Starting in 1999, individual re-masters of all 7 original albums were put on the market and may well prove to be a better option for prospective buyers (despite relative price increase in purchasing the whole bunch one by one). Lyrics are included in these editions (along with irreverent commentaries). If one is an ultra-fanatic for all things "SD", the "CITIZEN STEELY DAN" box set may prove irresistible but for those existing on a lesser plane of dedication, collecting the individual CD's in their recently (aesthetically pleasing) re-mastered form should be sufficient.
Citizen Steely Dan is a lump sum of all their studio albums from 1972 debut till 1980 Gaucho that marked the end of that period oftheir work. Even the tracks are sorted chronologically in exact listing as they appeared on original releases but sequences arediscontinued between discs, so if you want to listen to Countdown to Ecstasy only, you will have to change from disc 1 to disc 2.
The mid-’90s brought a bumper crop of “new” Steely Dan product to stores, but from the post-reunion live LP Alive in America to the Citizen Steely Dan box, it was all decidedly backward-focused. While it was nice to have Becker and Fagen working together again, it seemed as though they’d started the long backward slide into the brand of nostalgia that they’d often snarked at in their deceptively smooth, tunefully misanthropic catalog.
Collecting all of Steely Dan's albums in chronological order, plus all of their two or three B-sides and one demo in a four-CD box, Citizen Steely Dan is only worthwhile for the fan replacing their old records. The remastering on the box is exactly the same as the newly upgraded CDs, and everything but the demo is available on other discs.