Steve Albini explains why he hates Steely Dan

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by nomaj, Feb 7, 2023.

  1. nomaj


    Apr 2, 2012
  2. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Oh Steve… :p

    Steve was an edge lord before being an edge lord was cool and has remained an edge lord now that being an edge lord is no longer the cool thing to do.

    He makes SOME valid points from time to time, this case being no exception on some of his points, but it always feel like he’s trying to be a contrarian for the sake of being contrary. Great engineer and producer for the kind of music he likes to be sure.
    wintremute, Ikkir, Bass-ball and 16 others like this.
  3. FRoss6788

    FRoss6788 Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    Olympic Peninsula
    Steve who?...:meh:
  4. mike57


    Feb 12, 2009
    Our Fair City, MA
    "Music made for the sole purpose of letting the wedding band stretch out a little."

  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    different strokes.

    steely dan has been a great band to hear and see. i like almost all of their music and i think they were right on time delivering their own version of pop goodness. i think a few of their tunes are iconic. they helped bring 'jazz sounds' into the pop/top-40 mainstream. their arrangements are complete, and the musicians are extraordinary!

    i own no recordings and they wouldn't be my first pick from a well-rounded jukebox menu.
    jutty17, Bass-ball, 60bass and 16 others like this.
  6. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    There's a lot of that going around.
  7. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    No there’s not!

    …see what I did there? :p
  8. Bikeguy57

    Bikeguy57 Supporting Member

    When I clicked on that site, I read "Scrotum"... Kinda fits though.
    Bass-ball, woodyng2, DJ Bebop and 2 others like this.
  9. WG Plum

    WG Plum Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2021

    I like the first four-or-so Steely Dan albums in smallish, irregular, doses, but Aja and beyond do absolutely nothing for me, so I'm definitely in the edge lord's corner on this one. And let's face it, a lot of it DOES sound like the SNL band of the same era.
    Marihino, Passinwind, wmmj and 7 others like this.
  10. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Steve starts with a point of view - he's someone who strives to preserve what a band does in a recording. That point of view drives everything he does. He doesn't play "contrarian", he disagrees with things that don't fit his point of view - things that don't make sense given what he's trying to do. If you understand this about him, his reactions to things make perfect sense - there is a rock solid logic behind how he approaches things, and his reactions are very predictable, if you understand that.

    If you have a band and you love what you do, and want THAT on a recording, he IS your guy - there's nobody better at that than him. If you want to sound at all different from what you really are, he's NOT your guy. It really is that simple.
  11. MisterUbu


    Feb 25, 2020
    Toronto, Canada
    While I can appreciate steely dan reintroducing jazz to a pop-audience, I agree with steve on not liking the creative process of doing 103423994824918294819328 takes for the ultimate goal of reading someone else's mind in what they want.

    Tbh I'm of the camp that he's a better producer/engineer than a guitar player

    On a positive note, here's a steely dan related collab with John Entwistle of the brief supergroup "The Best"
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2023
    60bass, scowboy, woodyng2 and 5 others like this.
  12. SulzerType2


    Jun 10, 2022
    Steve clearly doesn't know enough music theory to get Steely Dan at any level. Say what you like but the Steely Dan guys put huge amounts of effort into their work.
  13. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    His position as a "music archivist" as opposed to a recording engineer or producer has been pretty widely known for decades. He makes it pretty clear.

    His point of view is often not the majority or popular opinion of the day as has been seen over the course of his career. The definition of a contrarian is someone who opposes or rejects popular opinion. I think that applies perfectly well to his stance on many things both in the music industry and outside of it.

    On some things, certainly. On other things, definitely not. Some of his engineering arguments have been discredited by many in the field.

    I'd agree with that, but I fail to see what it has to do with the topic at hand.
  14. RichterScale


    Feb 21, 2021
    Funny, I was just thinking to myself:
    I wonder what Steve Albini thinks of Steely Dan.
  15. Jonny Thunder

    Jonny Thunder Supporting Member

    May 15, 2021
    SF Bay Area
    I was happy to see them at the Shoreline shortly before Walter Becker died. They were (are?) a great band. Totally original. Many iconic tunes.
    Paul New, jutty17, BassGuyFL and 6 others like this.
  16. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I was at the Pine Tar Extravaganza in Chicago almost 30 years ago and Steve Albini walked up to the urinal next to me dressed in an old school baseball uniform and some drunk dude approached him at that moment and said “OH MY GOD, STEVE ALBINI!!!! SAY SOMETHING COOL!!!”
    Novarocker, HolmeBass, 31HZ and 8 others like this.
  17. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Was that the tour they did with Elvis Costello? I caught that one in Auburn WA. My wife and I had nose bleed seats and were randomly approached by a woman who said she had bought first row seats for her anniversary with her husband, but didn't know that he had bought first row center seats already. She holds out the tickets and says "do you guys want to sit up front in our extra seats?" Totally random, but we moved up, the tickets were legit, and we watched the show right in front of Walter. It was wonderful.
  18. GregC

    GregC Questlove, Black Thought, Hamilton Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Ha, I saw this on Twitter yesterday and wondered if it would get posted here. I generally respect Albini, even if I don't always agree with him. In this case, I think he's partly right. I like certain Steely Dan songs--the more concise ones, usually--but eventually, the unending slickness makes me not want to listen any more for a good while.
  19. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    personally, i'm not going to spend any amount of time on someone explaining why they hate music.

    is there anything beyond that at that link?
  20. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx!

    Oct 31, 2006
    Western Hemisphere
    hard to respect the opinion of a person who was in a band called r*peman