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Coloring Club Plus — 11/29/19

Nov 29

Last night I listened to disc 1 of Citizen Steely Dan, a four-CD box set compilation album by Steely Dan, released in 1993. The set is a collection of all of Steely Dan’s albums (up to 1980) in chronological order, and also contains a non-album single (“FM (No Static at All)”), a non-album B-side (“Bodhisattva (Live)”), a rare compilation track recorded during the sessions for The Royal Scam but released only on the 1978 Greatest Hits (“Here at the Western World”), and a previously unreleased demo of “Everyone’s Gone to the Movies” (a song from their 1975 album Katy Lied).

The set is not, however, a complete compilation of every track released by Steely Dan up to 1993. Missing are both sides of the band’s 1972 debut single (“Dallas” b/w “Sail the Waterway”), neither of which has ever been re-issued on CD. This is due to the band’s dislike of the songs and refusal to allow them to be reissued.

The song I chose from the box set was originally on Countdown to Ecstasy their second studio album, released in July 1973 by ABC Records. It was recorded at Caribou Ranch in Nederland, Colorado and at The Village Recorder in West Los Angeles, California. After the departure of vocalist David Palmer, the group recorded the album with Donald Fagen singing lead on all the songs.

Although it was a critical success, the album failed to generate a hit single, and consequently charted at only number 35 on the Billboard 200. It was eventually certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), having shipped 500,000 copies in the United States. Well-received upon its release, Countdown to Ecstasy received perfect scores from music critics in retrospective reviews.

Bop-style jazz soloing is set in the context of a pop song on “Bodhisattva.” I find it very difficult to believe that Bodhisattva was not a hit single! I know it got a lot of radio play at the time this album came out. I love the frenetic energy of the song.

Bodhisattva, would you take me by the hand
Bodhisattva, would you take me by the hand

Can you show me the shine of your Japan
The sparkle of your china, can you show me

Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva
I’m gonna sell my house in town
Bodhisattva
I’m gonna sell my house in town

And I’ll be there to shine in your Japan
To sparkle in your china, yes I’ll be there
Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva

Bodhisattva, would you take me by the hand
Bodhisattva, would you take me by the hand
Can you show me the shine of your Japan
The sparkle of your china, can you show me

Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva
I’m gonna sell my house in town
Bodhisattva
I’m gonna sell my house in town

And I’ll be there to shine in your Japan
To sparkle in your China, yes I’ll be there
Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva, look out
Songwriters: Donald Jay Fagen / Walter Carl Becker

6 thoughts on “Coloring Club Plus — 11/29/19

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