Want to hear a new Steely Dan song? Well, it’s actually a 50-year-old song that was recently uncovered. And it’s not so much a “song” as it is an extended jingle. Oh, and that 109-second composition is about Schlitz. Still want to hear it? Of course you do.
Over the summer, some “lost” Steely Dan recordings—including the famed track “The Second Arrangement”—were unearthed by Cimcie Nichols, the daughter of producer Roger Nichols, and played for the general public for the first time. Among those discoveries was the somewhat strange soft rock composition Steely Dan recorded with the intention of serving as a jingle for “the beer that made Milwaukee famous.”
According to Steely Dan singer Donald Fagen, the band agreed to write the song on the condition there would be no notes from the brewery or ad executives. The band wrote all the music, lyrics, and spoken dialogue during an early 1970s recording session that occurred sometime between the release of Can’t Buy A Thrill and Countdown To Ecstasy. The final product is…something.
@timeouttamind steely dan schlitz beer jingle | #steelydan #steelydantok #fyp #donaldfagen #schlitzbeer ♬ original sound – zara
The inordinately long jingle begins with what seems to be a helium-huffing individual speaking Spanish. The band translates before launching into a pleasing number that makes Schlitz seems like the nectar of the gods with lyrics that talk up the domestic brew and the catchy chorus “when you’re out of Schlitz, you’re out of beer” amid the occasional high-pitched Spanish chime-ins.
Ultimately, the jingle was never used by the brewery, apparently due to a translation issue making it unsuitable for airplay in some international markets. The almost two-minute runtime also might’ve played a part in the decision. If you’re looking to hear some “new” Steely Dan or you want a satisfying soundtrack to play during your next sip of Schlitz, check out this long-lost recording before it gets scrubbed from the internet altogether. Cheers! [ht – The Sloppy Boys Podcast]