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Steely Dan — Aja
Album: Aja
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2884









Released: 1977
Length: 7:40
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Up on the hill
People never stare
They just don't care
Chinese music under banyan trees
Here at the dude ranch above the sea
Aja
When all my dime dancin' is through
I run to you

Up on the hill
They've got time to burn
There's no return
Double helix in the sky tonight
Throw out the hardware
Let's do it right
Aja
When all my dime dancin' is through
I run to you

Up on the hill
They think I'm okay
Or so they say
Chinese music always sets me free
Angular banjoes
Sound good to me
Aja
When all my dime dancin' is through
I run to you
Comments (875)add comment
The bar from this band is just too high for some people to grasp. Fortunately...I can reach it and love it every time it appears on RP. It's unfair to say that any negative opinion of this band or song is universally wrong...and quite honestly am ok with that.
My gosh,

Look at the albums they put 0ut in about 7 years:  Aja, Countdown,   Kay Lied,  Can't Buy, Royal Scam, Pretzel Logic.   And don't forget the album cover art! 

Everyone is a masterpiece.  This is rare talent, like  The Beatles,  Van M, Bob Dylan, Joni M. , Neil Y. 
Should be an 8.8 average.
One of the first CDs I bought myself - have the album too. Can drive or drop the needle. Very nostalgic

Gadd-tastic!
One of the best songs by THE greatest band of all time.
 Schmoogsley wrote:

The Mob is retarded. Truth. 
 
The cloth-eared twits who don’t get this tend to be Coldplay fans. 
I see that this song received Quite a Few number 1 ratings...the drumming alone played by Steve Gadd at least warrants a 6 or better.
 Grayson wrote:
I don't trust nobody who don't like Aja. 
 
Wow! A triple negative grammatical conundrum! So, ummm, what are you really saying? (In English please).
Love this album. Re-bought it in 180 gram. Quality is outstanding.
 bbjordan400 wrote:
Posted 1 year ago by Joanna91540:
such a low rating ?

Looking at the ratings, the "average" number is misleading, because of the 1 ratings by the haters.
Using mode instead of average, if we take the greatest number rating as the first digit (in this case 8) and the second greatest number (in this case 9), as the second digit in the rating, the rating becomes 8.9.  A very good rating! 
 
It sounds like we agree that it is a good song, but we disagree on the math.
That example is not how Mode works. It is simply the most common rating, in this case 8.
It is one of three common ways to determine an average. The Mean average is what is posted and for those of you wondering what the Median average is, it is also 8. The value in the middle of the sorted list of all the 2,680 ratings. 
Posted 1 year ago by Joanna91540:
such a low rating ?

Looking at the ratings, the "average" number is misleading, because of the 1 ratings by the haters.
Using mode instead of average, if we take the greatest number rating as the first digit (in this case 8) and the second greatest number (in this case 9), as the second digit in the rating, the rating becomes 8.9.  A very good rating! 
I have always wanted to love this song like I love so much of SD, but it still feels cold and empty to me.  I think they were better in the mid 70s than the late 70s when they got popular.
I once worked with a woman named Aja, whose parents named her after this song. Always thought that was so cool. And have always loved this song (and everything else I've ever heard by Steely Dan). 
I first heard this as a 15 year-old browsing the record selection at my local (now defunct) Korvettes (located in the suburbs of NJ). The record department was playing this over the speakers.  Having grown up listening to my 7-year-older sister's record collection of 60's and 70's music, and the progressive and pop music of the era (think Kansas, Yes, etc.) this stopped me in my tracks instantly. I had never heard anything like it. 

It grabbed me instantly.  Thus started my love of Steely Dan, and the growing understanding to always seek out something new musically.

Having been my first introduction into truly expanding my musical taste, this will always hold a special place for me.
 Joanna91540 wrote:
such a low rating ??
 
