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Charted: May 22, 1976

Rating: 3.950 (average of 14 ratings)

Genre: jazz rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Kid Charlemagne
  2. The Caves of Altamira
  3. Don’t Take Me Alive
  4. Sign in Stranger
  5. The Fez
  6. Green Earrings
  7. Haitian Divorce
  8. Everything You Did
  9. The Royal Scam


sales in U.S. only 1 million
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 million


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 15
peak on U.K. album chart 11

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Kid Charlemagne (7/10/76) #82 US
  • The Fez (9/25/76) #59 US
  • Haitian Divorce (12/11/76) #17 UK

The Royal Scam
Steely Dan
The Royal Scam is the first Steely Dan record that doesn’t exhibit significant musical progress from its predecessor, but that doesn’t mean the album is any less interesting. The cynicism that was suppressed on Katy Lied comes roaring to the surface on The Royal Scam – not only are the lyrics bitter and snide, but the music is terse, broken, and weary” (Erlewine).

“Not so coincidentally, the album is comprised of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen’s weakest set of songs since Can’t Buy a Thrill. Alternating between mean-spirited bluesy vamps like Green Earrings and The Fez and jazzy soft rock numbers like The Caves of Altamira, there’s nothing particularly bad on the album, yet there are fewer standouts than before. Nevertheless, the best songs on The Royal Scam, like the sneering Kid Charlemagne and Sign in Stranger, rank as genuine Steely Dan classics” (Erlewine).

Review Source(s):

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previous album: Katy Lied (1975) next album: Aja (1977)

Last updated April 3, 2008.