|You are looking at the two albums once rated by band members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen as being the two worst album covers of the seventies, bar none, according to Wikipedia.
I disagree. I think I could come up with several seventies’ past postings that could be worse than this.
I grew up with this kind of music. I never knew what Steely Dan were about. Did anyone? Becker and Fagen never seemed to be quite sure either, in trying to define their style, which only had tenuous points of contact to rock. For this, they risked having the cover artist also unable to pictorally define their style. There is too much going on in the artwork to make heads or tails of it.
“Can’t Buy a Thrill” was their first LP, released in 1972, sounds more bluesy and jazzy than anything. It was a big album for them, having yielded their two signature tunes: “Reeling in the Years”, and “Do It Again”.
|… And from “The Royal Scam”, “Kid Charlemagne” could arguably be another signature tune.
A homeless dude asleep on a bench underneath images of mutating skyscrapers? I dunno. Doesn’t work for me, although it is supposedly an artistic attempt to shatter the Horatio Alger myth, that if everyone works hard enough, that one day everyone can own their own skyscraper (or something like that). And the imagery is of the hit-you-over-the-head-with-a-shovel variety.