ARTIST: Steely Dan
TITLE: Pretzel Logic
YEAR RELEASED: 1974
CHART ACTION: #8 US, #37 UK
SINGLES: Rikki Don’t Lose That Number (#4 US, #58 UK), Pretzel Logic (#57 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Any Major Dude Will Tell You, East St. Louis Toodle-OO
LINEUP: Donald Fagan, Walter Becker, Jeff Baxter, Denny Dias, Jim Hodder – plus 15 other session musicians.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Third album from jazz-pop group finds the band become more of a duo + session musicians, and the songs are shorter and less jazzy.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Are shorter songs better? Well, they’re no doubt more commercially viable. Personally, while the set of songs put forward by Walter Becker and Donald Fagan are just as complicated and lyrically obtuse, for my ears I preferred their longer excursions.
That’s not to say that this isn’t chock full of great stuff. “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” may be the ultimate Steely Dan song, and the second side has all kinds of characters running in the lyrics. The playing is impeccable, of course, with barely a note out of place.
It seems to my ears that some of the songs could have had some more exploration, since there’s some interesting ideas put forward.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: This was the last album that the original group toured in support.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A-: I do think that some songs should have been explored further, and some could have been saved for another day. That’s just me.