“Pretzel Logic” by Steely Dan - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1974Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

The arbiters of taste dictate that this is the one you should all be raving about in 1974. Album-of-the-year in the NME, album-of-the-year according to influential critic Robert Christgau and voted second best record of the year in the Pazz & Jop, an annual poll of prominent critics published by The Village Voice. Officially they remain a quintet: Donald Fagen (keyboards, saxophone, lead and backing vocals), Walter Becker (bass, guitar, backing vocals), Jeff Baxter (lead guitar, pedal steel guitar), Denny Dias (guitar) and Jim Hodder (backing vocals). Hodder's previous role as studio drummer was assumed by Jim Gordon - the writing was on the wall for his future with the ever-ambitious Fagen / Becker partnership. Their brand of progressive pop is finely tuned this time, meticulously structured within the regular confines of regular-length pop-songs. The appeal is easy to understand; it's largely sophisticated, sunny and non-threatening soft-rock, although the rhythmic piano stomper “Charlie Freak” is an exception. In this 'un, a guy takes advantage of a homeless junkie, buying his gold ring for a pittance, with which the poor unfortunate acquires his last, lethal hit. There's a poignancy with the jiggling jingle-bells which rattle throughout. Bastard! That's more like it Steely Dan.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [04:30] 3.1.png Steely Dan - Rikki Don’t Lose That Number (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
A2 [03:36] 3.3.png Steely Dan - Night by Night (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
A3 [03:05] 2.2.png Steely Dan - Any Major Dude Will Tell You (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
A4 [03:17] 4.6.png Steely Dan - Barrytown (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) Folk Rock / Americana
A5 [02:45] 4.3.png Steely Dan - East St. Louis Toodle-Oo (Duke Ellington, Bubber Miley) Country
B1 [02:36] 3.1.png Steely Dan - Parker’s Band (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
B2 [01:30] 3.6.png Steely Dan - Through With Buzz (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) Cerebral Pop
B3 [04:28] 3.5.png Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
B4 [02:15] 4.7.png Steely Dan - With A Gun (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) Country
B5 [02:41] 5.6.png Steely Dan - Charlie Freak (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) Cerebral Pop
B6 [02:31] 3.4.png Steely Dan - Monkey In Your Soul (Walter Becker, Donald Fagen) Pop

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