Vol II, Issue 10-Reelin’ in the years (15 Jun 2017)

For the love of rock

Vol II, Issue 10 – Reelin’ in the years (15 June 2017)


Name of song– Reelin’ in the years

Band- Steely Dan

Album-  Can’t Buy a Thrill

Writers– Donald Fagen & Walter Becker

Release year– 1972

Peak chart positions

# 11 – Billboard Charts

# 11 – Pop Singles Chart

# 15 – Canadian Charts (1973)

# 62 – Australian Charts (1973)

Special Mentions

# 95 – 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks by Q Magazine

# 40 – Best Guitar Solo of all times by Guitar World Magazine

Similar artists– The Doobie Brothers, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Traffic, Steve Miller Band, The Allman Brothers Band

Reelin’ in the years

Reviewers- Bikash Shrestha/Nirab Kayastha

Steely Dan is an American Jazz Rock band which enjoyed the critical and commercial success in the seventies and were called “the perfect musical antiheroes of the seventies” by Rolling Stone Magazine. Founded by the core members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, the band had numerous hits and their songs are still resonant in so many ardent rock fan’s collection. Famous as perfectionist musicians, they were highly regarded for their sincerity and devotion in recordings of each musical instrument. Even in lyrics, they have always been fascinated by using occult meanings as well as slangs and probably never had any straight forward typical love ballad type of writings. The maturity of their songs is revealed by the variety of topics which they have covered in their songs. All in all, they had all the ingredients for a wonderful jazz rock band with amazing guitar sounds.

“Reelin’ in the years” is their second single from their 1972 debut album “Can’t Buy a Thrill”. The song just missed the billboard top 10 but did have numerous records to its name, thanks to the amazing lyrics, catchy melody, and, perhaps the superb lead guitar’s zenith. The band did have numerous hits like “Do it again”, “Rikki don’t lose that number”, “My old school”, “Peg”, “Deacon blues”, perhaps the most important song for which they would be remembered for would be “Reelin’ in the years”.

The song starts with a mesmerizing solo guitar by Elliott Randall. This solo by Randall is played in parts in between the song, starting from the beginning to the end and it really nails the entire song. The solo was reportedly taken in a single shot. The song was already orchestrated and then Randall was asked to fill in. No doubt, nobody could have done more justice to it than Randall. The solo is absolutely amazing and is the most important part of the song. This solo has been well appreciated even by Jimmy Page and he has mentioned it as one of his most favorite solo of all times. It had been voted no. 95 in the list of 100 greatest guitar tracks by Q magazine and no. 40 in the list of best guitar solo of all times by Guitar World Magazine.

The song has got all the best parts from all the artists. Walter Becker’s bass, Donald Fagen’s vocals, Denny Dias and Jeff Baxter’s rhythm guitar, Jim Hoddre’s drums and Victor Feldman’s percussion, all have contributed  immensely to this song. Never to forget the satirical lyrics by Fagen and Becker, the song is truly a masterpiece from the masters of rock. The song definitely is about love, but perhaps it is paying some anguish to the love which may have long been gone due to the usual ego lying underneath all the sad love stories.

Although Steely Dan has numerous hits to their credits, “Reelin’ in the years” shall always be rolling in the years ahead and past behind.

Happy listening!!

Resources– Wikipedia.org, Allmusic.com

Reelin’ in the years

Your everlasting summer
You can see it fading fast
So you grab a piece of something
That you think is gonna last
You wouldn’t know a diamond
If you held it in your hand
The things you think are precious
I can’t understand

Are you reelin’ in the years
Stowin’ away the time
Are you gatherin’ up the tears
Have you had enough of mine

You been tellin’ me you’re a genius
Since you were seventeen
In all the time I’ve known you
I still don’t know what you mean
The weekend at the college
Didn’t turn out like you planned
The things that pass for knowledge
I can’t understand


I spend a lot of money
And I spent a lot of time
The trip we made in Hollywood
Is etched upon my mind
After all the things we’ve done and seen
You find another man
The things you think are useless
I can’t understandChorus

Lyrics link-http://www.lyricsfreak.com/s/steely+dan/reeling+in+the+years_20554088.html

You tube video link-https://youtu.be/ZrHohaQU2DY

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *