Wednesday 5/5/21 1am ET: Feature LP: Steely Dan – Countdown To Ecstasy (1973)

Countdown to Ecstasy is the second studio album by the American rock band Steely Dan, released in July 1973 by ABC Records. It was recorded at Caribou Ranch in Nederland, Colorado, and at The Village Recorder in West Los Angeles, California. After the departure of vocalist David Palmer, the group recorded the album with Donald Fagen singing lead on every song.

Although it was a critical success, the album failed to generate a hit single, and consequently charted at only number 35 on the Billboard 200. It was eventually certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1978, having shipped 500,000 copies in the United States. Well-received upon its release, Countdown to Ecstasy received perfect scores from music critics in retrospective reviews.

  1. “Bodhisattva” 5:18
  2. “Razor Boy” 3:11
  3. “The Boston Rag” 5:40
  4. “Your Gold Teeth” 7:02
  5. “Show Biz Kids” 5:26
  6. “My Old School” 5:48
  7. “Pearl of the Quarter” 3:50
  8. “King of the World” 5:04

Donald Fagen – acoustic and electric pianos, synthesizer, lead and backing vocals
Walter Becker – electric bass, harmonica, backing vocals
Denny Dias – electric guitar, mixing
Jeff “Skunk” Baxter – electric and pedal steel guitars
Jim Hodder – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Ray Brown – string bass on “Razor Boy”
Ben Benay – acoustic guitar
Rick Derringer – slide guitar on “Show Biz Kids” (recorded at Caribou Ranch, Nederland, Colorado, courtesy of Columbia Records)
Victor Feldman – vibraphone, marimba, percussion
Ernie Watts, Johnny Rotella, Lanny Morgan, Bill Perkins – saxophones (6)
Sherlie Matthews (6), Myrna Matthews (6), Patricia Hall (6), David Palmer, James Rolleston, Michael Fennelly – backing vocals