Steve Albini hates Steely Dan: "Christ, the amount of human effort wasted to sound like an SNL band warm up"

Steve Albini with his feet up on a mixing desk
Steve Albini in the 'A' control room of his studio, Electrical Audio (Image credit: Paul Natkin/Getty)

In case anyone was in doubt, a triggered Steve Albini has made his feelings on Steely Dan clear. He's not a fan, it turns out.


Steve Albini

(Image credit: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

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In a hugely entertaining Twitter rant, the man responsible for production on a slew of recordings by noisy luminaries like Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Pixies and the Breeders, has laid into 'The Dan", labeling their output as "music made for the sole purpose of letting the wedding band stretch out a little."

That's far from the worst of Albini's potshots at the Grammy Award-winning, 40 million+ album-selling jazz rock titans, though. 

Taking aim at the band's notoriously diligent/meticulous/tedious (delete as applicable) studio craft, he wrote, ""They spent three weeks on the guitar solo..." Three weeks of watching guitar players give it their all while doing bumps and hitting the talkback, "More Egyptian but keep it in the pocket...""

Elsewhere in the thread, which at the time of writing has clocked up 2.5 million views, Albini rants on, "Two types of perfectionist: One will prepare, revise and rehearse carefully, with intent, honing an idea to a keen edge, ready to cut the cloth of execution. 

"The other makes other people responsible by saying, "do it again," until by chance they are satisfied, then take credit."

"There's some video where they talk about every song on an album, and each one begins with the not-bald one saying, "this song is based on my deep love of the blues, just a very bluesy blues. Deep blues." Then lays his jazz dork hands on the fucking electric piano..."

"Christ the amount of human effort wasted to sound like an SNL band warm up."

Inevitably, the Steely Dan twitterati were unlikely to take all this lying down, but Albini was in no mood to back down, either to the original fans or - especially, it seems - those on the Dan turn: "All you "I used to hate them" people, pleading their case like it's a natural infirmity. "I need readers now, take pills for my prostate. Get winded on the stairs. And oh, I like that cocaine shit music now. Not just Boz Skaggs either."

"Look at yourselves. Calling them "the Dan." Go trim your beard."

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Will Groves

I'm lucky enough to be MusicRadar's Editor-in-chief while being, by some considerable distance, the least proficient musician on the editorial team. An undeniably ropey but occasionally enthusiastic drummer, I've worked on the world's greatest music making website in one capacity or another since its launch in 2007. I hope you enjoy the site - we do.