Sunday Music – Bad Sneakers

Posted on Sun 12/31/2017 by

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Today’s music video is Bad Sneakers and the song is performed here by the legendary American band Steely Dan.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by Donald Becker

This song I have featured today comes from Steely Dan’s fourth album, Katy Lied, brought out by this famed band, and released in mid 1975. (Was it really that far back, 42 years ago now) I was always a big fan of the band, right from their first album, Can’t Buy a Thrill. I was right into music in the early 70’s, and I had a small record shop I would frequent, a tiny little shop really. The owner knew me well, and he was always recommending albums to me, and in every case, his selections were always good, and I began to trust his choices. In early 1973, he pointed me to an album by a new band, Steely Dan, that first album of theirs, Can’t Buy A Thrill. Radio was playing the first Single from the album, Do It Again, but it would only have been played on a sporadic basis, because the song barely even registered in the Top 40, and was probably mostly played on late night radio. Trusting his recommendations as I did, I got the album, and found I really did like it. In mid 1974, he again directed me to one of their albums, their third album Pretzel Logic, and again I got hold of that also. I liked this one even better than the first one.

Now a big fan of the band, I was ready for their next release, and that was in 1975 here in Australia, the album Katy Lied, and when I got hold of that, I really liked it, and although another of the band’s songs is my favourite, this album was always the one I liked most for the whole album of songs. I have two further albums from the band, but Katy Lied was always my favoured album from this band. The really odd thing was that when I was asked for some of my favourite artists and bands, I would always say Steely Dan in that short list, and that was usually followed by the reply form whomever asked that question, “Never heard of them”, as the band received virtually no airplay for their songs here in Australia, and only that very first Single from their first album made it into the National Charts, and that was a fleeting thing of barely a couple of week, as even that song only got as high as the mid 30’s on the Top 40 Charts. It was perhaps the only time I was ahead of the ‘music game’ here in Australia, as to this day, I still do not know of one person who can name a Steely Dan album, or even one of their songs. It was a bit of a quirk really. A couple of their albums charted briefly here in Australia, but hey, not many people purchased albums in those long gone days.

And now here we are in 2017, and in the age of the Internet, something which was not even a far off distant thought bubble back in 1975. So, I went looking for some information on this song, and the album, and the band as well, and when I read some of that information, I was puzzled, as it seemed that whoever wrote some of that information seemed to be mentioning a different album to the one I had. I saw in that information that the two main members of the band, Walter Becker and Donald Fagan were not happy with the album. Ever the perfectionists that they were, they did not like the album all that much because of problems during the recording, did not listen to the finished product, and actually apologised for it on the back cover of the album, in the liner notes. So, with that in mind, I got my copy of the album out, and looked at the back cover of the album for that wording, and it just wasn’t there. Now that could be because my copy of that album is an Australian one, pressed here in Australia by the EMI Company. I would think that rather than ship copies of the vinyl album out here to Australia, they would have just sent out a copy of the Master Pressing, and the Australian albums were pressed from that, and the album liner notes would have been different, hence no sign of that apology.

Either way, it does not alter the fact that the album is still one of my favourites.

Throughout the years, Steely Dan has been categorised as having their music coming from a variety of music genres, and just look at this list. I thought of them as what they were referred to at the time, a rock band. These days, the band’s music is categorised as Smooth Rock, The West Coast Sound, Jazz Fusion, Jazz Pop, Blues Rock, and one I have never heard before, Yacht Rock.

In those days, I would read Rolling Stone, and in those days it came in the form of a tabloid newspaper, printed on newsprint, albeit with colour images, and thank heavens I trusted my own instincts when it came to the music I shelled out my own money for, because if I had have read the reviews for at least half of my albums, then there’s every chance I wouldn’t have bought them in the first place. This album Katy Lied, from Steely Dan got a variety of reviews, and most of them said that the album was just average really, with music that was well done, but not really of a stand out nature. It was said that this new album was not as good as their earlier album Pretzel Logic, and even later reviews, after the band had released a couple more albums, it still rated lower than even they did.

This song I have featured today was released as a Single, and it charted in the U.S. but only got as high as Number 103. What? 103. It didn’t make the charts at all really, and the song was virtually unheard on radio here in Australia, and I actually cannot recall hearing it on any radio I listened to at time. That’s a pity really, because it is a really catchy song.

I’m really glad that my record guy pointed out their first album to me years before, because had that not happened, there’s every possibility I may not have ever bought one of their albums, let alone the five of them that I do have.

Steely Dan is a vastly under rated band outside of the U.S. where they almost have legendary status.

I find it hard to believe that a song that stills sounds so good to my ears now is really more than 40 years plus old.

Posted in: Music, Videos