Reelin' In the Years
"Reelin' In the Years" (sometimes "Reeling In the Years") is a song by jazz rock band Steely Dan, released as the second single from their 1972 album, Can't Buy a Thrill. It reached No. 11 in the Billboard charts.
|"Reelin' In the Years"|
|Single by Steely Dan|
|from the album Can't Buy a Thrill|
|B-side||"Only a Fool Would Say That"|
the Village Recorder, Santa Monica
|Songwriter(s)||Walter Becker, Donald Fagen|
|Steely Dan singles chronology|
Writing and performanceEdit
The song was written by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker and features Fagen on vocals. In 2009 Rolling Stone describe the track as "a prime early example of what would become the Dan’s trademark vibe, marrying a sardonic kiss-off to an ex to a bouncy shuffle groove, and adding on some white-hot guitar dazzlement courtesy of Elliott Randall to bring the whole thing home." In the same interview Fagen described said “It’s dumb but effective,” and Becker said “It’s no fun.”
The guitar solo on the original recorded version, by session player Elliott Randall, was recorded in one take. It has reportedly been rated by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page as his favorite solo of all time, and he scored it 12/10. The solo was ranked the 40th best guitar solo of all time by the readers of Guitar World magazine.
The four-channel quadraphonic mix of the recording has extra lead guitar fills not heard in the more common two-channel stereo version.
The song was a No. 11 hit on the Pop singles chart in 1973. In March 2005, Q magazine placed the recording at No. 95 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.
- Donald Fagen – piano, lead and backing vocals
- Elliott Randall – lead guitar
- Denny Dias – rhythm guitar
- Jeff Baxter – rhythm guitar
- Walter Becker – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Jim Hodder – drums, backing vocals
- Victor Feldman – percussion
The live version on Alive in America includes a saxophone section and backing vocals.
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- Donny Osmond and Marie Osmond covered "Reelin' In the Years" for their variety show on January 13, 1978. This rendition of the song was more ebullient than the original, and included the introduction of the shows guests, Ruth Buzzi, Buddy Hackett and Suzanne Somers. The performance also featured a chorus line of ice skating dancers.
- In 1993, the song was featured in The Wonder Years Season 6 Episode 14, "Unpacking".
- The song is featured in Rob Zombie's 2005 movie, The Devil's Rejects.
- It was also used as the theme music for the television series Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive, which aired on BBC Three in the UK 11 July 2006 – 4 June 2007.
- The song was also used as the theme for the RTÉ television show Reeling in the Years, which is a historical Irish documentary, covering one year per episode.
- In April 2020, the song was covered by members of High on Fire, Spirit Adrift and Old Man Gloom for the online heavy metal talk show, Two Minutes to Late Night.
- Steely Dan USA chart history, Billboard.com. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
- "Steely Dan: 10 Essential Songs". RollingStone.com. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
- Steven Wheeler (1995-06-11). "The Led Zeppelin In-Frequently Murmured Trivia List v1.1". Led-Zeppelin.org. Archived from the original on 2012-02-16.
- "Classic Rock Magazine Interview – 1999". Elliott Randall. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
- "The 100 Best Guitar Solos of All Time - Page 4". Guitar.about.com. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
- "Item Display - RPM Top Singles - Volume 19, No. 18, June 16 1973 - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
- "Cash Box Top 100 5/26/73". Retrieved 2016-06-25.
- "Item Display - RPM Annual - Volume 20, No. 20, December 29 1973 - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2017-07-14.
- "Top 100 Hits of 1973/Top 100 Songs of 1973". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
- "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1973". Retrieved 2016-06-25.
- Donny & Marie Osmond Opening - "Reelin' In The Years".
- "S6E14: Unpacking - The Wonder Years Soundtrack". Tunefind. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
- "Watch Members Of Mutoid Man, High On Fire, Spirit Adrift, Etc. Cover Steely Dan". The PRP. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
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