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4.7 out of 5 stars
78
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 23 April 2017
There are a couple of prominent features on the album. The Dan are actually serious, even solemn, on the track Third World Man, a pean to the people of "the third world", a long time since no longer referred to as that (now, of course, the developing world). Another feature is the overt drug references, such as to the "fine Columbian". Anther outstanding feature is the humour, not longer obscured, but clear and laugh-out-loud funny (see the pathetic rival in My Rival).
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on 14 April 2016
Great album. Babylon Sisters is an all time favourite Desert Island Disk. Hey 19 is one of the best tracks to test the sound of your audio system.
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on 1 September 2017
Great studio album!
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on 12 September 2017
Fabulous. I listened to it while cooking and it defintnitely improved my omelettes.
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on 23 May 2012
I've been in Steely Dan since the mid-80s when I got a compilation and over the succeeding 25 years have gradually become familiar with everything they've released.
And the thing is unlike so many other artists you can play their tunes to death and they never get stale. Obviously the details and thought put into everything they recorded.And my favourite of their albums is constantly changing but currently I'd say this was my number 1. Hey Nineteen and Babylon Sisters are the very definition of cool,adult, intelligent jazzy popular music. And the rest aren't far behind.
Steely Dan have always been a group that even those who think they're too cool for conventional rock have always admitted to liking (many of those in the electronic dance, funk or jazz worlds)and have never got out of fashion with those who appreciate quality music.A good way of finding out if a person's ideas about music were worthwhile or downright embarrassing was to see what their opinion of Steely Dan were. Probably because in the popular music of the last 60 or 70 years things never anymore well-crafted than Steely Dan.
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on 13 February 2014
I'm one of the small band that collects SACDs and DVDAs and I guess I've probably got about 50 or so of the two types - I'm quite selective (and let's face it, these discs, apart from Classical where there are new releases all the time, are quite hard to find) and look for decent quality surround sound - which, to me, is the raison d'etre of SACD - well, I certainly got it with this one. It arrived Monday 10th February, I've played it 3 times and it's clearly the best SACD I've got, no question. One reviewer here suggests it's not surround...well, according to my SACD player it is and also confirmed by all the speakers. It's the best surround mix of all my SACDs - knocks the very disappointing 'Rumours' SACD into a cocked hat and, dare I say it, is even better than the 5.1 SACD of Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here'. If you like the Dan and have SACD, you simply have to have this and it's a darned good price compared to other SACDs, too (e.g. Genesis' 'Lamb Lies Down on Broadway' - ouch!).
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on 16 November 2016
Probably Steely Dan's finest work.Tremendous feel and movement to it. Aja, which proceeded Gaucho, showed the first signs of Steely Dan maturing from being a studio band but missed a couple of areas. Gaucho is a complete work even though it has only seven songs. Steely Dan Greatest Hits is the one album you need to have if you are interested in the band's work. Donald Fagen's(lead singer), first solo album - The Nightfly continues from where Gaucho ends. If you have these three pieces of work then you should have all that you need.
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on 18 September 2017
Oh dear yet another jazz funk set of tracks devoid of the brilliance shown throughout their previous albums up to Royal Scam. Why on earth they detoured into this kind of dross is beyond me. Long gone are the days when you didn't have to wonder how good or bad it was going to be. Each album was a real gem to be played over and over again for nothing other than sheer enjoyment.
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on 13 May 2010
Steely Dan's undisputed peak was Aja and The Royal Scam is a close second but, for me, Gaucho is the only other great album they made, although even Fagen & Becker agree that they may have gone too far with it.

Interestingly given the obsessive perfectionism (and bad luck) that plagued this album, it features fewer session players than previous albums, and Becker & Fagen perform on more tracks.

Babylon Sisters is as good as anything Becker & Fagen ever recorded. Bernard Purdie's drums are incredible (and were the basis of Jeff Pocaro's famous Rosanna beat), but there are amazing details in what is an apparantly minimal arrangement, including bass clarinets, muted clavinet, as a serpentine chord progression that no one else could have dreamed up. It's also extremely funky!

Hey Nineteen is borderline embarassing - the humour just on the wrong side of funny - and features Roger Nichols' peculiarly static Wendel drum sequencer programme, even though a drummer is credited (as is the case with Glamour Profession and My Rival).

Glamour Profession lasts rather longer than the musical interest can sustain but is rescued by an amazing guitar solo by Steve Khan.

Gaucho is, along with Babylon Sisters and Third World Man, one of the three great tracks here. It has a Keith Jarrett inspired chord sequence and solo tenor sax line (for which the erascible Mr Jarrett sued & won a share of the writing credit) but again it has a deceptively simple arrangement and extremely funny lyrics about a socially aspirant queen and his partner who is unduly interested in a bit of Brazilian rough.

Time Out Of Mind is famous for the lack of anything meaningful being played by the star guitar soloist Mark Knopfler, who clearly couldn't meet the impossible expectations of the jazz inclined composers. Great backing vocals from Michael MacDonald.

My Rival is the weakest track on the album but, that said, is better than much of what appears on everyone else's records. It's a chugging Wendel sequenced affair about an inadequate cuckold.

Third World Man is the saddest tune Becker & Fagen have written and reminds me of The Deer Hunter. It's also one of their most conventional charts, but is more affecting because of that - the simplicity also evokes a sense of emotional honesty which Becker & Fagen often mask in urbane sophistication and caustic sarcasm.

The album is beautifully recorded and doesn't sound dated like many 1980 albums do, although the overal effect is heading towards the much brighter cocaine mixes of the 1980s which are now so unlistenable.

This was, apart from Fagen's The Nightfly, the end of the classic Steely Dan period - the post-apotheosis of their obsession - the moment they passed out the back of the mirror and after which they could only see the reflection of their backs. Buy it and hear the sound of perfectionism ad absurdum.
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on 5 November 2003
Another example of why Fagen & Becker are/were the masters of the sound studio. The SACD remix of Gaucho is spectacular. No fancy surround sound gymnastics here. Just a rich blend of fullsome sounds, especially the use of wide horn sections and backing vocals. The original producer/engineer, Elliot Scheiner (guru of the surround sound world), who also remixed this new version of Gaucho should be applauded for this masterpiece of remixing. The DVD-A releases of SD's recent albums are very good, but this blast from their past outshines them both. Great songs, great musicians, great album. Lets hope they can find all the original master tapes of Aja, and rework their magic again.
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