
Was this review helpful to you?
57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive May 16, 2005
Format:Audio CD
From the first note I could tell the remastering done on this classic album was top-notch. The incredible drums are so crisp and clear that it sounds like you are standing in the booth with them. This is the one that sort of flew under the radar because it lacked that "monster" hit song that was so important to the record promotion guys but it is one of their best ever. The songs are quirky, as usual, but the guitar, keyboard and horn performances are awe-inspiring. I've had this album since it came out on vinyl but listening to this new, upgraded version makes it seem like a whole new collection of songs. Wow.
Was this review helpful to you?
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Odds are that you know this music, and nothing I can say would influence your purchase of it. But, I'll say this - the new remaster is ABSOLUTELY worth the money, especially since the record company did the right thing and didn't jack the price for the remaster. I can't believe how much clarity the new remaster gives the instruments, particularly on Bernard Purdie's drums and the keyboard sounds throughout. If you enjoy this album, you really need this new edition, even if you, like me, hate re-buying music you already own.
Was this review helpful to you?
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steely Dan's best March 13, 2000
Format:Audio CD
The Royal Scam, more than any other Steely Dan album, balances their meticulously-smooth arrangements with an edgy spontanaeity. The opening track, Kid Charlemange, is perhaps the most addictive song the band has ever produced, with a hook equal to "Do it Again" or "Rikki" but with far more substance (no coincidence they played this one twice when I saw them in '94). The musical theme of the album is a brilliant balance between Fagen & Becker's song construction and the incredible guitar solos of Carlton & Co. Lyrically, it appears to be a loose concept album set in society's underworld. Despite the connections, however, each song remains its own musical entity; from the guitar-driven "Don't Take Me Alive," the piano-bang "Sign in Stranger," and the slow-developing title track, there is not a weak one on the album. This album is the most tightly connected combination of rock and jazz, of complexity and aggression, ever produced.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steely Dan At Their Peak November 20, 2007
By Nathan
Format:Audio CD
Steely Dan reached their peak in many ways with The Royal Scam. Although slightly less focused than Pretzel Logic, The Royal Scam is probably their best instrumental effort, better even than Katy Lied. The guitar solo on "Kid Charlemagne" (reportedly by Larry Carlton) has been rightly hailed as one of the best in all of recorded rock, but it isn't even the best guitar solo on this album. That title goes to the solo on the bridge of "The Fez," which is only slightly better than the one on the intro of "Don't Take Me Alive." Other instrumental highlights include the horns (and particularly the tenor sax solo) on "Caves of Altamira," and the lead guitar on "Haitian Divorce." The rhythm tracks feature the great Bernard Purdie's drums on (according to his web site) about half of the songs, but whoever is playing, there isn't a less than excellent instrumental performance on the entire album. Yes, the lyrics are exceedingly dark and brooding, but are delivered as only Fagen could deliver at his hard-edged best. Superbly arranged and performed, The Royal Scam deserves the honor of being called Becker and Fagen's masterpiece.
Was this review helpful to you?
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant masterpiece... August 14, 2007
Format:Audio CD
put out about a year before their AJA release The Royal Scam gives a tantalizing hint about the brilliance to come from Becker and Fagan. The maestros of the studio along with Larry Carlton, Denny Dias and Timothy B. Schmidt(Eagles) amongst many others have created a darker, more cynical album then Aja but just as brilliant.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Dan August 6, 2007
Format:Audio CD
This was the first Steely Dan album I ever heard/bought (many decades ago), and although Aja is now my favourite (just) this remains the one I return to the most.
There are many great moments but the high point for me is the wonderful guitar solo, played by Larry Carlton, at the end of Kid Charlemagne.
Kid Charlemagne is typical of the whole album, which is full of fantastic grooves typified by The Fez and Green Earrings. However these grooves are actually played by musicians rather than machines (as is the tendency these days).
I'm not great on lyrics, but even I can spot some of the humour in these songs.
So to sum up, quality song-writing, top quality musicians and great production means an essential purchase for either the Steely Dan fan who has somehow missed this album, or if you're of a younger generation and want to try something different.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection in action
Published 18 days ago by J. Pozak
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Don't listen to this without your Fez on!
Published 1 month ago by MARK C URICK
5.0 out of 5 stars steely dan fan
i enjoyed there albums and songs for years.
Published 1 month ago by Kurt Mstoecklhuber
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Great Steely Dan.
Steely Dan's fifth album "The Royal Scam", is without a doubt one of the top 100 albums of the Seventies, I'll have to make up that list someday, of course it will be a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by ScottE
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the BEST II
Another one like the Countdown album . Just can't say enough good about it. Very sophisticated and artful. LOVE iiiiit!!!11
Published 1 month ago by Thomas A. Gaston
5.0 out of 5 stars I own this on vinyl and while I am glad to have the physical item
I own this on vinyl and while I am glad to have the physical item, I wanted it in digital format. What a great album.
Published 2 months ago by George Holmes
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my favorite Steely album/CD
When this album came out (1975?) I played it over and over again. I couldn't get enough. This is my favorite Steely album/CD......and I have all of them. Read more
Published 2 months ago by R. Dean
5.0 out of 5 stars See the glory of The Royal Scam
Delightful album. While the reviewers said they broke no new ground I say that this album has no B sides. Read more
Published 2 months ago by erdprod
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Super sounding CD. Probably their second, or third best album. Only behind Aja, and possibly Can't Buy A Thril.
Published 3 months ago by Chris Malkowski
5.0 out of 5 stars What can I say..............
It's Steely Dan man. You either love them or you don't. I like Dan so much buying one of those compilation "greatest hits" albums just won't do. Read more
Published 4 months ago by jerryjoe
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Look for Similar Items by Category