Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Steely Dan - 'Deacon Blues': the Soundtrack to the Yuppie

"This is the day of the expanding man"

From the very first line of this song, we can't help but think to ourselves about the yuppie listener cruising in a big city automobile and revelling in his materialistic lifestyle.
The song itself 'Deacon Blues' was recorded by Steely Dan off their 1977 jazz/rock album 'Aja'. Although one may view this song as an example of pre-80s 'age of mellow' youth culture a term coined by Philip Jenkins, where many young Americans perhaps born in the 40s and 50s listened to post-60s rockers and 'mature' rock bands such as Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles. There is no doubt that the song's lyrics suggest a sign of the times for the hippies, now older, richer and relaxed, adapting to their current hedonistic lifestyles. The line 'I bought the dream' conjures up an image of Gordon Gekko buying profitable shares and subtly stealing peoples money as he drinks 'scotch whiskey all night long'. The lyrics in the chorus itself seems to symbolise the white middle/upper classes of the 80s, recklessly flaunting their financial muscle and throwing caution to the wind, like Bud Fox, 'They got a name for the winners of the world' and that is the Yuppie.

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