Released in 2006, THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION is a handsome repackaging of 16 of Steely Dan’s finest moments. Featuring a cover design that perfectly captures both the sophistication and the off-kilter seediness of group masterminds Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, the collection goes heavy on the hits, including such wry pop gems as “Reelin’ In the Years,” “FM,” “Hey Nineteen,” and the delightfully funky “Peg.” While Steely Dan can be a tricky band to pin down–displaying both a genuine love of pure pop and a cool detachment that can border on aloof–Becker and Fagan’s amazing ability to blend pop’s myriad forms into a smooth sound unmistakably their own remains striking decades after the music’s original release. With a songwriting approach nearly academic in its precision, the Dan’s mix of jazz, pop, funk, and rock is a mash-up for a pre-digital era: postmodern fusion music by way of the Brill Building. And while there are several quality Dan comps on the market to make that case, the DEFINITIVE COLLECTION is as concise a display of the band’s virtues as one can find.
Track List of “The Definitive Collection” – Album by Steely Dan:
1. Do It Again