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Aja (Shm-Sacd) [SACD, Import]

Steely Dan Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 131.51
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Product Details

Product Description


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 Mensa-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 lineup, 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 crit 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

Product Description

Limited edition Japanese only SACD and SHM pressing. Features 2003 DSD mastering. Universal. 2010.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing album April 7 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
considering that this album is 20 years old it still sounds current. Great remastering. Huge improvement in sound over the original!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By From the Musician's Pen TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
By their fourth album, Steely Dan was Fagan and Becker and session musicians. Even Fagan and Becker didn't play on all their own songs anymore. This album is their sixth, and it has elements of R&B and funk, and is very jazzy. It's a classic album, no filler. The song "Aja" is a masterpiece on many levels.

I already own the box set, and wanted to upgrade to the remastered CD's because of good reviews on the "improved" sound. The remastering is subtle - the sound is cleaner, clearer and has more depth, but has retained all the dynamics without being overly loud or bright. However, without a hi-fi stereo system, I doubt most people would notice any improvement over the oringal CD's or the box set - previously released versions already sounded quite good. So, it's an unnecessary purchase for most people(hence, my reason for deducting one star).

The remastered version includes lyrics and extra running commentary, which is continued on each successive CD.

If you like this album, you may want to check out the DVD, "Classic Albums - the Making of Aja".
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection, truly Feb. 7 2007
By Asia
Format:Audio CD
Possibly the most perfect album of ANY genre, ever, AJA is superb from its totally original cover to every cut on this disc/CD, or whatever form you get it in. Honestly, there's not one bad piece on this stellar album. It would be almost impossible to pick a favorite in this conorcoupia of aural delights, but my favorite is possibly "Black Cow." This album, somehow, doesn't "date" and is as fresh today as it was many years ago. And the cover is now a classic too, reproduced as a poster. Nothing else Steely Dan ever did will top this. And no other album ever produced will be as perfect as this. Top of the line, from cover to cover.
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Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have several copies of this in vinyl and all are better than this particular CD. Not sure why but as noted, the music is great - a must have standard for any Steely Dan fan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Home at Last...... Jan. 1 2013
By Breadmanwalking TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
What a powerful musical statement! It would be difficult....close
to impossible, to find fault with this. These 1999 remasters are
fantastic. The drumming on the title track "Aja" is superb, amazing!
The whole construction of "Deacon Blues" is majestic. When this was
released in '77 I purchased a vinyl copy immediately. I was a DanFan
from the get go and that's 40 years back. As always, the sidemen put
it out for Becker/Fagen. Bernard Purdie and Larry Carlton. Joe Sample
and Tom Scott. Lee Ritenour and Tim Schmit....I could go on but I'll
spare you. This is an excellent album at a fantastic price. Get a copy
for yourself and a friend! I ordered two, for just that reason.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Un Chef-d’œuvre! Dec 2 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
"Le" meilleur album en son genre, comme on ne l'a jamais entendu. Même en stéréo seulement, quel chaleur du son DSD.
Un bijou dans ma collection et un SACD exemplaire.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must own for any fan of true music genius. July 11 2004
Format:Audio CD
When you tried to throw this one in a particular section of the record store back in 1977, the year of its' release, you really had a difficult task. To avoid complication, stores were filing the record under Rock. You see, back then you only had 4 or 5 different categories to choose from. Things like Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Rap, Hip Hop, Alternative, Smooth Jazz, and Acid Jazz were all nifty names that came after 1977,...way after. Yes, in 1977 you had Rock, R&B, Jazz, and Classical, that was about it. So, is this a Rock record? Well, kind of. Is it a R&B record? Well, at times it is. Is it a Jazz record? Well, it's not your "traditional" jazz record. So where do we put this one, boss? If you're the boss you reply, "Rock". Why was this filed under Rock? Well, for 2 reasons really; 1 - It rocks very nicely at many points throughout. 2 - Rock radio is playing it, ...this is the important one. Rock radio grabbed this record and abused the airwaves with it, and to this day these songs are in regular rotation on the classic rock stations. I don't know about anybody else but, I have a hard time seeing this as simply a Rock record.

"Aja" is an album that is rich in pure musicianship, tone, and texture. It may sound as if I'm describing a Monet, I know, but this is Rock at its' most artistic. With Walter Becker playing guitar, and Donald Fagen providing the synthesizer and soul for Steely Dan, this is a masterpiece. Donald Fagen has a trademark voice that is soulful and smooth. With this duo getting hired help such as Tom Scott, Larry Carlton, Wayne Shorter, Rick Marotta, Steve Gadd, Venetta Fields, and Dean Parks, it reads like an all-star Jazz Fusion jam, and that's a pretty accurate description of what you get here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best Albums Of All Time March 7 2009
Format:Audio CD
This is one of the best albums of all time in any genre - a true masterpiece. With heavy-weight players like Steve Gadd, Larry Carlton, Tom Scott, Lee Ritenour, Steve Kahn, Michael MacDonald and Wayne Shorter, it is a landmark in the 20th century music scene. The compositions, performances, production, mixing and editing are superb.
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