Soul Strut 100: # 69 - Steely Dan - Aja

RAJRAJ tenacious local 7,546 Posts
edited May 2012 in The Soul Strut 100
I will slowly be unveiling the Top 100 Soul Strut Related Records as Voted by the Strutters Themselves.

#69 - Steely Dan - Aja



The list so far:

# 100 Jr. and His Soulettes - Psychodelic Sounds
# 99 Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul
# 98 - Donny Hathaway - S/T (1971)
# 97 - Bernard Wright - ???Nard
# 96 - Tom Scott - Honeysuckle Breeze
# 95 - People Under the Stairs - Question in the Form of an Answer
# 94 - Harlem River Drive
# 93 - Black Moon - Enta Da Stage
# 92 - Marvin Gaye - Here, My Dear
# 91 - Muddy Waters - Electric Mud
# 90 - Les McCann - Layers
# 89 - Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland
# 88 - Leroy Hutson - Hutson (1975)
# 87 - ESG - S/T (1981)
# 86 - Can - Tago Mago
# 85 - Bohannon - Stop & Go
# 84 - WILLIAM DEVAUGHN - Be Thankful For What You Got
# 83 - Power of Zeus - The Gospel According to Zeus
# 82 - Gang Starr - Hard To Earn
# 81 - The J.B.???s - Doing It to Death
# 80 - Parliament - Osmium
# 79 - McNeal & Niles - Thrust
# 78 - The Lafayette Afro Rock Band - Malik
# 77 - Earth, Wind, and Fire (1971)
# 76 - Dr. Dre - The Chronic
# 75 - Black Sabbath (1970)
# 74 - Trap Door / An International Psychedelic Mystery Mix (2006)
# 73 - Bob James - One
# 72 - Matthew Larkin Cassell - Pieces
# 71 - The Beginning Of The End - Funky Nassau
# 70 - Big Bear - Doin??? Thangs

Please discuss your reactions to this record. The thread will be archived later here.

About


Aja ( /??e??????/, pronounced like Asia) is the sixth album by the jazz rock band Steely Dan. Originally released in 1977 on ABC Records, it became the group's best-selling album. Peaking at No. 3 on the U.S. charts and No. 5 in the United Kingdom, it was the band's first platinum album, eventually selling over 5 million copies[citation needed]. In July 1978, the album won the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Non-Classical Recording. In 2003, the album was ranked number 145 on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list.

Donald Fagen has said the title of the album comes from the name of a Korean woman who married the brother of a high-school friend of his.[2] The cover photo by Hideki Fujii features Japanese model/actress Sayoko Yamaguchi.[3][4]

The album features several leading session musicians. The eight-minute-long title track features jazz-based changes and a solo by saxophonist Wayne Shorter.

Aja is the subject of one of the Classic Albums, a series of documentaries about the making of famous albums. The documentary includes a song-by-song study of the album (the only omission being "I Got the News," which is played during the closing credits), interviews with Steely Dan co-founders Walter Becker and Donald Fagen (among others) plus new, live-in-studio versions of songs from the album. Becker and Fagen also play back several of the rejected guitar solos for "Peg," which were recorded before Jay Graydon produced the satisfactory take.

When DTS attempted to make a 5.1 version, it was discovered that the multitrack masters for both "Black Cow" and the title track were missing. For this same reason, a multichannel SACD version was cancelled by Universal Music. Donald Fagen has offered a $600 reward for the missing masters or any information that leads to their recovery.[5]

On April 6, 2011, the album was deemed by the Library of Congress to be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important" and added to the United States National Recording Registry for the year 2010.[6]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aja_(album)

Related Threads

The verdict on Steely Dan???s ???Aja???

Favorite Steely Dan Album

TAKE THAT, YOU DINKS. STEELY DAN SKEWERED!!!

Media



  Comments


  • fishmongerfunkfishmongerfunk 4,154 Posts
    i think the music critics generally consider Aja to be SD's masterpiece because it is their least cynical, snarky, mean-spirited and mysogonystic release but i have to presume that "Royal Scam" or "Gaucho" is going to best it on the Soulstrut 100.

    this record is a true dollar-bin staple.

