Steely Dan Albums Ranked Worst to Best
The following list of Steely Dan Albums Ranked From Worst to Best underscores how the band evolved through three separate, very distinct eras.
There was their first iteration as a true band. Regular working members including Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Denny Dias, Elliot Randall and Jim Hodder collaborated with Donald Fagen and Walter Becker to create 1972's Can't Buy a Thrill, 1973's Countdown to Ecstasy and 1974's Pretzel Logic. Even back then, however, Steely Dan wasn't averse to bringing in a ringer to complete things in the studio – be that David Palmer as a vocalist on their debut, saxophonist Ernie Watts on their sophomore release or members of Toto and the Eagles on their third album.
Eventually, that became Steely Dan's modus operandi, as Becker and Fagen took a break from touring in the latter part of the '70s to focus on studio work with some of the best sessions players in the business. Between 1975's Katy Lied and 1980's Gaucho, Steely Dan released four platinum or multi-platinum albums with a dizzying cast of all-stars including Michael McDonald, Rick Derringer, Wayne Shorter, Mark Knopfler and David Sanborn, among many others.
After that, Becker and Fagen took a lengthy break before finally reuniting when Becker served as producer on Fagen's second solo effort, 1993's Kamakiriad. That led to 2000's Two Against Nature – and the third and final era of Steely Dan studio recordings. By 2003's Everything Must Go, Steely Dan had begun to take a more interior musical approach, focusing on the musical contributions of Becker and Fagen themselves.
How do they all stack up? Scroll down as we explore Steely Dan Albums Ranked From Worst to Best.