Steely Dan: “Kid Charlemagne” (1976)

Steely Dan unsheathes their sardonic wit against the 60s drug culture.

Kronomyth 5.1: Owsley’s well that ends well.

Based on the life of Owsley Stanley, Kid Charlemagne might be the ultimate musical put-down. It also contains one of the greatest rock guitar solos, courtesy of Larry Carlton. Really, the guitar solos from the Steely Dan catalog are a collection of musical treasures. Carlton himself is on record as saying this is his favorite solo, and it’s hard to argue with the man. The flip side is the band’s reworked version of Green Earrings from The Royal Scam. This song has multiple guitar solos performed by Elliott Randall and Denny Dias, including a wild phase effect at the end. Note that the single lists the track time of “Kid Charlemagne” at 15-30 seconds lighter than the album version; not sure if they edited the intro or outro, but that would be the likely cause for the missing seconds.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Kid Charlemagne (Donald Fagen/Walter Becker) (4:16)
B1. Green Earrings (Donald Fagen/Walter Becker) (4:05)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in June 1976 in the US (ABC, ABC-12195), the UK (ABC, ABC 4124) and Japan (ABC, YK-817-AB) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #82 on the US charts (charted on July 10, 1976 for 3 weeks). Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 2976 in the UK (ABC, ABC 4124). Also released as promotional 7-inch single in the US (ABC, ABC-12195) feat. A stereo and mono.

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