The Royal Scam
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The Royal Scam Steely Dan's The Royal Scam cd review

1976

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Steely Dan Pretzel Review

The Royal Scam review 

Steely Dan'salbum The Royal Scam has plenty to offer. It starts out strong with "Kid Charlemagne,"  which sports a funky Stevie Wonder like keyboard tone, well placed background vocals, a friendly beat, and serious guitar attack. The following few tracks seem to highlight a particular instrument as its focus. For example, the next track "The Caves of Altamira" with its jazzy pop sound, emphasizes horns. It is followed by "Don't Take Me Alive" that is heavy on guitar, with an introduction certain to grab your  attention. The next song, "Sign in Stranger," emphasizes piano, and is one of the better tracks on the The Royal Scam; one of the most under rated Steely Dan compositions.  

Perhaps lacking original content or showing their admiration of the times, Steely Dan do their interpretation of the disco fad with "The Fez" that results in an interesting and different Dan song. They also mimic Peter Frampton with their reggae influenced "Haitian Divorce." In 1976 his album Frampton Comes Alive brought the talk box, wah wah tone to popularity with his monstrous hit "Do You Feel Like I Do." 

Overall the guitar on The Royal Scam is very, very good, even if it is more polished than usual. The song writing is balanced and they touch on several themes. The result is just a notch below Steely Dan's standards. The album best songs may not be in the league of "My Old School" or "Do it Again," but it has a handful of must have tracks as well as number of fine songs.  The Royal Scam is not Steely Dan best album, but it has more than enough good material to highly recommend it.  by Barry Small
Grade 
B +

Steely Dan The Royal Scam Song List
Track List

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1. Kid Charlemagne (Becker / Fagen) 4:37
2. The Caves of Altamira (Becker / Fagen) 3:32
3. Don't Take Me Alive (Becker/Fagan) 4:14
4. Sign in Stranger (Becker / Fagen) 4:21
5. The Fez (Becker / Fagen / Griffin) 3:58
6. Green Earrings (Becker / Fagen) 4:05
7. Haitian Divorce (Becker / Fagen) 5:48
8. Everything You Did (Becker / Fagan) 3:54
9. The Royal Scam (Becker / Fagan) 6:31

Steely Dan The Royal Scam Musicians
Musicians:       

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Donald Fagen - Keyboards, vocals 
Walter Becker - Bass, guitar 

Additional Musicians:  
Keyboards - Victor Feldman, Paul Griffin, Don Grolnick
Guitars - Walter Becker, Larry Carlton, Denny Dias, Dean Parks, Elliot Randall
Bass - Chuck Rainey
Drums and Percussioan - Rick Marotta, Bernard Purdie, Gary Coleman, Victor Feldman
Horns - Chuck Findley, Bob Findley, Slyde Hyde, Jim Horn, Plas Johnson, John Klemmer
Background vocals - Venetta Fields, Clydie King, Sherlie Matthews, Michael McDonald, Tim Schmit

Steely Dan The Royal Scam - Credits
Notes:

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Label MCA
Released 1976

Steely Dan The Royal Scam - Ordering

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Steely Dan The Royal Scam Ordering

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