I came of age in the 1970s, but my early education in popular music was limited, dismally, to WOW and KGOR radio in Omaha, Nebraska. These stations played the Top 40, with an emphasis on macho, shouty bands that frankly were not worth a crap, and you can tell them I said so.
One band they did play on the radio, however, was Steely Dan. One bar into a Steely Dan song and I am driving down Dodge Street at night in my 1975 Maverick (avocado green, thanks Uncle John, it was a sweet, reliable ride).
It is always a summer night in a Steely Dan song. Jazzy, blendy chords of summer, with cool, dark and incomprehensible lyrics.
Anyway, if you’re of a certain age, this essential Steely Dan mixtape from WFUV will take you back in a very pleasant, summery way.
And if you’re not of a certain age, listen up and enjoy it anyway.
“They got a name for the winners in the world/
I want a name when I lose.”
It’s so good.