Gaucho (2023 Remaster) Steely Dan
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- 1Babylon Sisters (2023 Remastered)05:49
- 2Hey Nineteen (2023 Remastered)05:06
- 3Glamour Profession (2023 Remastered)07:28
- 4Gaucho (2023 Remastered)05:30
- 5Time Out Of Mind (2023 Remastered)04:11
- 6My Rival (2023 Remastered)04:30
- 7Third World Man (2023 Remastered)05:14
Info for Gaucho (2023 Remaster)
1980’s Gaucho marked Steely Dan’s seventh studio album and capped the end of a highly prolific and successful eight-year-period for the duo, during which they released such best-selling titles as Pretzel Logic (1974), Katy Lied (1975), and the multi-platinum classic, Aja (1977).
Beset by a number of problems during the album’s gestation, including a car crash, a dispute with their label over the retail price and an engineer erasing an entire track, the album was never the less a Top Ten US hit, going double platinum in the process, and featuring a hit single with 'Hey Nineteen'. The somewhat ambivalent Rolling Stone review felt that “Steely Dan have perfected the aesthetic of the tease. Their sound is as slippery as their irony”.
Eventually, everything comes back into vogue, except maybe the music of Steely Dan. Maybe it’s because of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen’s intellectual smugness, or the glossy-shine of their highly-produced songs, either way, it’s probably never again going to be cool to admit you dig Steely Dan. Needless to say, I’ve never had any pretensions of being cool, and although I’m not going to get a Steely Dan tattoo anytime soon, I’m not afraid to give a big shout out to my boys Becker and Fagen.
The remastered version of Gaucho is the last in the series of Steely Dan albums to be re-released by MCA. Although it did yield the top ten hit “Hey Nineteen”, Gaucho was the follow up to their landmark album Aja, and it would have been almost an impossibility for the album not to be seen as a letdown by fans and critics. Over budget, overwrought, and overweight with it’s own self-importance, Gaucho, released amid the flurry of punk and new wave in 1980, looked like the last gasp of a heavyweight who should have long ago hung up his gloves. Twenty years later it’s easier to see Gaucho for the classic it really is.
Becker and Fagen knew that their reign of cool coke-snorting, jet-setting, California-dreaming wonder boys was coming to an end. In “Hey Nineteen” Fagen sings “It’s hard times befallen / The sole survivors / She thinks I’m crazy / But I’m just growing old.” Some critics have complained that Gaucho‘s only other high points are the classics, “Time Out of Mind”, (featuring a great guitar solo by Mark Knopfler) and “Babylon Sisters”. The overlooked title track “Gaucho”, is also one of Steely Dan’s best songs, so show me an album from the last 20 years with four great songs that stand the test of time, and I’ll show you a classic album. In a nutshell, Gaucho was lost in the shadow of Aja and the changing tides of music, but this remastered version is worth another listen if you missed it the first time around. (David Sakowski)
Donald Fagen, vocals, piano, synthesizer
Walter Becker, bass, guitars
Hugh McCracken, guitar
Rick Marotta, drums
Steve Gadd, percussion
Victor Feldman, percussion
Frank Floyd, background vocals
Zack Sanders, background vocals
Digitally remastered by Bernie Grundman sourced from a 1980 analog tape copy originally EQ’d by Bob Ludwig.
Walter Becker (bass) and Donald Fagen (vocals, keyboards) were the core members of Steely Dan throughout its variety of incarnations. The two met at Bard College in New York in 1967 and began playing in bands together shortly afterward. The duo played in a number of groups -- including the Bad Rock Group, which featured future comedic actor Chevy Chase on drums -- which ranged from jazz to progressive rock. Eventually, Becker and Fagen began composing songs together, hoping to become professional songwriters in the tradition of the Brill Building. In 1970, the pair joined Jay & the Americans' backing band, performing under pseudonyms; Becker chose Gustav Mahler, while Fagen used Tristan Fabriani. They stayed with Jay & the Americans until halfway through 1971, when they recorded the soundtrack for the low-budget film You Gotta Walk It Like You Talk It, which was produced by the Americans' Kenny Vance. Following the recording of the soundtrack, Becker and Fagen attempted to start a band with Denny Dias, but the venture was unsuccessful. Barbra Streisand recorded the Fagen/Becker composition ‘I Mean to Shine’ on her album Barbra Joan Streisand, released in August 1971, and the duo met producer Gary Katz, who hired them as staff songwriters for ABC/Dunhill in Los Angeles, where he had just become a staff producer. Katz suggested that Becker and Fagen form a band as a way to record their songs, and Steely Dan -- who took their name from a dildo in William Burroughs' Naked Lunch -- was formed shortly afterward. (Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic)
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