Now, with ice dancing
January 11, 2019 5:12 PM   Subscribe

"Reeling in the Years" (Donnie and Marie Osmond cover)

h/t Guitar World

Bonus material re: the great guitar solo in Steely Dan's conventional version of the song, which Jimmy Page said was his favorite guitar solo ever. (listen to the very end, it gets even better)
Elliot Randall nailed it in one continuous take
Ranked 40th best guitar solo ever - how to play it
My pet theory -- it was inspired by the tone and feel of Syd Barret's solo on Gigolo Aunt, 2 years earlier
posted by msalt (49 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Man, I'd love to buy this guitar solo two or three Brandy Alexanders.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:32 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]




Being the Dan fan that I am, that D&M version makes me feel rather...stabby.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 7:25 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]


Being the Dan fan that I am, that D&M version makes me feel rather...stabby.

Same here. Somebody get Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland to go straighten them out.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:31 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Man, there are a lot of things about the 1970s that I absolutely love, but the D&M Variety show version of Steely Dan is not one of them. It is so cringeworthy that it made my eyes water.
posted by sundrop at 7:32 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Maybe this Donny dance will make up for the years of being too white and nerdy
posted by greenhornet at 7:36 PM on January 11 [9 favorites]


If I hadn't actually lived through the seventies I'd believe that videos like this were some kind of elaborate hoax.
posted by octothorpe at 7:38 PM on January 11 [28 favorites]


I would have loved being in the room when Donald and Walter -- who I hope were high as shit -- first saw this.
posted by neroli at 8:15 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]


lest we forget -- that time Marie went Dada, that time the Osmonds actually rawked out.

but as for the Donnie + Marie Show -- there's a reason why I, still a teenager at first, pretty stopped watching TV altogether for about ten years starting in around 1978.
posted by philip-random at 8:22 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


All I know is, in "Steely Dan: The Movie", Steve Buscemi had better be playing the solo in "Peg"
posted by thelonius at 8:25 PM on January 11


Everyone talks about the Star Wars Holiday Special, but no one ever talks about the Donnie and Marie Star Wars special.
posted by mark k at 8:25 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]


Many many years ago, pre-Interwebs, I heard an aspiring author on a fairly hip radio call-in show* soliciting listener contributions for his upcoming book on misheard lyrics (the timing suggests it was likely Gavin Edwards writing "'Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy").

Anyway, I suspect that the one call I remember was never used because it was far too specific. It was from a woman who introduced herself as Linda Yee (sp?) who was calling because the first couple of terms she heard Steely Dan ask her "Are you really Linda Yee?" it freaked her out a bit. Perhaps understandably so.

*Ontarian Gen-X types may know what I mean when I say "Barometer on Q-107" but few others will.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:29 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


Just to clarify a couple of interesting but elliptical comments here....

the video about the solo in Peg (aka "Big Black Cow") is straight up cool guitar wonkery, no Steve Buscemi involvement though I see the resemblance.

And jonp72's link is to Donnie's full-on glam rock cover of Bowie's song Fame, which somehow escaped me on first read of the comment. It's definitely at least as weird as this FPP video.
posted by msalt at 9:04 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


So this was after the Ramones released their first record?
posted by alex_skazat at 9:07 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Maybe this Donny dance will make up for the years of being too white and nerdy

That's up there in the most incredible performances I've ever watched. In my life.
posted by alex_skazat at 9:13 PM on January 11


aka "Big Black Cow"
that's a totally different song!
posted by thelonius at 9:15 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


God, that was so hard to take—I was too embarrassed for them to watch the whole thing.

I remember watching The Osmonds Brothers on the Andy Williams show when Donny was still just a kid, but I didn't listen to their music as a teenager (afaik, no self-respecting teenager at the time listened to The Osmonds). And I was in my 20s when the Donny and Marie show aired, so I'm sure I never watched a single episode.

25+ years ago, I (grudgingly) made arrangements to take my folks to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat when Donny was playing the lead. Turned out, he nailed the role. I can't say I'm a Donny-fan, exactly, but I'm definitely a Donny-appreciator.
posted by she's not there at 9:23 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Just a friendly reminder that from Donnie and Marie 'til now is the same time frame as, say, The Andrew Sisters to Donnie and Marie. Given that, it's hard to say what's more odd, living through the changes in aesthetic over the forty years or that Steely Dan are still considered relevant after all that time. (Including by me.)

