1001 Albums You Must Hear (and Blog about) Before You Die

My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die

612. Aja – Steely Dan

Brief Background: Aja (Pronounced Asia) is the sixth studio album from Steely Dan. It was recorded during the first half of 1977 and released in September of that year.

What I think: I knew there was something interesting about the legacy of this album that I remember hearing, but couldn’t quite place while listening to it. That legacy is that is considered such a well produced album that audiophiles use it to test their sound. I can give it that. I have nowhere close to any high end system in my vehicle, but it isn’t stock either and it does sound about perfect studio product. With that though is a somewhat consistently boring album. It’s almost like one really long song that has the Steely Dan sound throughout, and were their other albums seemed short at 30 some minutes, this one runs almost forty minutes and feels very long.  It does have some interesting moments though, the title track has some great drumming, “Deacon Blues” has a catchy as hell chorus, “Peg” has some crystal clear backing vocals by Michael McDonald as well as a really cool clavinet part. Aside from that though this felt pretty lackluster to me.

Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I know a lot of people hold this album in high regard, but it really didn’t grab me. I’d rather pass and listen to one of their first albums.

Rating (Out of 5) 2

Amazon Rating of Aja: 4.8/5

Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (303/390)

Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 78%


3 comments on “612. Aja – Steely Dan

  1. Jim S.
    March 8, 2017

    I hope maybe you reconsider this one day. Maybe as you said, go back and listen to some of their earlier stuff. This one is less accessible at first. I find that some albums need to marinate for a while. Then when you come back to them you say, Oh, yeah!

    • davidvriezedaniels
      March 9, 2017

      I totally get what you mean by marinating. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of really enjoying it someday. What I like today, wasn’t what I really liked ten years ago.

  2. Jim S.
    March 9, 2017

    Yeah, I find that sometimes the ones I couldn’t get right away are the ones that stay with me longest. They’re deeper, richer, you know? I’d be surprised if you came back to this later and didn’t dig it at least a little bit more. That whole drum/sax thing on the title tune is something you can really sink your teeth into. Who gets away with that in the pop world today? Nobody. Maybe Dave Matthews. Love to see your take later. If it’s the same, well at least you gave it a shot.

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This entry was posted on February 28, 2017 by and tagged , , , , .

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