    Jeff Porcaro:

    . "I did a clinic a couple or years ago at the Dick Grove School," Porcaro says in his groggy baritone. "The students brought CD of my stuff to play and ask me questions about. I knew what would happen; they'd ask about the 'Rosanna' beat, which is probably the most unoriginal thing I've ever done, yet I got all this credit for it. Stupid. So I brought along the CDs of the records I stole the beat from--"Fool In The Rain" from Led Zeppelin's In Through The Out Door, and Bernard Purdie's 'Home At Last' and 'Babylon Sisters' with Steely. Without saying anything, I put on the CD and played 'Babylon Sisters.' Half the class knew the song, but none of them knew who the drummer was. This is a class of 18 to 33-year-olds. Then I played 'Home At Last,' which I copped all the shit for 'Rosanna' from. Once again, no one knew the drummer. I said, 'Guys, it's Bernard Purdie. Who in this room has heard of Steve Gadd?' All the hands went up. 'Aja?' All hands up. 'I'm sure you all know Steve won Performance Of The Year for that in Modern Drummer. Well. you're all fucked up! I just played you 'Home At Last' with Bernard Purdie, and that's on the same record. What do you do, listen to 'Aja' and then take the needle off? As musicians you should know everything I just played for you. Some of the best drum shit ever is on that record. Each track has subtleties."

  • skelskel You can't cheat karma 5,028 Posts
    600 bucks reward.

    600!!

    Fucking cheapskate.

  • DocMcCoyDocMcCoy "Go and laugh in your own country!" 5,920 Posts
    Soulmarcosa's thread is a Private Mindgarden GOAT Top-Tenner of mine. Every wanky anti-Dan argument I've rolled my eyes and yawned at my entire life, all gathered together in one place and expressed as a collection of zeroes and ones. It's what the internet was made for.

  • unityunity 179 Posts
    crabmongerfunk said:

    Jeff Porcaro:

    . "I did a clinic a couple or years ago at the Dick Grove School," Porcaro says in his groggy baritone. "The students brought CD of my stuff to play and ask me questions about. I knew what would happen; they'd ask about the 'Rosanna' beat, which is probably the most unoriginal thing I've ever done, yet I got all this credit for it. Stupid. So I brought along the CDs of the records I stole the beat from--"Fool In The Rain" from Led Zeppelin's In Through The Out Door, and Bernard Purdie's 'Home At Last' and 'Babylon Sisters' with Steely. Without saying anything, I put on the CD and played 'Babylon Sisters.' Half the class knew the song, but none of them knew who the drummer was. This is a class of 18 to 33-year-olds. Then I played 'Home At Last,' which I copped all the shit for 'Rosanna' from. Once again, no one knew the drummer. I said, 'Guys, it's Bernard Purdie. Who in this room has heard of Steve Gadd?' All the hands went up. 'Aja?' All hands up. 'I'm sure you all know Steve won Performance Of The Year for that in Modern Drummer. Well. you're all fucked up! I just played you 'Home At Last' with Bernard Purdie, and that's on the same record. What do you do, listen to 'Aja' and then take the needle off? As musicians you should know everything I just played for you. Some of the best drum shit ever is on that record. Each track has subtleties."

    That's surprising, because I feel like every drummer worships Purdie. But yeah, Aja was always my favorite SD album. That Wayne Shorter sax solo always blew my mind. *WHERE'D HE COME FROM!?*

  • ketanketan Warmly booming riffs 2,407 Posts
    Great album!

    I'm pretty blown away by the way Jeff Porcaro speaks. Sounds like a real dude.

    crabmongerfunk said:

    Jeff Porcaro:

    (Porcaro says in his groggy baritone.)

    Then I played 'Home At Last,' which I copped all the shit for 'Rosanna' from.

    Well. you're all fucked up!

    Some of the best drum shit ever is on that record."


  • Bon VivantBon Vivant The Eye of the Storm 2,018 Posts
    skel said:
    600 bucks reward.

    600!!

    Fucking cheapskate.

    Haha! This is exactly what I thought.

