Album: Can’t Buy a Thrill
. . .
Whereas Steely Dan had to cut “Do It Again” down to a playable size in order to get it on AM radio, they did no such thing for the follow-up, the utterly incandescent “Reelin’ in the Years,” which is my favorite Steely Dan song bar none. My guess is that I’m not alone in that assertion.
An utterly mean-spirited break-up song, “Reeling in the Years” comes storming out of the gate with a shit-hot guitar solo — which establishes the song’s massive hook — by one Elliott Randall, a lifelong session cat whose wikipedia page lists an insane amount of work in music, TV, film and stage shows. And while Randall was (and is) a long time-friend of Fagen, Becker and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter — who I guess was fine Elliott doing all of the leads — he had no desire to join Steely Dan on full-time basis, which somehow makes all of this even more immortal. (Though he played on other Steely Dan records after Fagen & Becker got rid of everybody else.)