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Major Dudes: A Steely Dan Companion

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Major Dudes: A Steely Dan Companion

Barney Hoskyns

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ISBN 13: 978-1-4683-1627-8
Trim Size: 6" x 9"
The Overlook Press

Product Description

The ultimate anthology of Steely Dan, one of the defining and bestselling rock acts of the last half-century

At its core a creative marriage between Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, Steely Dan has sold over 45 million albums and recorded several of the cleverest and best-produced albums of the 1970s―from the breathlessly catchy Can’t Buy a Thrill to the sleekly sinister Gaucho―making them one of the most successful rock acts of the past fifty years. More than ten years after their break-up in 1981, they returned to remind fans of how sorely they had missed their elegance and erudition, subsequently recording Two Against Nature and Everything Must Go during the following decade, touring continuously, and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Major Dudes collects some of the smartest and wittiest interviews Becker and Fagen have ever given, along with insightful reviews of―and commentary on―their extraordinary songs. Compiled by leading music critic and writer Barney Hoskyns, Major Dudes features contributions from Chris Van Ness, Steven Rosen, and the late Robert Palmer, and pieces including rare interviews and reviews of Steely Dan’s early albums from Disc, Melody Maker, and Rolling Stone.

With an afterword examining the musical legacy of and memorializing the late Walter Becker, who since his passing Rolling Stone has heralded as the “brilliant perfectionist behind one of rock’s most eccentric bands,” Major Dudes is the most comprehensive anthology of Steely Dan ever compiled and will be the centerpiece on every fan’s shelf.

"Compelling and revealing."
The Washington Post

“What enthralled me, and still does, is how the Dan’s happily seditious lyrics are wed to the complexity of the music. Most of the writers here understand that. . . . Becker and Fagen were notoriously tough interview subjects, and didn’t grant audiences often, so Hoskyns has managed to corral the best of the best. The pair’s biting humor comes across in the finest moments. . . . If I was teaching a class in writing about popular music, this would be one of the required textbooks.”
—Dwight Silverman, The Houston Chronicle

“Steely Dan saw the rottenness of the era ahead of time and staked a claim to a land that we would all eventually occupy. . . For a Dan fan, it’s fascinating to read about what the critics were hearing, which was a combination of baffled satisfaction, baffled ambivalence, and baffled displeasure. One thing that is consistent . . . is how different the Dan sounded from everything and everyone else. . . . Hoskyns has judiciously gathered a lot of perceptive thinking, especially admirable because of how unmusical most rock critics are and how complex the Dan’s music is.”
The Brooklyn Rail

Barney Hoskyns is the co-founder and editorial director of online rock-journalism library Rock’s Backpages (www.rocksbackpages.com), and author of numerous books including Across the Great Divide, Waiting for the Sun, Hotel California, and Lowside of the Road. A former MOJO correspondent, Hoskyns writes for Uncut and other publications, and has contributed to Vogue, Rolling Stone and GQ.

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