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Everything Must Go

Everything Must Go

4.2 13
by Steely Dan

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For decades, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker have built an image as tortured perfectionists, wiseass cynics and purveyors of some of the smartest songs to have ever lodged themselves in the classic rock playlist. Well, on this disc -- "only" two and a half years in the making -- they go a long way toward


For decades, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker have built an image as tortured perfectionists, wiseass cynics and purveyors of some of the smartest songs to have ever lodged themselves in the classic rock playlist. Well, on this disc -- "only" two and a half years in the making -- they go a long way toward divesting themselves of the first two portions of that troika, delivering a batch of songs that crackle with a live spark not heard since the dawn of the Dan, not to mention a heretofore unaired streak of sincere humanity. Several songs on Everything Must Go -- particularly the wistful title track and the lonely ramble "Things I Miss the Most" -- take on topics like mortality and loss, offering more palpable reactions than the shrug of their past loner anthems. Similarly, "Slang of Ages," one of the disc's gnarlier numbers, finds Becker -- taking lead vocal chores in the studio for the first time -- reflecting on his past descent into drug addiction without romanticizing, or actively proselytizing against, the whole shebang. Even more surprising is the disc's sonic tenor, which builds on the comparatively bouncy grooves laid down on 2000's Two Against Nature: "Godwhacker" brings the funk with a sweaty fervor, while "Pixeleen" dapples the band's traditionally sleek surface with a mottling of cyberpunk nastiness. Although its title may conjure a sonic garage sale, Everything Must Go is actually brimming with some of the freshest sounds Steely Dan has ever crafted.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
When Steely Dan released Two Against Nature in 2000, their first album in 20 years, it was an unexpected gift, since all odds seemed against Donald Fagen and Walter Becker reteaming for nothing more than the occasional project, let alone a full album. As it turned out, the duo was able to pick up where they left off, with Two Against Nature seamlessly fitting next to Gaucho and earning the band surprise success, including a Grammy for Album of the Year, but the bigger surprise is that the reunion wasn't a one-off -- they released another record, Everything Must Go, a mere three years later. Given the (relatively) short turnaround time between the two records, it comes as little surprise that Everything Must Go is a companion piece to Two Against Nature, and sounds very much like that album's laid-back, catchy jazz-funk, only with an elastic, loose feel -- loose enough to have Walter Becker take the first lead vocal in Steely Dan history, in fact, which sums up the Dan's attitude in a nutshell. This time, they're comfortable and confident enough to let anything happen, and while that doesn't really affect the sound of the record, it does affect the feel. Though it as expertly produced as always, there's less emphasis on production and a focus on the feel, often breathing as much as a live performance, another new wrinkle for Steely Dan. Sometimes, it also sounds as if Becker and Fagen have written the songs quickly; there's nothing that betrays their high standards of craft, but, on a whole, the songs are neither as hooky nor as resonant as the ones unveiled on its predecessor. While it might have been nice to have a song as immediate as, say, "Cousin Dupree," there are no bad songs here and many cuts grow as nicely as those on Two Against Nature. But the real selling point of Everything Must Go is that relaxed, comfortable, live feel. It signals that Steely Dan has indeed entered a new phase, one less fussy and a bit funkier (albeit lite funk). If they can keep turning out a record this solid every three years, we'd all be better off.
Blender - Tony Power
Steely Dan sound hungry, relevant and full of ideas.

Product Details

Release Date:
Reprise / Wea


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Steely Dan   Primary Artist
Ada Dyer   Background Vocals
Donald Fagen   Organ,Synthesizer,Percussion,Piano,Vocals,Clavinet,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer,Soloist
Walt Weiskopf   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Walter Becker   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Tawatha Agee   Background Vocals
Bill Charlap   Piano,fender rhodes
Gordon Gottlieb   Percussion
Jon Herington   Guitar
Kenneth Hitchcock   Clarinet
Tony Kadleck   Trumpet
Brenda White-King   Background Vocals
Hugh McCracken   Guitar
Cindy Mizelle   Background Vocals
Chris Potter   Tenor Saxophone
Jim Pugh   Trombone
Roger Rosenberg   Baritone Saxophone
Catherine Russell   Background Vocals
Ted Baker   Piano,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Michael Leonhart   Trumpet
Carolyn Leonhart   Background Vocals
Keith Carlock   Drums

