Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!
Music Journalist: “What is the song ‘The Royal Scam’ about?”
Walter Becker: “About six-and-a-half minutes.”
Let’s get it out of the way: we have no answer to the question, What is ‘the royal scam,’ anyway? The music industry? The American dream? The pretense that Steely Dan was an actual band and not just two cynics named Walter Becker and Donald Fagen?
Only one thing is clear: Steely Dan’s The Royal Scam is a great album that lives in the shadow of the even greater album that followed it: Aja. Aja is certainly the band’s commercial peak, and it’s probably their artistic peak too. It seems to get all the attention. Therefore, we are bringing The Royal Scam out of the shadows today, and reviewing a masterful and varied set of songs as filtered through other artists’ imaginations. We’ll hear the glory, but through new ears.