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Charted: December 2, 1972

Rating: 4.549 (average of 13 ratings)

Genre: jazz rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Do It Again
  2. Dirty Work
  3. Kings
  4. Midnight Cruiser
  5. Only a Fool Would Say That
  6. Reelin’ in the Years
  7. Fire in the Hole
  8. Brookly (Owes the Charmer Under Me)
  9. Change of the Guard
  10. Turn That Heartbeat Over Again

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 1.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 1.0


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 17
peak on U.K. album chart 38

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Do It Again (11/18/72) #6 US, #39 UK, #34 AC
  • Reelin’ in the Years (3/10/73) #11 US


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. Mojo Magazine’s 100 Greatest Albums

Can’t Buy a Thrill
Steely Dan
“Walter Becker and Donald Fagen were remarkable craftsmen from the start, as Steely Dan’s debut, Can’t Buy a Thrill, illustrates. Each song is tightly constructed, with interlocking chords and gracefully interwoven melodies, buoyed by clever, cryptic lyrics. All of these are hallmarks of Steely Dan’s signature sound, but what is most remarkable about the record is the way it differs from their later albums.” STE

“One of the most notable differences is the presence of vocalist David Palmer, a professional blue-eyed soul vocalist who oversings the handful of tracks where he takes the lead. Palmer’s very presence signals the one major flaw with the album – in an attempt to appeal to a wide audience, Becker and Fagen tempered their wildest impulses with mainstream pop techniques. Consequently, there are very few of the jazz flourishes that came to distinguish their albums – the breakthrough single, Do It Again, does work an impressively tight Latin jazz beat, and Reelin’ in the Years has jazzy guitar solos and harmonies – and the production is overly polished, conforming to all the conventions of early-‘70s radio.” STE

“Of course, that gives these decidedly twisted songs a subversive edge, but compositionally, these aren’t as innovative as their later work. Even so, the best moments (Dirty Work, Kings, Midnight Cruiser, Turn That Heartbeat Over Again) are wonderful pop songs that subvert traditional conventions and more than foreshadow the paths Steely Dan would later take.” STE

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Links:

next album: Countdown to Ecstasy (1973)

Last updated November 16, 2010.