Steely Dan

The Royal Scam - ABC - 1976

Tracks: 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


The Royal Scam has a couple of the most catchy and commercial songs Steely Dan has ever recorded - “The Fez” and “Haitian Divorce” - both songs greatly influenced by reggae.

Like all Steely Dan the playing and production is sheer perfectionism. The songs are generally - apart from the two aforementioned - not as melodic as the ones one the previous album “Katy Lied”, and through there are great bits and pieces on all songs - especially some great guitar-parts - it may the the Steely Dan album that I have most difficulties to get really into.

For me the standout song is “Haitian Divorce” - I know some find it light-weight - but it’s a song that sticks with you - no surprise that it was among the few single-hits Steely Dan scored.

“The Fez”, “Kid Charlemagne”, “The Caves of Altamira”, “Sign in Stranger” are all fine songs; in fact apart from “Green Earring”, there are no songs I don’t like.

I guess you could call it a transitional album, linking the early melodic Steely Dan with the later more sophisticated side of the group.

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