14.11.2008.

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STEELY DAN - Aja (1977)

History gives Steely Dan's Walter Becker and Donald Fagen the last, hearty laugh on this, the crown jewel in their remarkable canon of '70s 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 epitomized 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.

01. Black Cow
02. Aja
03. Deacon Blues
04. Peg
05. Home At Last
06. I Got The News
07. Josie

Originally released in 1977, it became the group's best-selling album. Topping at #3 on the U.S. charts and #5 in the United Kingdom, it was the band's first platinum album, eventually going platinum twice. In July 1978, the album won the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Non-Classical Recording. It has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. In 2003, the album was ranked number 145 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
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14.11.2008. u 09:32 • 0 CommentsPrintPermalink

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