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Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic RIAA Certified Platinum! Click here to see this CD at!

By John Milward

Pretzel Logic marked a transition for Steely Dan from a studio-bound rock band producing hits such as "Reeling in the Years" and "Do It Again" to a looser constellation of studio musicians under the direction of songwriters Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. That later version of Steely Dan would paint its masterpiece with Aja. Pretzel Logic is much more playful than that, and also jazzier than the albums that came before. The jazz intentions are made perfectly clear on "Parker's Band," a swinging tribute to bebop titan Charlie Parker, and a crafty cover of Duke Ellington's "East St. Louis Toodle-oo." The lyrics displayed their own twisted logic, presenting a tumble of images in search of a unifying principle that most often remained elusive. Steely Dan was that rare act that could work such purposeful obscurity to its advantage: "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" was a top-five hit even though nobody had a clue as to what it was about. Or, perhaps, everybody had a clue, but nobody could agree.

1. Rikki Don't Lose That Number7. Through With Buzz
2. Night By Night8. Pretzel Logic
3. Any Major Dude Will Tell You9. With A Gun
4. Barrytown10. Charlie Freak
5. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo11. Monkey In Your Soul
6. Parker's Band


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"While the lyrical intent of "Ricki Don't Lose that Number" remains somewhat opaque and "Barrytown" is fairly obvious, (take the real life history of E. St Louis as a clue) - my take on the rest of the album is that Becker and Fagan are making a pretty muscular rant against the devastation of drug addiction and it's purveyors. Examples of the overall conceptual theme - "Charlie Freak, (I'm)Thru with Buzz and Monkey in your soul", make it abundantly clear that this is one of the first albums with an anti-drug abuse - (if nothing else, anti-smack & coke) lyrical theme. Beyond that, it is one of those few albums that to me is a true "Desert Island Disc" and I can listen to over and over and it just gets better with time."


"This is the album that turned me into a complete Steely Dan freak. They grab you with the first note and don't let go until the last. If you can't feel the groove in Parker's Band, its time to call the undertaker. And of course, how could they lose with Skunk Baxter sittin' in? "C'mon man and take a piece of Mr. Parker's band""

--The Magic Rat

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Artist: Steely Dan

Released: May 27, 1974

Availability: CD, Vinyl

Awards:  Platinum

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