Rediscovering Steely Dan’s ‘Aja’ on Vinyl Introduction:
This isn’t just any album for me; it’s my first Steely Dan record on vinyl, a significant addition to my collection that predominantly features CDs, including the Steely Dan 4CD box set from 1993.
‘Aja’, released in 1977, stands out as a masterpiece in Steely Dan’s discography. The album showcases an array of talented musicians like Larry Carlton, Walter Becker, Dean Parks, and Lee Ritenour, among others, contributing to its exceptional sound quality.
Steely Dan’s music has always been synonymous with sonic perfection, and ‘Aja’ is no exception. The album’s reissue on vinyl brings a new dimension to its sound. While I’ve enjoyed the CD version from my box set and standalone CDs, the vinyl experience is distinctively sublime.
The new vinyl edition, which is not the 45 RPM half-speed mastered version but a standard reissue with a gatefold sleeve, impressed me immensely. Tracks like “Deacon Blues,” “Peg,” “Home at Last,” and the iconic “Aja” resonate with a warmth and bass response that is truly captivating. It’s a testament to the album’s production that it has consistently sounded great across various formats, but this vinyl reissue takes it to another level.
My journey with Steely Dan’s music has been gradual, starting with a greatest hits compilation and gradually exploring deeper into their catalog. The vinyl reissue of ‘Aja’ has been a delightful exploration, reaffirming my appreciation for the band’s intricate compositions and sound quality.
Priced at around £26.99, this vinyl reissue is a steal for any audiophile or Steely Dan fan. While I’ve heard mixed reviews about the pressing quality of other albums like ‘Pretzel Logic,’ I can personally vouch for the excellent quality of ‘Aja.’ It’s more than just a record; it’s an auditory experience that enriches the soul.
Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine