My first recollection of hearing Steely Dan was the song Reeling In The Years, and I remember being absolutely blown away by the sound and proficiency of the lead guitarist. This was several years before I actually started playing guitar, but the Dan’s music had made an early mark on my budding guitarist brain. Choosing an album to feature from them was a toss up, because their level of excellence was virtually unsurpassed in rock music. I decided to go with The Royal Scam from 1976 for no other reason than it was loaded with top shelf guitar work from Larry Carlton, Elliot Randall, Walter Becker, Dean Parks, and Denny Dias. The lead off song, Kid Charlemagne, remains one of my all time favorites, with some absolutely sublime soloing by Carlton. The title song and Don’t Take Me Alive are also standouts in an album with literally no weakness. In less than 3 weeks I will be seeing Steely Dan in concert for the very first time, and I am beyond excited to finally cross them off my musical bucket list!
Written By Braddon S. Williams