Wednesday, 5 September 2012
FM (No Static At All) 1978
There is nothing remarkable about this record, but it is the epitome of the soft, seductive Steely Dan that hurts with cool over the period Aja/Gaucho. This reminds me of Sinatra in the fifties and Fly Me to the Moon, it says kinda nothing and is hopelessly formulaic, but it's also perfect, especially, in this case, as the theme track for a film everybody has long forgotten. But Becker and Fagan, being beyond canny, seem to understand that the film will be forgotten and build that in. You can imagine the coke and the wry smiles. So we have trademark 'funked up muzak', and I could listen all day, but the phases are remarkable. The introduction is a sublime keyboard slow shimmy, totally cinematographic, into pristine guitar. It's the sort of thing that makes you want to buy this record in the first place- 'how does it go....?' I was dreaming in the shower, so I got my dressing gown on and made it on to E-bay. I hate records that make you buy them for sixteen seconds but this is one of them (and I'd never buy a Steely Dan Greatest Hits, that's almost sacrilege). However, I think because it's self consciously a film soundtrack, you get your monies worth with both fade in.....and fade out, as the bass gathers to thump you out with total Dan, the total Dan, high renaissance Dan, that then fades exquisite to nothing.