Steely Dan Aja Reissue [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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08-10-2007, 10:11 AM
Cisco Music 30th anniversary reissue
Remastered by Kevin Gray & Robert Pincus

This is not a music review but instead a review of the Vinyl pressing itself.
Here there will not be a 1-10 scale I do not believe in those.

Although not a big fan of Steely Dan, decided to get this album anyway.
Reasons being that:
1. Did not have Steely Dan in the record collection,
2. It received a glowing review from Michael Fremer,
3. Cisco Music reissues of the best sounding pressings on the market.

The familiar music did bring on a rush of old memories, like working on some kind of Boy Scout merit badge and skating at the roller rink.
It also reminded me this genre was not my particular taste back in 1977; was more interested in listening to Boston, Kiss, ZZ Top, Areosmith, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath and such. Now older, I can appreciate the Steely Dan group’s musicianship and realize they set out to create a great sounding record in Aja.

Album cover:
very nice (and very shiny) gatefold cover which was immaculate and demanded handlers use cotton gloves so as not to smudge it, absent handy gloves, it took a quick polish with a soft cotton cloth.
With a 4 digit S/N indicated ( mine is 4582) on the backside, though it does not indicate how many pressings there will be i.e.1 / 1000 or say 1 / 9999 (which I like to see)

a heavy paperboard record sleeve with the lyrics and credits and a paper poly-lined record sleeve, which the album was actually in.

Weight is 180 gram, perfectly flat, not dead silent at first (very few albums are when first played). Take note new vinyl surface noise will usually diminish with time, as the diamond will polish the grove.
The hole was centered so no run out was visible.
Side one label was a bit off center, not that it matters.

The Genre:
A touch of mid seventies disco, nightclub-like blues.

The Sound:
Just after 10 minutes of listening, it came clear as to why Cisco Music chose this particular album for reissue and, as with all their records was chosen carefully and rightfully so.
Detailed audiophile quality, every song engages your senses and your emotions. This album was masterfully re-mastered and has all the classic sound that Cisco Music has come to be famous for- warmth, musicality, no detail left out, and no over equalization or compression.
The brass horn sections sounded wonderful. The Trumpet or Coronet (not too sure on that) was clear and non-obtrusive. The percussion has a dynamic impact with a believable bass drum; it will grab your attention.
Realistically clear, vocals are focused and center stage.
In addition, in Deacon Blues the Tenor Saxophone played by Pete Christlieb sounded so real I almost jumped from the chair. The Electric Piano sounded very good as well…Not a big fan of the sound of the Electric Piano but I liked this one.
The electric guitar sound gets the gold medal a true and direct sound, as if the guitar amp is sitting on your living room floor.

This Cisco Music Reissue is a must have in your collection even if you already have the original. You will at least want the 30th anniversary edition, so in another 30 years you can say you were there both times.
If interested in acquiring a copy of this wonderful pressing please take the time to visit Cisco Music.

08-10-2007, 01:09 PM
mid seventies disco?!?!?!?!?

dunno bout that

I have the remastered CD, but I do remember the album on vinyl way back when. It has always been regarded as one of the best mastered albums ever, but then again, Steely Dan was always held in high regard when it came to sound quality.

This is the album that spurred me to consider jazz at an early age (not disco). Still a great piece of work and is one of those albums that sound fresh to every new listener - not dated at all.

I think I'll whip it out tonight (the CD) and play it.

Finch Platte
08-10-2007, 05:47 PM
I was NOT 21 years old when this came out. :frown2:

Where's the Wayback Machine when I need it???


08-24-2007, 11:02 PM
[QUOTE=3-LockBox]mid seventies disco?!?!?!?!?

dunno bout that

I agree. Where in the hell did he come up with that?!? :confused5:

08-24-2007, 11:24 PM
This is the ONLY Steely Dan album that I own...remastered CD from ...1999 I think. Anyway, I did have their SACD, but wasn't that impressed. This album on the other hand is hands down a masterpiece and one of the few albums that I can listen to on repeat from beginning to end without ever getting tired of it. Just a superbly complex, emotional, heartfelt, and fun album all the way around.