Steely Dan: Do it Again
Do it Again
Can't Buy a Thrill (MCA 11886)
Jim Hodder (drums).
Composed by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen.
Recorded: Los Angeles, CA, early 1972
Rating: 100/100 (learn more)
A #6 single and Steely Dan's highest chart entry, "Do It Again" acts as a blueprint for what would follow in their discography. The track fuses latin jazz flourishes and a light samba feel that provides the catalyst for some awesome sitar-guitar soloing by Denny Dias.
The scene is set "at the border" where the main character is "gunning" for a perceived thief of his "water." Whether or not the "water" is H2O is debatable, but what is known is that, after he is dragged by his feet into a place where "mourners" sing, his fate sees sealed. The streets are less safe for him than prison, but, back on the outside to "do it again" (whatever "it" is), he encounters even more problems living a life of normalcy. If the "it" in the title refers to reliving, this man has obviously failed; his character is so flawed that, as a liar by nature, he finds himself "back in Vegas" after claiming that he is not a gambling man.
What a shame, because Fagen describes someone who has certainly been given more than one chance at life and has spoiled them all by refusing to alter his behavior. Exactly why he cannot cope with reality is never put to task, if he was willing to "swear and kick and beg" while pleading for freedom, why didn't he change his abhorrent behavior in the first place? The judge was smart in letting him go-as a lifelong criminal, he would have been right at home behind bars, that's for sure.
Reviewer: Marcus Singletary