Kinda reframes how I think about popular music from those early eras like the 30s and it's occasional ghostly presence in my youth. Name That Tune makes a lot more sense now, just like the tributes to acts like the Andrew Sisters variety shows used to sometimes have.
posted by gusottertrout at 9:31 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]


It's a long time ago now, but I'm pretty sure that things like Donny & Marie is why I became punk rock.

Thank you, Donny. Thank you, Marie.
posted by goofyfoot at 11:05 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


it's hard to say what's more odd, living through the changes in aesthetic over the forty years or that Steely Dan are still considered relevant after all that time. (Including by me.)

The coolest rockabilly bands were releasing albums more than 20 years before the Donnie and Marie Show first aired, too. I think it goes to show that good taste in music is NOT just equally vapid fashion trends, but that there is true art in the good stuff.

The fact that Donna and Marie cover good music with a fair amount of precision but no soul whatsoever is, I think, what ultimately fascinates me about them.
posted by msalt at 1:34 AM on January 12 [4 favorites]


My wife (Olga) found some interesting facts about this TV show:

"The show ran 3 years, '76-'79. Marie was 16, Donny was 18, when it started. It was created by Sid & Marty Krofft of The Banana Splits fame." (And also, I should add, the horrifying H.R. Pufnstuff.)
posted by msalt at 1:41 AM on January 12 [5 favorites]


Y’all lighten up on Donny. He’s not a bad man, just ambitious.
posted by TedW at 2:44 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure that things like Donny & Marie is why I became punk rock

Are you sure it wasn't down to Little Jimmy?
posted by flabdablet at 3:03 AM on January 12


Does Metafilter have a FPP about Sid and Marty Krofft? There was this one about an auction of their stuff in 2003.

Because that's a massive Gen-X rabbit hole right there. And a theme park to go with it.
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:12 AM on January 12 [7 favorites]


I felt so weird when I favorited this post because of the pre-fold and under-fold differences. They seem decades apart, from elevator music to playlist mainstay.
posted by filtergik at 6:24 AM on January 12 [2 favorites]


OMG just clicked a couple moments but that Donnie and Marie STAR WARS EXTRAVAGANZA deserves a full FPP hate and snark thread all its own.
posted by sammyo at 6:38 AM on January 12


I did this take on Reelin' in the Years on the fuckety-fuck thread.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:50 AM on January 12


Data point: if you have no fondness for the original song, the cover can be filed under “innocuous/cute.” My main association with the song is actually hearing it performed by the band you could get credit for being in at my high school, led by a baptist guy who changed the lyrics of a number of Boomer favorites to be about clean living. I will never hear Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” without mentally substituting “in the sunshine of a liiiiife....WITHOUT DRUGS!!”
posted by Smearcase at 6:57 AM on January 12 [4 favorites]


And a theme park to go with it.

I wanted to go so badly! But it closed before we went. I could have been a contender!
posted by thelonius at 7:02 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Okay, so I was curious what Guitar World ranked as the best solo of all time and forwarded through all of them to get to it. Remember, the article is from 2008.
posted by yhbc at 7:10 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Every once in awhile when I'm just in the right mood (ie, the third bourbon) I'll wander over to Lawrence Welk. Or Hee Haw. And every time I watch this schlock I grew up hating I'm amazed at how great they are. Serious performers giving it their all, doing something new every week, always professional and middling competent at a minimum, sometimes brilliant. The sheer variety of these variety shows is fantastic.