The Mob is retarded. Truth. 
 tinypriest wrote:
God-like is exactly what this is. Listen to the sax (Wayne Shorter), drums (Steve Gadd), and piano (Victor Feldman). There is nothing like this song in the "rock repertoire" (listen also to the guitar -- combination of Denny Dias, Larry Carlton, and Walter Becker). Drone-like? Only if you don't here details and are immune to a rhythm section as hot as any ever assembled to record any song, ever. Up on the hill, they think I'm ok. Ponder than for a while. Who? What hill? What's ok? The mystery only deepens as your dime dancing progresses. Listen to the drums, again, especially the high-hat finale. There is nothing like this masterpiece under the banyan trees. Full 10.
Word!
I don't trust nobody who don't like Aja. 
And if you're a Steely Dan fan visiting Toronto, definitely check out "Pretzel Logic" - they play several times a month here, different locations. It not just that they play absolutely note-perfect Steely Dan (and have being doing this since forever),  go because it's always just a fun night, they bring so much energy to every song. Go early to get in, seriously... http://pretzellogic.ca/pretzel...
Great arrangement. Memorable performance.  I like.
Love this. This whole album, but this song in particular.
Awful, boring, completely non-melodic. -10 in my scale.
I am one of the folks who will never 'get' Steely Dan... to me this sounds like an over-produced lounge act. I understand that these guys are great musicians and I think it's great that some people love them but i just can't get there myself. Enjoy! I'm off to PSD land!
Pure excellence!!!   It's not even my fav Steely Dan album either.
 laserace wrote:
Steve Gadd. WOW. Best Drum ever
 
You should see the current drummer Steve Carlock do this live.   Ups the game.
 Clyde_Bedow wrote:
Meandering, wandering, droning, etc.

Once again, Great musicianship. Great production. Great mix. And yet..... Please make it stop!!!

Hey Bill! Next rotation of this (Or that driveling Dr. Woo song) how about try something experimental that's more interesting. Maybe some Zappa or something that "takes itself a little less seriously"  
Something more endearing than enduring...….
Something fun.....

Something else.
 
And every time I hear Steely Dan come on - no matter what song - I can't get to my computer fast enough to turn it up.  Love this song since this album came out all those years ago.  Thanks for playing.
 Clyde_Bedow wrote:
Meandering, wandering, droning, etc.

Once again, Great musicianship. Great production. Great mix. And yet..... Please make it stop!!!

Hey Bill! Next rotation of this (Or that driveling Dr. Woo song) how about try something experimental that's more interesting. Maybe some Zappa or something that "takes itself a little less seriously"  
Something more endearing than enduring...….
Something fun.....

Something else.
 
... something different.  Hey, too bad there's not a button for that.
 tinypriest wrote:
God-like is exactly what this is. Listen to the sax (Wayne Shorter), drums (Steve Gadd), and piano (Victor Feldman). There is nothing like this song in the "rock repertoire" (listen also to the guitar — combination of Denny Dias, Larry Carlton, and Walter Becker). Drone-like? Only if you don't here details and are immune to a rhythm section as hot as any ever assembled to record any song, ever. Up on the hill, they think I'm ok. Ponder than for a while. Who? What hill? What's ok? The mystery only deepens as your dime dancing progresses. Listen to the drums, again, especially the high-hat finale. There is nothing like this masterpiece under the banyan trees. Full 10.
 

Hey Tiny, 
Some people just don't get SD. Such is life.  
God-like is exactly what this is. Listen to the sax (Wayne Shorter), drums (Steve Gadd), and piano (Victor Feldman). There is nothing like this song in the "rock repertoire" (listen also to the guitar -- combination of Denny Dias, Larry Carlton, and Walter Becker). Drone-like? Only if you don't hear details and are immune to a rhythm section as hot as any ever assembled to record any song, ever. Up on the hill, they think I'm ok. Ponder than for a while. Who? What hill? What's ok? The mystery only deepens as your dime dancing progresses. Listen to the drums, again, especially the high-hat finale. There is nothing like this masterpiece under the banyan trees. Full 10.
Meandering, wandering, droning, etc.

Once again, Great musicianship. Great production. Great mix. And yet..... Please make it stop!!!

Hey Bill! Next rotation of this (Or that driveling Dr. Woo song) how about try something experimental that's more interesting. Maybe some Zappa or something that "takes itself a little less seriously"  
Something more endearing than enduring...….
Something fun.....

Something else.
Rushing home from the record store with this album, listening to this song a couple times, sitting down in front of the piano to try to figure it out and finally just giving up, saying: What. The. Hell.

 below72 wrote:
'78 the life of a traveling musician.  Livin' in LA in a rundown rodent infested house on Western Ave. (Lower Allston for the uninitiated). $1 movies in Harvard Square, The Blizzard!  No Name Restaurant, FH (best chocolate chip cookies of the era.)  On the roads of NE playing music with my other misguided musician friends!  We were so naive (ha).  A ton of fun. 

