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Steely Dan

ABC Records

Regular price
$48.00 SGD
Regular price
Sale price
$48.00 SGD


For much of my youth and young adulthood, I listened to music for cheap emotional catharsis, and so I preferred songs that were feral, tenuous, unstudied, and impolite—anything that sounded as mixed-up and precarious as I usually felt. I equated wildness with authenticity, and wanted only to be reminded, again and again, that I wasn’t alone or unique in my feelings. This isn’t a particularly unusual way to commune with records, though it is, perhaps, the easiest way. I eventually came to understand that over-valuing anguish and ecstasy—conflating theatrics with feeling, and feeling with Art—was limiting and naïve. Things like pleasure, contentedness, a solid laugh—any good, ordinary moment—are just as evanescent, and certainly just as formidable (and important) to capture. 


Beginning in the early 1970s, Steely Dan—the duo of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen—made cerebral, clever, formally sophisticated music that resisted any autobiographical extrapolating. Even in the context of the era—the late 1960s had seen the development and rise of both jazz-fusion and prog-rock, two of the brainiest, chops-iest genres going—their work was shrouded in irony and a distancing intellect. There was no pretense of dissolution or even emotion. Listening to their records felt like running my hands along a slab of polished marble—there were no craggy bits to grab on to, no easy way to find purchase—and so for years, I believed that Steely Dan’s seeming aversion to sincerity meant that they were cold and dorky. Did they not just make inert, polished music for men with meticulously groomed facial hair? 


Then Aja—Steely Dan’s sixth album, from 1977—turned everything around for me: It’s a thoroughly convincing argument against my notion that aggressive or discordant music was inherently real and rebellious, whereas virtuosic or studied songs were always limp and bloodless. Aja is as bold as records get. It’s full of strange, unprecedented, disorienting moves. It is braver, more idiosyncratic, and more personal, in some ways, than any other record I own. - Pitchfork

Label: ABC Records ‎– 0076732168813

Series: Back To Black –

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered, Gatefold, 180g

Country: UK & Europe

Released: 22 Oct 2008

Genre: Jazz, Rock, Pop

Style: Pop Rock, Fusion