Monday, September 27, 2021

Double Feature

Is it really seven years ago already that I had the pleasure to see Steely Dan on stage? My review says so.

Now they released a live album. Northeast Corridor.

The line-up is more or less the same as seven years ago -- only Walter Becker is missing, of course. The album is dedicated to his memory.

Recorded at four different venues, probably in 2019, the Steely Dan Band, as it's called now, played a sort of Greatest Hits set, from "Black Cow" to "Reelin' In The Years", even "Rikki Don't Loose That Number" is on the setlist, a track they didn't want to play formerly. One song from the Everything Must Go album is presented here live for the first time, "Things I Miss The Most", "A Man Ain't Supposed To Cry", an old Frankie Laine number, which appears as track 12 here, was the last encore. 

The musicians and singers, without exception, are superb. Even when Donald Fagen gets a bit into fights with the higher notes (he's 73 now, so I think he's allowed to), the four back-up singers stand in perfectly, you hardly notice how well they do it.

As you would expect from Steely Dan, the sound is absolutely first-class, the audience is audible but not mixed into the foreground, you can follow the overall sound as well as every single instrument, especially when using headphones. What else could you wish for!

But there's more!

There's also this:


The Steely Dan Band plays Donald's full solo album The Nightfly from 1982. The sleeves don't tell the recording dates, but it's same band and same venues, and the sound tells me that it's probably been a part of some of their 2019 shows. The vocals in "Maxine" are left completely to the back-up singers which works beautifully.

These two albums -- I think they belong together -- could easily be my records of the year. Just fantastic!