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4.7 out of 5 stars55
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CDChange
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on February 21, 2015
Steely Dan's best. Good purchase
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on December 15, 2014
Great album
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on September 22, 2014
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I like Steely Dan and I like this, their second album. It's the same Steely Dan band, except they dropped their "lead singer", David Palmer, so Fagan sings everything from now on. It's the only time where the songs were written to fit the given band. Starting with the next album, Fagan and Becker would begin using some session musicians - starting with drummer Jeff Porcaro - and the original band would then cease to exist. Instead songs would be written and musicians sought who could record them.

I already own the box set, and wanted to upgrade to the remastered CD's because of good reviews on the "improved" sound. The remastering is subtle - the sound is cleaner, clearer and has more depth, but has retained all the dynamics without being overly loud or bright. However, without a hi-fi stereo system, I doubt most people would notice any improvement over the oringal CD's or the box set - previously released versions already sounded quite good. So, it's an unnecessary purchase for most people(hence, my reason for deducting one star).

The remastered version includes lyrics and extra running commentary, which is continued on each successive CD.

Final verdict - it's a good Steely Dan album, if you haven't already got it. If you already own the 1993 box set, you don't need this remaster.
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Back in 1973 a number of fantastic albums arrived, and this is one.
The job of remastering is tight. As I reported with "Can't Buy a Thrill"
the original engineer has been in on the process. Every Steely remaster
is a very good buy. I had my copy come in at $8.99 plus tax. Better than
the retailer in downtown Toronto....again! If you are going to build a
Steely Dan collection, include this. You can bet "Your Gold Teeth" it's
worth it. Because I combined with another disc, shipping was on the house...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2004
Dan heads are gonna hate me for saying this, but I don't think this is their best. I prefer the 1st album and the ones immediately following this, but there are some seriously unmatched moments here. "Bodhisattva", "Razor Boy", "King of the World", "Boston Rag" all carry an aura that has not been equalled by anyone since. The only reason that I am not giving this a 5, well there's two of them:
1. The MASS exposure of the two songs on each and every one of their compilations and on classic rock radio. You know which ones I'm referring to. Hint: I didn't name them in the 1st paragraph. If you don't know....
2. I'm not big into "Pearl of the Quarter", which boasts a New Orleans- influenced sound that Becker and Fagen chose not to revisit.
But the Dan sounds like a rock band for the first and only time on this album, and if you want a good portrait of why they became a staple on rock radio then and now, one spin will reveal all the reasons. How can any true rock fan live without those four songs I mentioned earlier???? Can you write a song as complex as "Boston Rag"? Can you play Denny Dias' guitar parts on "Bodhisattva"? I SERIOUSLY DOUBT IT.
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on January 3, 2004
Just listen people, I have been listening to this album since it came out and beleive you me, there have been very few since that can even come close. The writing, the musicianship, the passion! When you compare this album to the (c)rap being marketed these days, you can see why it is still selling well!!
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on November 24, 2003
For those who are turned off by some of Steely's slickness on later records, their sophomore effort is that nice blend of sophistication and muscle. There are only 8 songs here, but everyone is a gem (and none ever get skipped!). Whether you want stomping rock (the great for driving "Bodhisattva") or jazzy sophistication ("Razor Boy," "Your Gold Teeth" etc.) you'll find it here. Although their later albums are completely brilliant, some would use this album as argument that the Dan should have stayed an intact BAND, instead of graduating to the cream of the crop session musicians they subsequently used. Truly, all band members sound brilliant on this album, so who knows why Becker and Fagen wanted to get rid of Jim Hodder, for example? Regardless of their reasons, this CD is great to take along in the car and crank as you sing along at the top of your lungs to "My Old School" (you know you do it.). The remaster sounds divine and on the 30th anniversary of this legendary album, we should pause and give thanks for the many blessings Walter and Donald have bestowed upon us. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2003
spin doctors rule steely dan rules aja = a hint of commercial gaucho = sickaningly commercial and that was over 20 years ago just imagine how bad they are now
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on September 25, 2003
How bizarre it is that Steely Dan's brilliant second album, 1973's "Countdown To Ecstasy," wasn't exactly a hit upon it's initial release. Maybe it was the weird watercolor painting on the cover. Or maybe it was the first single, "Show Biz Kids," which contained the f-word (though the naughty word was edited out for single release). Or how about bad marketing on MCA Records' part...who the heck knows? Thankfully, time has proven "Countdown" to be one of Steely Dan's very best albums. Dan masterminds Walter Becker & Donald Fagen, along with guitarists Jeff "Skunk" Baxter & Denny Dias, as well as drummer Jim Hodder, totally cook on this magnificent set. Practically every single cut here is a Dan classic: the outstanding jazz/rock blowout that is "Bodhisattva," the cocktail pop of "Razor Boy," the awesome melodic rock of "The Boston Rag" (tell all your buddies that it ain't no drag!), and the salsa-esque "Your Gold Teeth." But it doesn't end there---there's also the slinky "Show Biz Kids," in which the band get into a single groove, stay there for the whole song, and jam into the heavens. This is followed by the masterful piano bopper "My Old School," the tasty, country-flavored "Pearl Of The Quarter," and the groovy finale, "King Of The World." The songs are amazing, Becker & Fagen & the gang are superb (both in their musical chemistry and studio skills), Fagen's vocals are very soulful, and the street-sensibile lyrics are intruiging. YOU will be in total ecstasy listening to Steely Dan's "Countdown To Ecstasy," one of the Dan's most supreme offerings.
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