The British Steely Dan?

The British Steely Dan?
Authored By John Nicholson

Are 10.c.c. the British version of Steely Dan? I only ask because I’ve heard this said many times. Not that the two bands sound anything like each other, but I think it's said because they share an obsession with rerecording everything multiple times and have a similar left-field aesthetic. Personally, I think it is a bit of a stretch but I can see why people say it. As a fan of both bands, Steely Dan songs plough a much more novelistic, kind of romantic furrow and have much more pronounced jazz roots like on the peerless Aja which I think is one of the best albums of all time.
When I was 17, I got 10cc’s Original  Soundtrack, which is the record with I'm Not I love on. And I was totally taken with the scope and vision of the title track. An 8-minute classic built in several parts, it really appealed to the nascent arty, hippy kid in me and seemed complex and unusual enough to keep the people who just wanted to hear the singles at bay. See, I was already a fearful snob and something of an elitist. I’m sure Donald Fagen would have approved of  my attitude. 
10.c.c. released a live album Live and Let Live in 1977 and rather than the sophisticated studio albums. It was pretty much a rock n roll record and though the harmonies were sophisticated. The thing they have in common is a dedication to the studio craft. In the UK, they were super popular, with five top ten albums and successful compilations and ten top 10 singles, two of which were number ones, more commercial here than the Dan who never had a number one single and peaked at #5 in the UK with the Aja album. The Dan were much more successful in America and I would have to say had far greater import, virtually defining that smooth L.A. sound of the late 70s.
Two excellent bands who were actually very different and not in any way similar except, in a dedication to the studio craft.

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