As someone diagnosed with ADHD, there are multiple symptoms that come along for the ride. One of the things I’ve dealt with my entire life are songs that get stuck in my head for days on end, until they burn out and I need to lock them away for months or years until I can hear them again. There is no logic behind why a song will stick; I can’t control it nor can I shut it off. Imagine being stuck in an elevator for hours with a song on repeat—or, in many cases, a particular section of song repeating. They are the soundtrack of my life.

This week’s earworm is one of the lesser tracks on Steely Dan’s Gaucho, called Glamour Profession. A song about a coke dealer in L.A. in the late 70’s, it’s anchored by an uncharacteristically weak rhythm section, a beat programmed into every cheap keyboard punctuated with even cheaper keyboard tones. It’s almost saved by the supporting elements of the band’s signature sound: careful horn arrangement, world-class backup vocals, and an excellent bridge leading to an abrupt chorus.

There are far better songs on this album: Babylon Sisters and Time Out of Mind are some of their best. Gaucho was was a troubled production, at the very end of the band’s first run. Drug use, perfectionism (perhaps influenced by drug use) and interpersonal problems split the band up at perhaps the best time to preserve their legacy—AOR sounds were shifting and yacht rock-adjacent music was dying out. I get the sense this was as close to filler as the band was willing to release. Either way, it’s stuck in my head until something else comes along.

Date posted: April 7, 2022 | Filed under music | Leave a Comment »

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