Technical Credits

Donald Fagen   Arranger,Producer,Horn Arrangements
Walter Becker   Arranger,Producer
Roger Nichols   Engineer
Elliot Scheiner   Engineer
Art Smith   Drum Technician
Dave Russell   Engineer
TJ Doherty   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Everything Must Go 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
steely dan, the egghead rocker/jazzy/ funky musicians who wowed me threw the years , seem alittle out of shape. ilove 4 1/2 songs on the new album, you pick your own favs. that is the trick they allways have songs for diffrent people . the reason i give them 3stars out of 5 ,well the lyrics are kicking great, don F.vocal sound is great but i liked the horn days, hard driven jazzy sound with the great funny lyrics, don F. weird vocal sound. these tracks are for every one so go out to your store give the thing a wurl, and don't forget to kiss your check-out gurl. the horns are therebut, not as hard jazzy sound of the 70-80 and even part 0f the 90's.but you make up your ouw concusions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was blown away when I heard the digital stream recently. I am a casual fan of the dan, as I am with many other artists but this album has hit a cord in me. Specifically, the groove. Their last effort was "great" but no more or less. This album is infectious. Case in point, I was literally humming "Godwhacker" for hours after having only listened to it once. The same is true for the title track which is, IMO, one of the most well written songs in the last 10 years. That being said, to create this perfection after receiving a grammy for their last toil seems "inconceivable" as my headline states. I could only pity the person that doesn't find this music sometime in their life. 2003 will be delightful with this DVD/DVD-A in my car, home, office etc...
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Everything Must Go" is an amazing gift to connoisseur's of creative and well-crafted music. The tracks on this album get better with each listen.....characters jump out of lyrics, mystery provokes meaning, mortality casts its dark shadow, yet energy abounds. The multi-layered rock/jazz beat showcases Walter and Donald at the top of their game. "GodWhackers", "Pixeleen", and "Lunch with Gina" are exhilerating. Outstanding concept songs, such as the title track, are complemented by the fascinating brood of "Things I Miss the Most." Any professional music reviewers who feel compelled to knock down recent grammy-winners should completely open their ears and minds to this album. In terms of total quality music and song production by original artists, "Everything Must Go" is as good as it gets.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album has an awesome feel. It felt foreign to me at first, but so did all the other Steely Dan albums. I played it twice through and have to say I'm very impressed. The music, and lyrics for that matter, have subtle hooks that really tear into you after a few times listening. The funky groove, Becker's guitar solos, and Fagen's keen emphasis of lyrics are just the shell. The rest is many layers of sonic bliss, including Carolyn Leonhart's backing vocals and the superb horn section. This album tops their previous album, Two Against Nature, which earned four Grammy's. This album is to music as filet mignon is to food.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Man, does Slick Pete know how to live or what? When I saw the 'Dan earlier this year in San Marino they flummoxed us all by pulling out "The Year of the Cat" after all these years. Even though I think it is actually the year of something else this year-- marmoset? lynx? I don't have the placemat here. No matter. Cornelius Bofus' sax thingie was slammin'. Don and Walt are real class guys too-- sticking around after the show to meet my little sister's field hockey team, giving them pointers and guessing correctly that they were from an all-girls Catholic school. (They even guessed the girl's ages with amazing accuracy!) But yeah, great album. Sure wish there were more stars than five. And you have GOT to check out that parody of the Sonny Rollins "Out West" cover. Too much.
Guest More than 1 year ago
So far I really enjoy this album. Great suff. Catchy, funky, and Becker's vocals are great. But that review above, that just tripped me out man.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Donald Fagen and Walter becker again prove they are the kings of sophisticated pop/jazz/rock music with this new release. The album has the usual blend of cryptic lyrics, great jazz solos, funky rythmic licks, and sparkling production that Dan fans have come to expect. Conceptually similar to their quadruple-Grammy Winning Two Against Nature, themes of love and loss, aging, and remembrances of 1950's & 60's culture abound. The melodies here are first-rate again. My favorites so far are "Blues Beach" and "Things I Miss The Most". "Blues Beach" is a great upbeat tune with sassy lyrics and most importantly, loads of little electric guitar and Rhodes electric piano embellishments throughout. Overall, this record has a more "live" feel than Two Against Nature, partly because it was recorded analog, and less multi-tracking was employed. The rythm section is really tight throughout, the horns tastefully blaring at just the right moments, and the whole album just moves along nicely, although I think the first half of the album is a bit better than the second half, at least at first listen. This CD is definitely worth buying. I'll be buying the DVD-Audio and the Deluxe CD, not wanting to miss out on any of the musical manna that Fagen and Becker have showered down on us. Rest assured that if you like Steely Dan, you will not be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Becker and Fagan have done it again. Everything Must Go is a S.D. classic in every sense of the word. This recording has the "feel" of a 70's release by the Dan and along with the previous release,(Two Against Nature), make it seem like they were always there and didn't take such a long hiatus. Classic Dan tunes on the disc include, the title track and Things I Miss The Most. Do your self a favor and run out to get this disc. Do yourself another favor this summer and go see the Dan live! I am a veteran of past S.D. shows and you will have a great time with gentlemen that I consider musical legends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the Dan's weakest effort yet with some of their