It's not surprising that Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker's debut solo album sounds like a Steely Dan record. What is a little surprising, though, is that, in his lead singing debut, he sounds so much like his erstwhile partner, Donald Fagen. Not that you'd mistake the two (Fagen projects more and is slightly grittier), but they sing in the same register with the same sly phrasing and the same accent. Other differences from the Dan are equally subtle: Becker adopts a sparer musical approach, for one thing, the missing element being the prominence of Fagen's keyboards (although Fagen does play on the record and co-produced it). Nothing gets in the way of Becker's voice, and he proves to be a less ornate lyricist than Fagen, restricting himself largely to tales of romantic dislocation. On the whole, this album sounds like what you'd expect – one half of Steely Dan.
Roden was singer with the Alan Bown Set ('60s) and Bronco ('70s) before going solo on the Island label. Only two Roden albums have ever been available on CD anywhere in the world. This CD picks the best of his six albums for Island and is the first best of on either vinyl or CD. Roden has sung/played on albums by Robert Palmer, Paul Kossoff, John Martyn, Mott the Hoople and Jim Capaldi and came from the same West Midlands music scene as Led Zeppelin. He stepped into the late Jim Morrison s shoes when remaining Doors became the Butts Band and worked with legendary New Orleans producer Allen Toussaint.