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Aja [Original recording remastered]

Steely Dan Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 6.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Aja + Gaucho (With Orig. Art) + Pretzel Logic
Price For All Three: CDN$ 21.83

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

1. Black Cow
2. Aja
3. Deacon Blues
4. Peg
5. Home At Last
6. I Got The News
7. Josie

Product Description

Product Description

The biggest smash of Steely Dan's career-their #3 album from 1977, featuring three classic hits: Peg; Deacon Blues , and Josie . This jazzy album was also their biggest critical success, and this reissue adds new notes by Fagen and Becker!


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

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I run to you... May 19 2004
Format:Audio CD
I went searching for the reissue of "Aja" after a conversation with one of my former co-workers. He was a true hip-hop head (a DC-based rapper, actually, who was working in the mail room at my office while looking to get that big break.) Anyway, we were talking about some of our favorite samples in rap songs--instead of working, of course. The topic of Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz's song "Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)" came up, a track which infamously sampled the opening break of "Black Cow" without Becker & Fagen's approval (which Becker slyly jokes about in the promotional video for "Everything Must Go"), which led to us talking about how funky Steely Dan's music is and how particularly infectious the entire "Aja" album is.
And, oh my God, is this album tight (as a previous reviewer very aptly put it).
This is B&F at their wittiest, funkiest, and shrewdest. The song craft is impeccable: the lyrics are thrifty, but dagger-sharp. (Example: "Home At Last" condenses Homer's "Odyssey" into two stanzas.) The melodies are full of catchy hooks and soulful grooves that blend jazz and rock together so smoothly that it makes you wonder why so many other supposed "fusion bands" that preceded SD, who tried to combine rock and jazz, mixed that delicate cocktail all wrong. (The key is shaken, not just stirred...)
Also, B&F decided to bring in some of the best jazz session players (like the late Victor Feldman) to get the sound and precision they envisioned, even stepping out of the limelight to let the session players' chops shine. And while SD often took a lot of heat for using session players instead of a set line-up of band members, the end result is musicianship unlike you'll hear on any other "pop" album that stands the test of time.
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Format:Audio CD
This 1978 album is recognized as a masterpiece for its time in having the top studio musicians in the industry performing. It pushed pop music the brink of perfection and artistic relevance. Some of the songs, such as Aja, that predicted the upcoming influence of Asia on American culture, are absolute genius and were highly revered by most everyone in the industry at the time.
It was my senior year of high school when this album came out in 1978. I was singing with my high school jazz choir -- the previous year that had performed at the Montreau Jazz festival wo they were pretty good. I remember bringing in the album to play the song "Aja" for those in the choir to listen to -- most had never heard it before. They were blown away, and so was the choir director, a very hard to please jazz pianist. He said it was the tightest album, musician wise, he had ever heard for a pop/jazz album.
This group is forever part of a treasured past of musical accomplishment for my generation that will never be forgotten! They made history. They achieved something few achieved and yet they consider themselves indebted to the former jazz musicians who came before them.
I will always cherish this music Steely Dan performed on this great album Aja that is part of my life and experience of my youth. What an inspiration. What great musicians! Sadly, I can't think if any youth band today that could come anywhere near them. A sad commentary on the current state of the music industry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Aja Steely Dan masterpiece Jan. 1 2004
Format:Audio CD
I don't have a lot to add to the great retrospective reviews presented here, but there are a few points I would like to make. I first heard this album when it was initially released; it knocked me out then, and it still does today.
I am a jazz pianist-classical composer with 40 years experience. Each of those years I have had to pay tribute to one influence or another--Debussy, Ravel, Hindemith; Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Miles...and yes, Steely Dan. The infectious sophistication of the lyrics, the wonderful harmonic concepts, and rhythmic drive, the perfection of performance--all these elements fall into place in this most perfect of musical expressions. Aja well deserves the accolades hearlding it as the record of the decade--it will carry that kudo even further through the years with many of us listeners.
A personal note: A close friend of mine--Jim Keltner, drummer--told me what it was like working on this recording. He walked into the studio to face a six-page drum part for Josie. This was rather an unusual occurance in the pop music field of the day; this is testimony to the perfection sought by Donald and Walter. They would perform different versions of the tunes with different players and select the version closest to their vision. Jim's version was the one they used for Josie. Jim told me the work he did on this recording was one of the most pleasurable musical experiences in his professional career--coming into the studio to find all these great players preparing to work on this monumental recording project. He is proud to have been associated with Aja.
I personally feel that on all levels this recording is one of the most compelling, satisfying musical endeavors ever undertaken. It is moving on all levels, and to all who love artistic expression, this recording should be a welcome addition to their personal library.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Signature Dan Album Dec 9 2003
Format:Audio CD
Steely Dan hit the commercial jackpot in 1977 with "Aja," their most successful release to date. So much has already been written about this signature classic from Walter Becker & Donald Fagen, that I don't have much else to add. I will just say that, with "Aja," Walt & Don crafted an outstanding jazz/pop/rock record in which every note played & sung, every melody, every arrangement, and every ounce of studio production is nothing short of genius. The towering piano, the sparkling horn section, the tasty guitars, and Donald Fagen's ultra-cool voice....pure magic. And to cap it off, ALL seven tracks---"Black Cow," "Aja," "Deacon Blues," "Peg," "Home At Last," "I Got The News," and "Josie"---are all classic FM-radio staples, all classic Steely Dan songs. In fact, these songs flow together SO effortlessly, you'd think that "Aja" is one continuous 40-minute suite simply split up into seven movements. Yep, it's that good.Most Steely Dan fans point to "Aja" as the group's greatest work. My personal fave is "The Royal Scam," but there's no doubt that "Aja" is a superb---heck, *legendary*---Steely Dan disc. It's the album that sent Walt & Don into the commercial stratosphere, and with good reason. Magnificent.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Standard, great music but a little disappointed in therecording...
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.
Published 3 months ago by Randy Hayward
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing album
considering that this album is 20 years old it still sounds current. Great remastering. Huge improvement in sound over the original!
Published 18 months ago by musiclover
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Album, Good Price - Remastering is Subtly Better
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. Read more
Published 20 months ago by From the Musician's Pen
5.0 out of 5 stars Home at Last......
What a powerful musical statement! It would be difficult....close
to impossible, to find fault with this. These 1999 remasters are
fantastic. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Breadmanwalking
5.0 out of 5 stars Un Chef-d’œuvre!
"Le" meilleur album en son genre, comme on ne l'a jamais entendu. Même en stéréo seulement, quel chaleur du son DSD. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Pierre Léger
5.0 out of 5 stars Holy Smokes
Having just hooked up my new Yamaha 3010 I was pretty eager to hear what this SACD would sound like. Holy Smokes!! Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2012 by Terrance Humphries
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best Albums Of All Time
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... Read more
Published on March 7 2009 by Jason Macleod
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection, truly
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. Read more
Published on Feb. 7 2007 by Asia
5.0 out of 5 stars A must own for any fan of true music genius.
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. Read more
Published on July 11 2004 by Scott "Dr. Music" Itter
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't beat this...Don't even try.
You can't beat this. Don't even try. You're gonna look like a fool if you do.
I really don't have to say much more, but since I don't think the review will show up with one... Read more
Published on June 17 2004 by Rock God
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