Steely Dan's Best Songs About Gambling
Danny Clinch What Donald Fagen and Walter Becker really want to know is, do you feel lucky?
That most notoriously unsentimental of bands, Steely Dan, are coming back to North Texas. (Well, the North Texas area. Kind of.) Comprised essentially of two men, singer Donald Fagen and guitarist Walter Becker, the band has shuffled unapologetically through its band members over the years, drawing primarily on the likes of top-notch session musicians for classic albums like Countdown to Ecstasy and Aja.
It's appropriate, then, that gambling is such a prominent theme in their catalog. After all, playing the odds can make for one cold, cruel experience. So in honor of the Dan's visit to WinStar Casino just over the border in Thackerville, Oklahoma this Friday, here are 10 of their best songs about the vice.
1. Show Biz Kids
"You go to Las Vegas," opens up this killer track from 1973's Countdown to Ecstasy. Sure, Thackerville's no Vegas, but this is one of the best early Dan songs where Walter Becker and Donald Fagen were not afraid to rock.
2. Green Earrings
From 1976's The Royal Scam, "Green Earrings," like many Steely Dan songs, is where the imagery is more important than any literal meaning. Hearing about Greek medallions and goggles and stealing earrings certainly sounds appropriate for a casino.
3. Haitian Divorce
Also from The Royal Scam, this reggae-tinged single speaks to what happens after a few too many trips to Thackerville.
4. Any Major Dude Will Tell You
"I never saw you looking so bad, my funky one," sings Fagen on this classic song from 1974's Pretzel Logic. The song serves as a warning for those who have "the demon at your door."
5. Black Cow
From 1977's Aja, one of the best albums of that sad decade, "Black Cow" permeates like the sweet alcoholic beverage it's named after. And we all know how well (or sadly) drinking goes with gambling.