The Royal Scam

November 23, 1999 | Format: MP3

$5.00
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
4:38
30
2
3:33
30
3
4:16
30
4
4:23
30
5
4:01
30
6
4:05
30
7
5:51
30
8
3:55
30
9
6:30

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: November 23, 1999
  • Release Date: November 23, 1999
  • Label: Geffen
  • Copyright: (C) 1999 MCA Records Inc.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 41:12
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000V6738K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,816 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

And this is one of their best albums.
jerryjoe
All the tunes are perfect creations melding rock guitars jazzy keys and horns with phat R&B and funk grooves.
Jonathan Guarriello
Walter Becker & Donald Fagen, aka Steely Dan, are the hippest cats in the music biz.
Alan Caylow

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 1999
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!
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Rollie Anderson on 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.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Hubbard on December 20, 1999
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.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "cousindupree" on 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.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Nathan on November 20, 2007
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.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bill on November 3, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This Steely Dan album falls between the blues-rock sound of "early" S.D. and the smooth production of Aja and beyond. This album strikes the perfect balance and is therefore one I would consider an all-time classic.

There are no bad songs and some of their best, and variety. The styles vary from quirky (Everything you did, which features an amazing twisting slinky guitar solo) to haunting (The Royal Scam and all it's darkness) to funked-up reggae (Haitian Divorce). Amazing guitar solos on Don't take me alive and picturesque songwriting (Caves of Altimera) highlight the variety on this recording. Following TRS SD's sound evolved into a smoother, poppier and generic one, solidifying The Royal Scam as the pinnacle of Steely Dan's creative abandon. While there'll never be another, be thankful that they made this one.
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