Walter Becker Melody Maker - Essay

Melody Maker

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Only the real Steely Dan fans listen hard enough to] know that "Reelin' In The Years" is as venomous as [Bob Dylan's] "Positively Fourth Street," or that "Do It Again" is a very black little tale about a born loser, or that "King Of The World" is, in fact, about the end of civilisation.

These are dark, even bitter, themes, and it's the special irony of this, the most ironic of rock groups, that their glossy musicianship should be a lick of paint upon a nest of Chinese boxes, in which moves intact a world so enigmatic and different in mood from the sunny image of hit-makers. Surely the disparity between their intentions and their reception by an audience is quietly enjoyed by Steely Dan's principals...

(The entire section is 805 words.)