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Pretzel Logic

Pretzel Logic

by Steely Dan, Donald Fagen Steely Dan
Pretzel Logic

Pretzel Logic

by Steely Dan, Donald Fagen Steely Dan


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Countdown to Ecstasy wasn't half the hit that Can't Buy a Thrill was, and Steely Dan responded by trimming the lengthy instrumental jams that were scattered across Countdown and concentrating on concise songs for Pretzel Logic. While the shorter songs usually indicate a tendency toward pop conventions, that's not the case with Pretzel Logic. Instead of relying on easy hooks, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen assembled their most complex and cynical set of songs to date. Dense with harmonics, countermelodies, and bop phrasing, Pretzel Logic is vibrant with unpredictable musical juxtapositions and snide, but very funny, wordplay. Listen to how the album's hit single, "Rikki Don't Lose That Number," opens with a syncopated piano line that evolves into a graceful pop melody, or how the title track winds from a blues to a jazzy chorus -- Becker and Fagen's craft has become seamless while remaining idiosyncratic and thrillingly accessible. Since the songs are now paramount, it makes sense that Pretzel Logic is less of a band-oriented album than Countdown to Ecstasy, yet it is the richest album in their catalog, one where the backhanded Dylan tribute "Barrytown" can sit comfortably next to the gorgeous "Any Major Dude Will Tell You." Steely Dan made more accomplished albums than Pretzel Logic, but they never made a better one.

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Product Details

Release Date: 05/11/1999
Label: Mca
UPC: 0008811191726
catalogNumber: 11917
Rank: 1669


  1. Rikki Don't Lose That Number
  2. Night by Night
  3. Any Major Dude Will Tell You
  4. Barrytown
  5. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo
  6. Parker's Band
  7. Through with Buzz
  8. Pretzel Logic
  9. With a Gun
  10. Charlie Freak
  11. Monkey in Your Soul

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Steely Dan   Primary Artist,Track Performer
Donald Fagen   Keyboards,Alto Saxophone,Vocals,Background Vocals
Victor Feldman   Percussion,Keyboards,Marimbas
Plas Johnson   Saxophone
Jerome Richardson   Saxophone
Jim Gordon   Drums
Walter Becker   Bass,Guitar,Vocals
Jeff Baxter   Guitar
Ben Benay   Guitar
Wilton Felder   Bass
Jim Hodder   Drums,Background Vocals
Lew McCreary   Horn
Ollie Mitchell   Trumpet
Michael Omartian   Piano,Keyboards
David Paich   Keyboards
Jeff Porcaro   Drums
Dean Parks   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo
Timothy B. Schmit   Bass,Marimbas,Vocals,Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Ernie Watts   Saxophone
Denny Dias   Guitar,Percussion
Jeff "Skunk" Baxter   Guitar

Technical Credits

Donald Fagen   Liner Notes
Walter Becker   Liner Notes
Tubby Bruce   Contributor
Ed Caraeff   Art Direction
Jimmie Haskell   Orchestration
Gary Katz   Producer,Audio Production
Roger Nichols   Engineer
Michael Diehl   Reissue Design
Raeanne Rubenstein   Cover Photo
David Larkham   Original Design Concept
James Wesley "Bubber" Miley   Composer

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