Showbiz Kids: The Steely Dan Story 1972-1980

Showbiz Kids: The Steely Dan Story 1972-1980

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by Steely Dan

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Essentially a more sensibly scaled rendering of the excellent Citizen Steely Dan box set, his two-disc compilation culls 32 craftily crafted nuggets from the potentates of penetrating pop -- or, in their later years, the monarchs of enigmatic mellowness. Presented chronologically, the songs on Showbiz Kids offer plenty…  See more details below


Essentially a more sensibly scaled rendering of the excellent Citizen Steely Dan box set, his two-disc compilation culls 32 craftily crafted nuggets from the potentates of penetrating pop -- or, in their later years, the monarchs of enigmatic mellowness. Presented chronologically, the songs on Showbiz Kids offer plenty of follow-the-bouncing-ball cues to help you gauge the erratic evolution of Steely Dan. Beginning with the cynically sizzling rock tone of Can't Buy a Thrill tunes like "Do It Again" and "Reelin' in the Years," disc one dovetails nicely into increasingly offbeat constructions like the homicidal "Black Friday" and the Hunter Thompson-in-the-tropics yarn "Doctor Wu." The nicely annotated set's second disc picks up the thread at that frazzled end, teasing listeners with tales of glamour and distress like the patricide anthem "Don't Take Me Alive" and the prescient safe-sex ditty "The Fez" before offering a breather in the form of the burnished radio staples that dominated Aja -- notably "Deacon Blues." Steely Dan completists won't find anything new lurking under these covers, but those seeking an entry into the world of this dazzlingly complex band would be hard-pressed to do better than Showbiz Kids.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
There is an audience for the double-disc set Showbiz Kids: The Steely Dan Story 1972-1980, although it may be a small one -- it's a set for listeners who want something a little more extensive than A Decade of Steely Dan or Gold yet don't want to invest in full albums. On that level, it works quite well, since it does have all the chart and radio hits, plus a terrific sampling of classic album tracks from "Only a Fool Would Say That" through "Any Major Dude Will Tell You" to "Time Out of Mind." So Showbiz Kids winds up being useful for neophytes -- although it's hard not to imagine anyone who gets this set, believing that this will be all the Steely Dan they'll ever need, eventually succumbing and buying all the studio albums. If that's the case, at least they'll already have "Here at the Western World" and "FM," and won't have to purchase one of the two multi-disc sets that contain these non-LP songs.

Product Details

Release Date:
Island Uk

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Disc 1

  1. Do It Again
  2. Dirty Work
  3. Reelin' In The Years
  4. Only A Fool Would Say
  5. Change Of The Guard
  6. Bodhisattva
  7. The Boston Rag
  8. Show Biz Kids
  9. My Old School
  10. Rikki Don't Lose That Number
  11. Night By Night
  12. Pretzel Logic
  13. Any Major Dude Will Tell You
  14. Black Friday
  15. Bad Sneakers
  16. Doctor WU
  17. Any World (That I'm Welcome To)
  18. Chain Lightning

Disc 2

  1. Kid Charlemagne
  2. Don't Take Me Alive
  3. Haitian Divorce
  4. The Fez
  5. Here At The Western World
  6. Black Cow
  7. Aja
  8. Deacon Blues
  9. Peg
  10. Josie
  11. FM
  12. Babylon Sisters
  13. Hey Nineteen
  14. Time Out Of Mind
  15. Third World Man

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Steely Dan   Primary Artist
Rick Derringer   Guitar
Donald Fagen   Piano,Keyboards,Vocals
Larry Carlton   Guitar
Lanny Morgan   Saxophone
Chuck Rainey   Bass
Elliott Randall   Guitar
Walter Becker   Bass,Guitar
Hal Blaine   Drums
Jeff Baxter   Guitar
Wilton Felder   Bass
Patricia Hall   Background Vocals
Jim Hodder   Percussion,Drums
Royce Jones   Saxophone,Background Vocals
Myrna Matthews   Background Vocals
Hugh McCracken   Guitar
Michael Omartian   Piano
Jeff Porcaro   Drums,Dorophone
Dean Parks   Guitar
John Rotella   Saxophone
Ernie Watts   Saxophone
Snooky Young   Flugelhorn
Denny Dias   Guitar
Sherlie Matthews   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Donald Fagen   Composer,Liner Notes
Michael Brecker   Contributor
David Sanborn   Contributor
Tom Scott   Contributor
Walter Becker   Composer,Liner Notes
Paul Griffin   Composer
Gary Katz   Producer
Mark Knopfler   Contributor
Roger Nichols   Engineer
Timothy B. Schmit   Orchestration

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Showbiz Kids: The Steely Dan Story 1972-1980 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
JEANPIERREFORRES6 More than 1 year ago
 I must correct a mistake I recently made. This is the album I fell in love with, never once listening to The Very Best of Steely Dan. That review is about this this album, which I still strongly recommend. I'll be more careful next time! Peace.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Finally, a Steely Dan compilation that gets it right. Though A Decade of Steely Dan and Gold were both fair representations of the band's career, particularly the former, they were too skimpy. Citizen Steely Dan is a great box set, but perhaps a bit much for those who only want the essentials. Admittedly, some may argue about just what constitutes a Steely Dan essential, but the tracks on this compilation are all top contenders. All of the duo's hit singles and popular LP tracks are included here. I would have liked to have seen more from Countdown to Ecstasy, Pretzel Logic and Katy Lied and not so much from Gaucho, the Royal Scam or even Can't Buy a Thrill, but Aja, their masterpiece is well represented here with 5 of the LP's seven tracks. The five tracks from Can't Buy a Thrill are arguably the best five from that record, but four tracks from Gaucho, one of the worst albums ever made and unbefitting of this stellar act, is a bit much. If you buy this compilation you may still want to buy Countdown to Ecstasy and Pretzel Logic, and maybe Katy Lied. Other than that you really cannot go wrong with this collection.
glauver More than 1 year ago
Unless you want every track the group made, this is probably enough. Disc 1 was Becker and Fagen at their peak, writing and performing single length songs that were as cryptic as Bob Dylan and full of great, jazzy guitar. Disc 2 chronicles their move into more jazzy territory and their descent into ever more vague lyrics. I know many admire the later songs but I feel the duo had lost the bite of the early classics. The fact that, together and apart, they produced less music in the next 30 years than they did in the 70s is significant. I give 5 stars to Disc 1 and 3 to Disc 2.