  • dayday 9,612 Posts
    DocMcCoy said:
    Soulmarcosa's thread is a Private Mindgarden GOAT Top-Tenner of mine. Every wanky anti-Dan argument I've rolled my eyes and yawned at my entire life, all gathered together in one place and expressed as a collection of zeroes and ones. It's what the internet was made for.

    First thing I thought of when I saw this. Marco's hate for the Dan is unparalleled!

  • Controller_7Controller_7 4,052 Posts
    Some great songs on here. Just watched the DVD the other night. Them dudes are kind of creepy looking.

  • SunfadeSunfade 799 Posts
    I always thought Fagan looked like Louis from Revenge Of The Nerds.

  • phatmoneysackphatmoneysack Melbourne 1,124 Posts
    yeah they look like jazzed-up science teachers.

  • OligeeOligee 289 Posts
    I wonder if they had groupies

  • StoneHandsStoneHands 341 Posts
    Cool record and all, I enjoy listening to it, for the musicianship alone. Probably sterile as anything Steely Dan put out. Which is all sterile to be honest. The whole "there's a reason punk exists" sentiment really rings true to me.

  • DJBombjackDJBombjack Miami 1,665 Posts
    Sunfade said:
    I always thought Fagan looked like Louis from Revenge Of The Nerds.

    or Billy Bob Thornton

  • Bon VivantBon Vivant The Eye of the Storm 2,018 Posts
    NerdAlert said:
    I wonder if they had groupies

    Yeah, they look like your avatar.

  • DrWuDrWu 4,021 Posts
    :bizzo:

  • finelikewinefinelikewine "ONCE UPON A TIME, I HAD A VINYL." http://www.discogs.com/user/permabulker 1,416 Posts

  • Big_StacksBig_Stacks "I don't worry about hittin' power, cause I don't give 'em nuttin' to hit." 4,670 Posts
    Hey,

    I have to say, "Aja" is one of my favorite LPs that I own. It's a masterpiece from start to close, with my choice tune being "Deacon Blues." Sure, Steely Dan have taken their share of heat here on the 'Strut, but I stand by the group overall, and "Aja" in particular, as a landmark piece of musical art. I'm happy to see that the 'Strut recognizes the greatness of this master work.

    Peace,

    Big Stacks from Kakalak

  • Big_Stacks said:
    "Deacon Blues."

    love that song too.

    The song, while contrasting winning and losing in life, does so by taking as an image the contrast between the perennial powerhouse, Crimson Tide football team, and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. In the five years before the song was written, the Crimson Tide had lost only 8 games total, while Wake Forest had a losing record every season. Group member Donald Fagen said, "Walter (Becker) and I had been working on that song at a house in Malibu. I played him that line, and he said, 'You mean it's like, they call these cracker assholes this grandiose name like the Crimson Tide, and I'm this loser, so they call me this other grandiose name, Deacon Blues?' And I said, 'Yeah!' He said, 'Cool! Let's finish it!'"[2]

    In a 1994 AOL chat interview with Becker, someone asked him about the inspiration for "Deacon Blues". He answered, "It was an outgrowth of a specific mood that pertained at a given time," and later added, "...I remember the night that we mixed that one thinking that it was really good and wanting to hear it over and over which is never the case."[3]

  • gazgaz 232 Posts
    Suprised but pleased to see this in the top 100 , prefer Royal Scam myself but they're all good , every one filed

  • OligeeOligee 289 Posts
    Bon Vivant said:
    NerdAlert said:
    I wonder if they had groupies

    Yeah, they look like your avatar.

    Why do you think I asked? : p

  • DrWuDrWu 4,021 Posts
    What's the AJA sample they clown about in the making of doc? I cant find it on youtube and am too lazy watch the whole thing again.

  • DrWu said:
    What's the AJA sample they clown about in the making of doc? I cant find it on youtube and am too lazy watch the whole thing again.

    "Black Cow" http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x21rmj_steely-dan-making-of-the-black-cow_music

  • DrWuDrWu 4,021 Posts
    CinisterCee said:
    DrWu said:
    What's the AJA sample they clown about in the making of doc? I cant find it on youtube and am too lazy watch the whole thing again.

    "Black Cow" http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x21rmj_steely-dan-making-of-the-black-cow_music

    Thanks. That was driving me crazy.
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