most forgettable songs to be found in their repertoire. As usual, the playing is precise and spot-on. That is aside from Becker and his relentlessly unimpressive blues soloing. Let's get straight to it. The first of quite a few altered blues-structured pieces is the opening track Last Mall. Nothing special is to be found here. the lyrics are perhaps the best part, but they simply cannot compensate for the lack of depth and interest this song conveys. The next song is Things I Miss the Most which sounds like an even more boring version of Two Against Nature's What a Shame About Me (is that even possible?) Two words sum up this song - tame and lame. Even the melody line Donald produces is unsophisticated and dull. Add some Becker 'trademark blues twiddling' and you've got boring + pathetic. So far, so dull. Next up is Blues Beach, one of the cheesiest, stupidest songs Don has ever conceived, and this song is chosen for radio play? The gimmickry of Blues Beach is that it's a happy, bright song with dark subject matter for the lyrics. Excuse me for this, but so what? This song is uneventful and sounds like it doesn't belong on a SD album. Move to 'GodWhacker' - or 'one boring riff repeated over and over'. This is just Jack of Speed redone with different lyrics and a slightly quicker tempo. The lyrics are about knocking God off. "You better step back son/GodWhacker's on the case." Perhaps it would've been better if somebody knocked these 5 minutes off the album before it ever got the chance to bore me with corny lines like this one taken from Elmer Fudd (no kidding) "Be very, ve-ry quiet..." Oh, and that super-awful synthesizer harmonica solo by Donald is another lousy attempt by him to sound like Stevie Wonder (whom I might add is nothing more than a boring stand-in guy for all the new 'artists' out there). I'll sum up Slang of Ages pretty quickly - it sucks. Didn't Walter learn his lesson from 11 Tracks of Whack? He cannot sing and anything with his vocal is nothing less than agonizingly awful. This song just sucks, and it's a good thing he didn't get a chance to ruin a great piece of music like Any Major Dude or Home At Last. The album's first good track comes with Green Book. Here (at last) is a snazzy piece that is reflective of the Dan of old with interesting harmonic movements and a stellar arrangement of soft glowing sounds which all add up to create an atmosphere similar to Almost Gothic but with it's own personality. And what a nice segway into the cadence! Good stuff. Next is Pixeleen, an o.k. song with some quirky vocal work by Donald but the chorus is not satisfying and at the end it's a bit irritating to hear them sing "Pixeleen" nine times in a row. Lunch With Gina is probably the best song (at least as good as Green Book). Donald sings from the narrative perspective of some guy who's obsessed with a waitress (Gina obviously) to the point of being a stalker. The song itself is reminiscent of Donald's uptempo numbers off of Kamakiriad (Florida Room, Tomorrow's Girls) with a awesome sythesizer solo which is nothing short of the 'mad & wiggy' Donald used to describe this album. I don't know about the album being mad & wiggy, but this song? Definetly. Finally we come to the title track Everything Must Go. It's another o.k. song but pales in comparison to a Dan classic like Deacon Blues. The bridge starts out pretty and then just becomes average. Same goes for the sax solo by Walter Weiskopf - starts nice and quickly bogs down due to his over-stylish runs which are just too cramped with meaningless notes, like he's trying to showcase his ability to throw alot of notes around, but inevitably just winds up showcasing his one-dimensionality. This is not one of the better sax solos to be found in a SD song. There's 2 good songs, 2 o.k. songs, and 5 bad/boring songs. No classics. I've listened to the album about 20 times (which
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is a outstanding follow up to Steely Dan's Grammy comeback album Two Against Nature, and it's great from start to finish, but on "Slang of Ages", Walter Becker provides the lead vocals. This album is a must for all Steely Dan fans to enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Steely Dan and of Becker and Fagen individually. I have all their albums, and recently picked this one up. The album is not bad, but clearly not up to their previous efforts. I heard nothing on this album that made me want to listen to it again, unlike Two Against Nature, which played nonstop in my CD player at work for hours the day I got it. It's almost like someone else making a poor copy of a Steely Dan album, or perhaps a collection of Steely Dan studio rejects from previous recording sessions. "Slang of Ages" clearly shows why Fagen should handle the vocals. "Green Book" has a quirky, repetitious groove that is the best track on the album. Otherwise, the lyrics make for better poetry than music. Definitely at the bottom of my Steely Dan collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was thrilled to have them back with Two Against Nature in 2000, which had a taste of the old Dan, but sounded more like a Becker/Fagan solo album colaboration. But this is the real deal. Things I Miss the Most, Godwhacker and Everything Must Go..hell, even Last Mall...all great, classic up to the minute Steely Dan, like they never went away. "I still recall the way they led the charge and saved the day", indeed!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If this album is anything like the songs I heard on the 2002 tour, this cd could be their best one yet. A bunch of co-workers and I went out to see the band last summer and we really had a blast. I finished off a pint of El Toro beforehand and was in prime form. I nailed our intern in the back of my 89 Tempo outside in the parking lot and she gave me a wicked case of crabs. That was the only highlight and bummer of the night. The funniest thing was that our boss came along and when he went to the bathroom, I stuck my tongue in his wife's ear and spit in his coke. Nobody likes that prikk. Afterwards, I volunteered to drive home and took the sidewalks the whole way back. It was awesome, we had AC/DC jamming the whole way. I actually hit some lady's shopping cart that she was pushing around the neighborhood. Stupid bag lady. Some of the songs that they played live featured saxophonist Michael Brecker, who is an excellent Altoist. Their new drummer is phenominal, too. He really adds a jazzy feel to the music.