Hybrid Stereo SACD Mastered by Bernie Grundman from an Analog, Non-EQ'd, Tape Copy
Led by the songwriting and virtuoso musical duo of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, Steely Dan released an extraordinary run of seven albums on ABC Records and MCA Records from 1972 through 1980. Filled with topline musicianship, clever and subversive wordplay, ironic humor, genius arrangements, and pop hits that outshone the Top 40 of its day, their records, which were as sophisticated and cerebral as they were inscrutable, were stylistically diverse, melding their love of jazz with rock, blues, and impeccable pop songcraft.
Now at long last, Steely Dan's classic ABC and MCA Records catalog will return to vinyl with an extensive yearlong reissue program of the band's first seven records, which is being personally overseen by founding member Donald Fagen. The LPs, most of which haven't been widely available since their original release, will be available on 33 1/3 RPM 180-gram black vinyl via Geffen/UMe, and as a premium 45 RPM version on Ultra High-Quality Vinyl (UHQR) from Analogue Productions. AP will also release this series of titles on Super Audio CD. All albums are being meticulously remastered by Bernie Grundman from the original analog tapes except for Aja, which will be mastered from an analog, non-EQ'd, tape copy, and Gaucho, which will be sourced from a 1980 analog tape copy originally EQ'd by Bob Ludwig. There's no evidence the original tapes containing the flat mixes of Aja and Gaucho were delivered to the record label and it's presumed the tapes no longer exist.
The culmination of everything Fagen and Becker aspired to accomplish in their storied careers, 1977's platinum-selling jazz-rock masterwork Aja yielded the three hit singles "Deacon Blues," Peg" and "Josie" plus the elegant title cut. The tight arrangements, inspired playing by the West Coast's best session players, and countless lyrical and musical hooks were immediately accessible and unforgettably cool. And then there's the "sound." Deservedly winning the 1978 Grammy Award for non-classical engineering, Roger "The Immortal" Nichols was helped by a who's-who of the top audio guys in the industry: Bill Schnee, Al Schmitt and Elliot Scheiner. The meticulous recording is almost fetishistic in its attention to detail. Every note of even the densest track can be clearly heard, with every instrument perfectly placed. This is a record where the studio becomes not only part of the process, but an instrument in and of itself!
- Hybrid Stereo SACD from Analogue Productions
- Mastered by Bernie Grundman from an analog, non-EQ’d, tape copy
- Plays on all CD and SACD players
- Black Cow
- Deacon Blues
- Home At Last
- I Got The News