Steely Dan

Do It Again

Composed by Donald Fagen / Walter Becker

Song Review by

Steely Dan's first hit single and to this day the song most associated with the duo (the tagline on ads for the reunion album Two Against Nature was "Back, Jack, to do it again"), "Do It Again" is remarkably odd material for a Top Ten radio hit. It's a six-minute shuffle based on a sleepy bossa nova rhythm tapped out with Latin percussion by expatriate British jazzman Victor Feldman, lacking any kind of bridge or middle eight. It features not one but two lengthy solos, the first on an electric sitar (by 1972, a hopelessly out of fashion instrument last heard on the pop charts on the Box Tops' "Cry Like a Baby" and B.J. Thomas' "Hooked On a Feeling") played by the overall-clad man mountain Denny Dias and the second on what the liner notes termed "an inexpensive, imported plastic organ" (actually a Yamaha YC-30, a cheap combo organ with a unique sort of built-in theremin feature called a portamento strip), which Donald Fagen abuses to create an odd, high-pitched wailing effect similar to the odd noises Joe Meek got on the Tornados' "Telstar" a decade before. Bracketing those solos is a trio of lengthy verses filled with the sort of quasi-mystical Americana that covered the first two albums by the Band, delivered in Fagen's snickering whine of a voice and concerning the seductive power of addiction. Not much about this description screams "smash hit!," but "Do It Again" quickly became both one of the defining soft rock tracks of the '70s and the perfect introduction for a band that would go on to even odder and more wondrous creations over the next eight years.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Can't Buy a Thrill 1972 MCA / Universal 5:57
Countdown to Ecstasy 1973 MCA
No Image 1977 ABC Music
FM [Original Soundtrack] 1978
Original Soundtrack
Culture Factory / L.M.L.R. 5:47
Greatest Hits 1979 Island
No Image 1982 MCA
A Decade of Steely Dan 1985 Geffen / MCA / UMC (Universal Catalogue) 5:57
Air America [Soundtrack] 1990
Original Soundtrack
MCA 5:03
Sounds of the Seventies: 1973 - Take Two 1991
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:12
Do It Again 1992 Falcon Home Ent. 5:56
Citizen Steely Dan 1993 Geffen / MCA 5:57
Remastered: The Best of Steely Dan - Then and Now 1993 Universal Distribution / MCA 5:56
The Ultimate Rock Collection Gold and Platinum, Vol. 2: 1971-1973 1997
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:13
Outside Providence 1999
Original Soundtrack
Warner Bros. 5:56
Showbiz Kids: The Steely Dan Story 1972-1980 2000 MCA 5:58
Laurel Canyon 2003
Original Soundtrack
Hollywood 5:56
NHL Rivals 2004: Xbox 2003
Video Game Soundtrack
33rd Street Records / Bayside Record Dist. 5:54
Legends: Do It Again 2003
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:13
The Definitive Collection 2006 Universal / Universal Music 5:55
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection - The Best of Steely Dan 2007 Geffen 5:57
Legends Informercial Set 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:13
The Very Best of Steely Dan 2009 Universal Distribution 5:58
Perfection in Performance 2010 Intergroove
Going Mobile: Classic 1974 Live Radio Broadcast 2013 Chrome Dreams / Smokin' 7:54
Doing It in California: The 1974 Broadcasts 2015 Sutra 4:32
Can't Buy a Thrill/Gaucho MCA / Universal Music
Classic Pop Songs, Vol. 02
Various Artists
Arcade Music
No Image
Various Artists
Phantom Records (England) / Membran
No Image
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