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Listen to the isolated vocals on Steely Dan song 'Do It Again'


Steely Dan can be a little polarising at times. The American rock band has plenty of dedicated fans and recognisable songs that are well-loved by the public, but they aren’t everyone’s flavour by any means, and that’s totally fine. 

One Steely Dan track that passes the grade for most people, however, is ‘Do It Again’. Even those who are unfamiliar with the work of Steely Dan usually recognise the early beats of the now-iconic number well enough. The song was composed by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen and was released in 1972, reaching number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming the band’s second most successful effort.

‘Do It Again’ was also one of Steely Dan’s first singles to be released from their debut album Can’t Buy a Thrill, also released in 1972. In terms of the song itself, it is rooted in the instrumental quality that makes it so memorable and unique. Given this factor, it can sometimes become easy to forget how the vocals communicate on their own…if that’s something you’ve ever considered in the first place.

In the original recording, the first minute of the song has no vocals at all. It simply allows the instrumental melody to sway and swing in order to get you ready for the main course of the material. Even so, isolating any track is interesting from a technical standpoint. However, listening to the ‘Do It Again’ through isolated audio, there are so many interesting moving parts at play. From the tube-sounding guitar parts to the shakers, the organ, and other artistic choices that make the track what it is. That being said, the vocals do offer something to the landscape, too.

For one, the layered yet somewhat imperfect choir-like effect fits perfectly with the larger scape of the song. Additionally, listening to the vocals isolated gives you a chance to appreciate the simplicity as a part of the song. One thing that sticks out immensely is the space between the lyrics. There are numerous sections with no words at all for long moments at a time, and it’s because the song is relentlessly busy.

There’s just so much in this song, and the isolated vocals can give you a glimpse into one of those things. If you want to hear the isolated vocals on Steely Dan’s ‘Do It Again’, you can find the track below.