Today I took some time to listen to a pair of bookends from one of my favorite bands, Steely Dan’s 1972 debut Can’t Buy A Thrill and their pre-breakup finale, 1980s Gaucho:
I’d previously discussed how I came to own these records in this blog post.
It was interesting to contrast the two; the former being grittier, punchier and more guitar based than the jazzy, luxurious latter.
It’s no surprise really; the Can’t Buy A Thrill Steely Dan was a fully formed band that, over an eight year period, was boiled down to its essence as the studio workings of founders Walter Becker and Donald Fagan and producer/engineer team Gary Katz and Roger Nichols.
It’s almost like listening to two different bands.
As a P.S., One of the best things about Can’t Buy A Thrill is the guitar work by Skunk Baxter, who left Steely Dan to join the Doobie Brothers in 1974. Wondering what he was up to these days Wikipedia had this to say: “Jeffrey Allen “Skunk” Baxter (born December 13, 1948) is an American guitarist, known for his stints in the rock bands Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers.
More recently, he has been working as a defense consultant and chairs a Congressional Advisory Board on missile defense.”