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Aja

4.7 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 Nov. 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mca
  • ASIN: B000026E29
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,792 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Aja
Aja
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Peg
Peg
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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

History gives Steely Dan's Walter Becker and Donald Fagen the last, hearty laugh on this, the crown jewel in their remarkable canon of 1970s Mensz-pop. Sneaking onto the charts a half-decade earlier with sinuous, jazz-inflected "rock", the dysfunctional duo's acerbic, anti-heroic visions had been critically lauded for their band identity and killer guitar riffs, then promptly challenged when the two songwriters retired from the road, dissolved any formal band line-up and used the studio as laboratory. Aja carried the added indignity of its increased focus on sophisticated jazz models and musicianship, which carried the Dan's ambitions even further in terms of suave harmonies, intricate song structures and brilliant playing. Time has proven them wiser than their rock critic detractors: these seven songs abound in knotty plots, sneaky imagery and drop-dead brilliant performances from a blue-chip studio repertory studded with first-call jazz players epitomised by Wayne Shorter's towering solo on the title song. From the hard-boiled jazz romance of "Deacon Blues" to the twisted Homeric vamp of "Home at Last", the veiled but ominous swing of "Peg" to the sci-fi eroticism of "Josie", Aja is a modern pop classic and the coolest fusion record no one ever thought to lump in that category. --Sam Sutherland

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 22 Jun. 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Audio CD
If you were not around in the 70's and have heard that Steely Dan are worth discovering you could do no wrong in buying this beautifully crafted piece of work that features some of the slickest US session guys around. I recall this album being used as a hi fi show piece when it came out and it still stands out as a fine recording - tastefully remastered by the duo themselves in recent times. If you want to hear a little bit of jazz sneaking into your music this is a great introduction. The stand out tracks are the title track and Black Cow. Steve Gadds famous drum fade out at the end of Aja being one of the high points of the bands career. The album closes with Josie which is cool beyond cool. If you are wondering about Steely Dan, start with this and then buy all the albums - they are all gems. Aja does not quite have that lyrical streetwise savy found on Katy Lied and Countdown to Ectasy, but it marks a high point in the Steely Dan collection as a work of outstanding musical genius and a showcase for the talent of those reluctant maestro's Messrs Fagen & Becker.
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Format: Audio CD
The music contained on this album does not fit in any neat and tidy box.

What can you say about it? is it jazz, is it pop? is it music? in one word "YES" it's all of this and more.

"The men from Dan" used some of the best session men in music business to record this, rehearsing and playing these guys within an inch of their lives!

It shows for contained of this album not only is music but audio art.

Of course Becker and Fagan did all the remastering themselves and what great job they have done, they are such control freaks, who can blame with music of this standard.

For all you Dan freaks out there who didn't buy the first C.D. release because of poor sound forget that buy this version with confidence, it is WOW!! in terms of sound and content
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am an up front Dan freak. I've got all of their albums including Becker's solo stuff. I bought this because it was there, not expecting much, as I already had the AJA cd from ages back.
I must say I'm blown away with the sound on this. I can truly hear bells and whistles I hadn't heard on the standard cd. If you haven't bought AJA (if not why not??) this is the version to get - it's cheap enough too - way to go, enjoy the delights of these guys at the top of their game in their studio bliss.
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Format: Audio CD
If you love music as I do then you cannot miss this album out of your collection. Yes it is Jazz influenced , but is also rock, pop and everything else influenced. The title track alone is worth the price of admission. It features Steve Gadd on drums and has the best recorded drum break ever committed to disc. I have had this album since it was first released and listen to it regularly-it still makes my hair stand on end and shivers down my spine. It is THAT good. The Dan never actually made a bad or even indifferent album (Katy Lied is my least favourite-but it's still great). I have them all and wish I could hear them again for the first time. If I had to choose just one to keep then it would be Aja and Gaucho (sorry one would never do!!!). Buy , buy buy. And then buy Becker's solo albums and Fagen's solo output-also superb quality music for the discerning listener.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I've had Aja on vinyl for years, and then also on CD, it being one of my all time favourite Steely Dan albums, so I was looking forward to playing this 180gm audiophile version. Well I wasn't disappointed - the moment the stylus hit the lead in - silence. No pops, crackles or hisses. As there's not a duff track throughout, I'll describe the general presentation with it's widely spread sound stage, clear separation and superb placement of instruments and vocals, the pressing is outstanding.

To put everything into perspective I'll give you a rundown of my modest equipment set up. Rega Planar 3, RB300 arm with Michell Technoweight, Ortofon Red MM cartridge, Audiolab 8000A amp, VDH The Clearwater cables and MS 208s Speakers.

Even if you already own the album on vinyl, I'm confident that you wouldn't be disappointed with this version - I only wish I could obtain a similar version of 'Gaucho' for a reasonable price.
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