Steely Dan – Pretzel Logic (1974)

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“Pretzel Logic” is a single released by Steely Dan from their album Pretzel Logic, originally released in 1974 by ABC Records. It reached number 57 in the Billboard charts. In the lyrics, the speaker describes wanting to visit the Southern United States with a minstrel show, wanting to meet Napoleon Bonaparte because Napoleon is lonely, and being the victim of fashion by being questioned about his shoes, to which he answers that he saw them in motion pictures and television and that “the times are changing”. In Brian Sweet’s 1994 Steely Dan Biography Reelin’ in the Years, Donald Fagen states that the lyrics are actually about time travel. Sweet also hypothesizes that the first verse was inspired by the band’s distaste for touring, particularly the tours of the American South that their record label had sent them upon the previous year. This is one of the first Steely Dan songs to feature bassist Walter Becker as a lead guitarist. He would do so periodically on every Dan release since.

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