Our shared love and passion for music and HiFi bring us all together. Each week, we’re going to connect with you by sharing our favourite albums. Don’t worry we are open to suggestions and looking forward to being introduced to new music…..it won’t just be Bruce Springsteen records!
To kick things off, Steely Dan’s classic album Aja! This is a tried and tested album in the audio world and certainly a good one to use as a reference. I have fond memories of listening to the album as a teenager in a rented Chevrolet while on holiday in Florida with my parents. Although I couldn’t quite make sense of Fagen’s surrealism in his lyrics I was completely hooked on their complex harmony and overall sound.
Like many of Steely Dan’s albums, the plethora of session players on the record is astounding. In total, nearly 40 musicians participated in the making of Aja. It wasn’t uncommon for the band to mix up the ensemble of players from one day to another.
One of my favourite tracks from the album has to be Peg. The track has an undeniable groove from the start and an infectious chord structure which cleverly modulates throughout. If you listen closely enough, you might hear Michael McDonald singing harmonies almost pitch-perfect. My favourite moment has to be the guitar solo. This was very carefully thought about and it only took seven attempts by different session guys before they settled on Jay Graydon’s take. There’s a fantastic Classic Albums documentary on Aja where Fagen and Becker humorously dissect each track and share their recording process.
I could talk about every track on the Album but would be here all day! What’s your favourite song from the album? Look forward to hearing your thoughts, Billy.