Let’s be honest, no one quite kicks-back like the Dan, and if you’re an aficionado, then this eight-minute title track from their album of the same name in 1977 is the dog’s bollocks. It’s a magnum opus with its Chinese influences, congas, vibes, chord progressions, and Fagen’s croonings interlaced with Wayne Shorter on Sax through the whole shemozzle.
I clearly remember first hearing this track lying in bed listening to the radio one dark winter’s night and recognising the Dan immediately. By the time the track ended, I was wide-awake, ultimately gobsmacked by the complexity and sound of the piece. Next day, I couldn’t wait to get to the record shop.
UK rock musician Ian Dury called “Aja” ‘heart warming…classic LA sound’ which ‘sends my spirits up.’ Now that’s my kind of recommendation. Go listen.
You can learn more about Steely Dan here:
About the Curator: Richard Parsons
I grew up listening to music from the late 60’s onwards. Pirate pop radio; swapping LP’s with friends; exploring genres; daydreaming over the latest woofer and tweeter.
In reality I spent thirty years imparting imperfect knowledge of English literature and drama to young minds in school. Regrets? No. I loved teaching; loved the interaction with the pupils, and made lifelong friends as a result. And what better way to keep up to date with music? I always played stuff in my lessons, and as a result, I’d be bombarded with suggestions from my flock! “Sir! Have you heard…?”