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Countdown to Ecstasy

4.8 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Total price: £22.51
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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 April 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mca
  • ASIN: B0000300CV
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 255,602 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It is indeed a fantastic record, taking the brilliant blueprint which was Can't Buy A Thrill, tightening it up and adding ingredient X - Donald Fagen's vocals - unconventional but right on the money for these songs. At this stage the Dan were still mining a rich seam of great tunes - the well would dry up around Katy Lied and for me they would come to rely overmuch on increasingly dry and sophisticated musicianship. Here the musical brilliance and the songs are in perfect balance. So too is the trademark cynical wit and the often-overlooked heart and soul - acid a-plenty in songs like Show Biz Kids, but Pearl of the Quarter (to name but one) is a beautiful song.
First heard this album when I was fourteen, 30 years ago. It still comes up as fresh now as the day I first heard it. If anything, it gets richer. No collection should be without one.
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By A Customer on 26 Oct. 2000
Format: Audio CD
This album has a very raw energetic feel to it and even manages to surpass the (very high) standards set by Can't Buy a Thrill. You get the impression they enjoyed recording this one - just listen to the guitar-work on Bodhisatva, Boston Rag, My Old School and King of The World - this is musicianship of the highest order, not forgetting session man Rick Derringer's outstanding slide guitar performance on Show Biz Kids. Fagen produces his most flambuoyant keyboard playing on any Steely Dan album on Bodhisatva and Your Gold Teeth - check out Becker's bass-line on the same track too and Jim Hodder's drumming is excellent throughout. Its perhaps a shame Fagen and Becker broke up this line-up after Pretzel Logic. As with any Dan album, Countdown to Ecstasy has their trademark cynical lyrics, especially on tracks like Showbiz Kids and Razor Boy, whilst the obscure references in Your Gold Teeth keep you intrigued. This is an essential album for all Steely Dan fans, and a good introduction to the band's work for those yet to discover the Dan.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Later Dan has its advocates - Ian MacDonald, for one, argues strongly for the merits of `Gaucho' in his very fine 'The People's Music' - but I belong to the 'first 3 albums are the best' fraternity. Unlike 'Katy Lied', which, for me, marks the beginning of the Dan's decline, there's not one ounce of filler on this record. A much more cohesive affair than 'Thrill', the Dan's second album benefits from having a singular vocalist and, unlike the slick, session-man concoctions of the later years, is greatly enhanced by being the product of a working band (+ illustrious guests). The record is packed with musical incident and variety: the vibes on 'Razor Boy', the Rhodes workout on 'Your Gold Teeth', slide guitar on 'Show Biz Kids', synth on 'King of the World', etc. The Dan make a virtue out of combining mordant lyrics with a jaunty 'beat', the superb 'Razor Boy' being a case in point. But top honours go to 'King of the World'. Easily passed over at the back end of the album, this is surely one of the Dan's finest creations. Written from the point of view of a post-nuclear survivor, the lyrics are bleak, yet not without the customary wit - 'Watch the sun go brown/Smoking cobalt cigarettes' - and the upbeat arrangement, oddly enough, works with rather than against the 'story'. I find it all rather moving in an unsentimental kind of way.

Anyone thoroughly cheesed off with the Kaiser Chiefs/Arctic Monkeys/Scouting for Girls hegemony and U2/Coldplay-style corporate rock would do well to give this a spin. Not all 70's stuff involved sticking knives into Hammond organs or writing 'meaningful' lyrics about goblins and the like.
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By Og Oggilby TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Mar. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
£2.88 pence. That's precisely what I paid for Countdown To Ecstasy by Steely Dan when I bought it as an import back in 1973. I've still got the old ABC Records vinyl. It sounded great then, and over forty years later, it sounds as fresh, invigorating and innovative as it did Way Back When. The music is beautifully produced, incisively arranged, and there's not a note out of place, without the music sounding sterile. I can't believe that any discerning music fan doesn't have this already. If not, correct that anomaly right now - music of this value has never been able to obtain as cheaply as it is right now. I bought mine for less than I paid for the original import vinyl...
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Format: Audio CD
I have benn passionate about rock/pop music since the age of 5, right from the Beatles, Stones, Purple,Zeppelin, Hoople, Little Feat, Punk, Talking Heads, Grunge etc. and in all that time nothing has surpassed the lasting brilliance of Steely Dan's second album.A friend played it to me soon after it was released and I thought it hard work compared to other stuff around at the time, but I stuck with it. Every track slowly reveals itself to be a masterpiece of melody ,atmosphere and great playing, especially if you love the sound of guitars.Tracks to take to your grave include Showbiz Kids and My Old School,but like all the truly great albums,this has no duff tracks and sounds as fantastic now as it did 30 years ago.Do yourself a favour and add it to your collaction.
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By scoon2 VINE VOICE on 26 Dec. 2004
Format: Audio CD
The second "proper" Steely Dan album and it is quite different from their debut. Firstly, there are no obvious tracks that are commercial enough for a single. The album is very much a whole. There is a very noticeable jazz tinge to some of the tracks and we see the use of horns , a sound that was soon to become a trademark of The Dan. There are superb guest performances particularly Rick Derringer on Slide Guitar on Showbiz Kids and Jazz man Victor Feldman playing vibes on The Razor Boy. Some of the synthesizer sounds have dated this a little bit but overall the album has aged well and remains a cool enterprise after all these years. Sharp lyrics, superb musicians. Rather wonderful really.
Reccomended.
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