Glamour Profession

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Sloop John B, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. Sloop John B

    Sloop John B Supporting Member

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    About a year ago, I listened to "Gaucho" for the first time and have been hooked on it ever since. For me, "Glamour Profession" is the standout track - I listen to it almost every day. It is such a unique piece of music. The lyrics are really brilliant, and the music serves them perfectly - the whole thing evokes an upscale, sleezy vibe.

    And of course, Steve Khan's outro solo (and the "chorale" thing in the bridge) is sublime.

    Serious questions - what is the inspiration for a piece of music like this? Where does this sound come from? What can this be traced to?

     
  2. Coach T.

    Coach T. Member

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    I have no idea where Fagan and Becker get their ideas but thank the gods that they do. Love every thing they do. They are solid top three all time for me.
     
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  3. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Agreed.

    Their 9 studio albums, plus Donald's 4 solo efforts, continue to have regular rotation here. Their music never grows old for me.
     
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  4. changeling

    changeling Member

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    ...where the strings come in.
    I know they are both big Gustav Mahler fans...that's all I got.
     
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  5. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    Fagen grew up in the NYC 'burbs, and was a HUGE straight ahead jazz fan as a kid.
    He used to go into the city and hang out at jazz clubs to see his early heroes play.
    He also listened to a lot of jazz radio after school, and grew to be heavily influenced by
    the composers from the 50's and 60's.

    That's all I got...big Dan Fan here!

    S.
    j
     
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  6. tribalfusion

    tribalfusion Member

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    So for the musical part of your question, they are sort of the endpoint of the old tin pan alley writers who had a much broader harmonic palette than pop composers subsequently.

    Add to that the straight ahead jazz, blues and R and B, jazz age soundtracks by Schifrin and people like Bernard Hermann and a love of crafting fine arrangements, working a ton in the studio with great session men who often contributed more than is stated openly (Larry Carlton translated a lot of their writing to the session men i. e. he arranged them).

    I hope that helps.
     
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  7. ecm1117

    ecm1117 Member

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    Here's a chart:

    [​IMG]

    Lots of jazz harmonies, both modern and traditional. Some cool "constant structure" bits, and the famous Steely Dan chord in a couple of places (C/D, Ab/Bb, and Bb/C).

    Great writing as always.
     
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  8. speedtaco

    speedtaco Member

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    I want to know what Hollywood's middle name is.

    That's my favorite SD album. Gaucho is the standout for me.
     
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  9. Kurt L

    Kurt L Member

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    Huge Steely Dan fan here as well!

    Love Becker and Fagen's compositions and they always surround themselves with the best musicians.

    Then there are the incredibly high production values! I still use their recordings with Roger Nichols as a benchmark any time I need to test out some new monitors for the home studio.

    Treated myself to a pair of Genelecs a few years ago in part because "Don't Take Me Alive" sounded so good! There are many other recordings I used as well, but SD put out several albums that were damn near perfect.

    P.S. I always enjoy the "Classic Album" DVDs and the episode on "Aja" has lots of great interviews and stories.
     
  10. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    I love Steely Dan and completely agree about "Glamour Profession"......one of my absolute favorite SD songs. As for where their sound came from....I have no idea....they were different from the very beginning and then got even more differenter and, iMO, better, too.....
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
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  11. ethereal cereal

    ethereal cereal Wave upon wave of demented avengers... Silver Supporting Member

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    Has anyone else ever used Szechuan dumplings as a lyric in a song?

    Brilliant song and lyrics. Another huge Steely Dan fan here.
     
  12. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    Is that score Donald Fagen's own handwriting?
     
  13. ecm1117

    ecm1117 Member

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    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
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  14. Sloop John B

    Sloop John B Supporting Member

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    If the song is really about Thomas Henderson (which is one interpretation I read), then Hollywood is his middle name!
     
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  15. Swirl

    Swirl Member

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    I always thought it was about Magic Johnson.

    That aside, what a great record gaucho is. IMO it is the pinnacle of steely Dan.
     
  16. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    I always thought "ly" was Hollywood's middle name!

    :)

    S.
    j
     
  17. Quantumphysics

    Quantumphysics Member

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  18. Tiny Montgomery

    Tiny Montgomery Supporting Member

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    Before I looked more closely, I thought the thread title was a rare instance of somebody spelling "Gilmour" correctly.
    I think it might be Stevie Wonder's. The third chord is a 34n6, right?
     
  19. corbs

    corbs Supporting Member

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    It's difficult to describe the feeling that I get when I listen to this song. The mood this song evokes is comforting with a dose of intrigue. I could listen to it on a loop for hours.
     
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  20. jimmyj

    jimmyj Member

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    GP is a great song and I love Steve's playing on it but I think "My Rival" is my favorite song on that album.

    Same deal: great composition, great lyrics suggesting a mysterious story, and that nice stinging guitar.
     

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