Steely Dan – Pretzel Logic

1974’s Pretzel Logic was the group’s third album, and second with only Donald Fagan performing vocals. The music is incredible, with some of the musicians in the session business, and the songs are all terrific. Listening to it again, I’m still surprised how uniformly excellent each song is, with most about three minutes. The B-side of Rikki Don’t Lose Your Number is Any Major Dude Will Tell You, a sincere attempt to reassure a down friend with enough cleverness to avoid becoming melodramatic. The title track was also released as a single, and is my favorite on the album.

Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, on the left, would later be retained by Northrop Grumman as a defense consultant.

The guitar playing is also very bluesy and interesting from Denny Dias and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, who would go on to join The Doobie Brothers immediately after this album was recorded. Baxter also had a second career as a defense consultant due to his knowledge of electronics and aviation and research into missile defense systems. After buying this only to find Katy Lied inside, I just went online and bought both for about $8 in near mint condition.