I can remember sitting a car in 1977 when the song 'Deacon Blues' came on the radio. I was instantly mesmerised. Having never heard Steely Dan before I was amazed by the quality and feel of both the song and the recording. I immediately went out and bought the 'LP'. It was this that started my love of the music of Messers Becker and Fagen.
If you are considering your first SD purchase... THIS IS THE ONE TO GET. Don't muck around with those compilations that. Steely Dan albums must be listened to in their original context.
It is solid testament to Aja that it hit the streets slap bang in the middle of the 'Punk' era, a musical movement that was championed by the 'New Musical Expresss', yet, in their review the NME hailed Aja as one of the all time great albums with possibly the greatest 'side 1' of any album ever released. (Remember 'side ones'?)
Side one actually comprised of three musical masterpieces; Black Cow, Aja and Deacon Blues and even now, 25 odd years later I am hearing new things in these songs, especially on the newly remastered release. Side 2 isn't bad either. Peg, Home at Last, I've got the News and Josie are all fantastic offerings.
As well as the superb songwriting and mind blowing lyrics watch out for virtuoso performances from the likes of Wayne Shorter, Steve Gadd, Chuck Rainey and Larry Carlton as well as the amazing vocals of Fagen and the backing vocals (including Mike McDonald). The slick production of Gary Katz tops it all off.
"This is the day of the expanding man, that shape is my shade, there where I used to stand"...classic!
An absolute masterpiece.