Like Simon & Garfunkel’s post-band breakup hit “My Little Town,” Steely Dan reconvened for a single, new original song with “Snowbound.” Officially, yes, it’s a Fagen tune, but in addition to serving as the producer, bassist and lead guitarist, Becker co-wrote this song, and Steely Dan has always been, first and foremost, about the Becker-Fagen songwriting partnership. His involvement with this song is arguably greater than on any track from Gaucho. So, screw it, I’m calling this a Steely Dan song.
And it’s a pretty fine Steely Dan song, too. There’s two melodies at play here, one a bright, sunny chord progression used as the chorus, and a descending note, darker segment played during the verses. Becker’s springy bass as is good as anything he’s asked Chuck Rainey to play on SD recordings and his guitar solo during the instrumental break isn’t as agressive as he was on, say, “F.M.,” but its jazzy feel fits the vibe of the tune. The lyrics, about going out and getting into a party mood in a cold, dark city, is full of hipster lingo but this time is doesn’t sound as contrived. Fagen’s sounding board is definitely back.
“Snowbound” wasn’t a hit like the Simon & Garfunkel tune was, but it saved a Kamakiriad album that was careening into mediocrity up to that point of the album. The video you see above is the official video, which used stop motion animation. It was featured in an episode of Beavis and Butthead, where those adolescent metalhead losers were mocking it. What more proof is needed that this is a great tune, right?
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