It's a little harder for me to appreciate Donny & Marie the same way. Maybe because they're just so aggressively bland and white, the way the chorus "reeling in the years" is repeated over and over for 6 minutes until it becomes a dirge. Or maybe it hasn't been enough time. Donnie as Sparkle Pimp doing Fame gives me hope that in a few years he too can be re-evaluated.
posted by Nelson at 7:49 AM on January 12 [9 favorites]


The best guitar solo of all time is The Kinks, "You Really Got Me"
posted by thelonius at 8:12 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Let's end the derail here because the best guitar solo of all time is from Robert Fripp in Baby's On Fire.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:18 AM on January 12 [7 favorites]


This is addressed in the liner notes to the "Citizen Steely Dan" box set (I feel like I've quoted this here before, but I can't surface it right now):
"The weekends at the college didn't turn out like you planned," sings Donny to Marie, by all appearances clueless to the absurdity of Fagen's and Becker's unwieldy verses in his beaming mouth. "The things that pass for knowledge I can't understand."

What kind of weekend -- at which branch of Brigham Young University -- did this brother and sister share? What sort of knowledge passed between them there? Did Donny have the slightest idea of what he was singing?
That time step they're doing is … something.
posted by fedward at 8:38 AM on January 12 [4 favorites]


This could be improved if Donnie and Marie explained the origin of the name Steely Dan halfway through the song.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:55 AM on January 12 [5 favorites]


My main association with the song is actually hearing it performed by the band you could get credit for being in at my high school, led by a baptist guy who changed the lyrics of a number of Boomer favorites to be about clean living. I will never hear Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” without mentally substituting “in the sunshine of a liiiiife....WITHOUT DRUGS!!”

Smearcase, please tell me you have recordings of this! I shouldn't listen, but like a train wreck, I cannot bear to look away!
posted by jonp72 at 12:28 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Mr. KFI does not approve.
posted by bongo_x at 2:04 PM on January 12


oh my god that is hard to listen to. I even like harmony they do on the chorus, but losing minor ending and then cutting the minor second out of the verses. It's like watching a dog get castrated.
posted by es_de_bah at 3:01 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: it’s like watching a dog get castrated.
posted by outfielder at 4:54 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


Eight year old me watched every Donny and Marie show avidly, having a bowl of vanilla ice cream in a plastic tupperware bowl as I lay on the green shag carpet in my pyjamas, hoping for a glimpse of Donny's purple socks and thoroughly enjoying a good kick line. My mother sat in the barcalounger behind me, commenting on Marie's beauty, her many talents and adorable haircut, and asking me every week "Don't you want to be like her?" while ignoring the fact that that was impossible in every way imaginable.
posted by peagood at 4:56 PM on January 12 [6 favorites]


Look, the best Steely Dan guitar solo is Larry Carlton's from Kid Charlemagne. Lots of renditions on YouTube, including Juli Morgan's. I honestly think this is as good as the Goldberg Variations.
posted by How the runs scored at 5:02 PM on January 12 [5 favorites]


My mother sat in the barcalounger behind me, commenting on Marie's beauty, her many talents and adorable haircut, and asking me every week "Don't you want to be like her?" while ignoring the fact that that was impossible in every way imaginable

Peagood: that sentence alone makes me wish I knew you IRL.
posted by she's not there at 5:58 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]


Look, the best Steely Dan guitar solo is Larry Carlton's from Kid Charlemagne.

I'm partial to Missile Defense Consultant Baxter's solo on My Old School, myself.
posted by TedW at 6:34 PM on January 12


This is the squarest thing you will ever read on Metafilter: this is the first time I've understood more than half of the words to that song.

peagood, did you have a Marie doll? My sister and I had matching Marie dolls.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:14 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


I had the Donny and Marie dolls, and a Donny and Marie record player. I remember loving the show, but I don't remember anything about the show itself.

I did see them in Las Vegas 2 years ago and their show was really really good. *shrug*
posted by kimberussell at 4:59 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


This is brilliant, and I'm already anticipating the reaction of my son, Sydney's biggest 19-year-old Steely Dan fan, when I send it to him
posted by mikelynch at 12:56 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I love watching Bowie playing the variety-show game with Cher.

As for the Osmonds, I like it when they speak Swedish.
posted by pracowity at 3:50 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I love that Bowie wasn't even trying to pretend that he wasn't lip-syncing to the recording in that clip.
posted by octothorpe at 5:34 AM on January 14


This is as bad as the Taylor Swift cover of "September." I think it's retroactively made me dislike Steely Dan. Help!
posted by zeusianfog at 1:57 PM on January 14


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