Do It Again – Steely Dan

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………………on June 21st of 1981 just after signing a multi-album contract with Warner Brothers, the Pop group Steely Dan announced they were breaking up. Donald Fagan and Walter Becker, the driving forces behind the band, said their fourteen year musical partnership was over. The duo reach the US Top 40 ten times with hits like this selection “Do It Again” (#6 in 1972) plus “Reeling in the Years” (#11 in 1973), “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” (#4 in 1974), “Peg” (#11 in 1978) and “Hey Nineteen” (#10 in 1981).  “Do It Again” was the breakout hit from Steely Dan’s first album. Like many of their songs, it’s hard to make sense of the lyrics, which seem to be about some combination of addiction, second chances and the inevitability of fate. It’s an example of a Steely Dan song that doesn’t make literal sense, but creates a mood. The instrument used on the first instrumental break is an electric sitar, which was played by Steely Dan mainstay Denny Dias (who later became a computer programmer). This is followed by an organ solo, which was played by Donald Fagen. This was Steely Dan’s first single. It became a hit in the US and a minor hit in UK, earning the group a lot of press coverage. The group’s sound was very unusual, and when asked to explain it, they sometimes described it as “smart rock.” On the original release of Can’t Buy A Thrill, this song is credited as “Trad” (meaning “traditional,” like many folk songs) in the album credits. This is a fairly typical Donald Fagen/Walter Becker prank. The song peaked at #6 on Billboard and #39 in the UK.