Friday, May 25, 2012

Third World Man

While the dynamic duo of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker may not be as celebrated as other personages of the American classic-rock scene, they are undoubtedly the monarchs of cool, sardonic rock: their words are heavy with scathing observations, cryptic pop-culture references, and wickedly shrewd asides. Their songs are all disciplined, structured within some of the most sophisticated, classy melodies; intensely tricky time signatures; fiendishly intricate harmonies; and brilliantly informed by decidedly non-traditional rock forms like post-bop jazz, Brill Building pop, Stax-Volt soul, Delta blues, and even big-band swing and arch art-rock. All this makes for a distinctive, technically perfect and enduringly excellent sound that has made Steely Dan one of the most respected and venerated institutions, right through to the present day. Check out a typically masterful live rendition of the underrated 'Third World Man', recorded during one of their comeback tours in 1993.


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