 

I remember that blizzard(s)! I was growing up in Metrowest at the time, but I can see how this song captured those salad-days memories for you. Did you have a favorite town or club?



 jktravl wrote:
Please get me off this elevator from hell

 

{#Roflol}


Yeah, I used to hate Steely Dan. At the moment, this song reminds me why: it kind of wanders around musically and thematically. Definitely of the 70s. The band is practically talking to itself: there doesn't seem much effort to connect with an audience or to explain just what the hell is going on.

But like many excessive works of yore, much is forgiven in return for a unique carpet ride into the past...
 nwfirefly wrote:
so tired of Steely Dan - must have been the DJ from Seattle that loved Steely Dan  and played it as often as possible!!! - I've had my lifetime worth..
 
Yikes! here it is again - 2 days later
so tired of Steely Dan - must have been the DJ from Seattle that loved Steely Dan  and played it as often as possible!!! - I've had my lifetime worth..
The touring band for this is fantastic, especially the drum portion at the end. A killer, muscular, engaging drum solo. Yeah, I know!

And this is just a reworking of Dr. Wu, isn't it? 
Ok. I thought this song played yesterday. I was almost right. Two days ago. Not sure this song was ever heavy rotation material, but ok. 
Steve Gadd. WOW. Best Drum ever
{#Devil_pimp}zesty ! angular banjos sound good to me
 h8rhater wrote:

Myself, I would always take the elevator FROM hell.  Who wants to stay there? 

 
Ha, good point! Wow a comment from h8rhater that does't burn.  Sometimes I'm afraid to comment on a song because the fear of his/her wrath.
 jktravl wrote:
Please get me off this elevator from hell

 
SurfDoc wrote:

Ha, second that!

 
Myself, I would always take the elevator FROM hell.  Who wants to stay there? 
 DaMoGan wrote:


Definitely.  JAZZ is infinitely better.  For the record, I'm okay with this song.  I give it a 7, and I am definitely not a Steely Dan fan, man.
 
Sorry... meant that the OP's comment made no sense because Steely Dan is not JAZZ (allowing that there are elements of such in their music). 

I love Steely Dan myself and would be demoralized to have my comment read as h8 for the band (or any comment I make on any song to be read as h8 for that song). 

Also like Jazz quite a bit (maybe not as much as Steely Dan, though).   I grew up with that band as the soundtrack of the moment.
 jktravl wrote:
Please get me off this elevator from hell

 
If they're playing Steely Dan in Hell it's where I want to go...
 jktravl wrote:
Please get me off this elevator from hell

 
Ha, second that!
so good..... {#Yes}
 h8rhater wrote:

JAZZ:  Not Steely Dan.

 

Definitely.  JAZZ is infinitely better.  For the record, I'm okay with this song.  I give it a 7, and I am definitely not a Steely Dan fan, man.

 sfyi2001 wrote:
 
 

JAZZ: 5 guys in the same band, each playing a different song. lol

 


 
JAZZ:  Not Steely Dan.
 sfyi2001 wrote:
 
 

JAZZ: 5 guys in the same band, each playing a different song. lol

 


 
JAZZ = Not Steely Dan.
 
 

JAZZ: 5 guys in the same band, each playing a different song. lol

 

Oy. Anytime I can give this group a 12 or 13, I do it, especially to make up for the folks who think their music is boring and droning.
 Joanna91540 wrote:
such a low rating ??

 
I know Steely Dan has people who think they are Gods — and that's ok — but I've never been a fan. They always seem to go on too long and become droning, IMHO.

I always thought I was alone in not being a fan but it seems a few other people aren't, too.
It's a light ear-tonguing; inexplicable, it monopolises your attention, and you don't want it to end.
such a low rating ??
'78 the life of a traveling musician.  Livin' in LA in a rundown rodent infested house on Western Ave. (Lower Allston for the uninitiated). $1 movies in Harvard Square, The Blizzard!  No Name Restaurant, FH (best chocolate chip cookies of the era.)  On the roads of NE playing music with my other misguided musician friends!  We were so naive (ha).  A ton of fun. 
Going to miss Walter.  What a contribution he made to music.
The Height of 70's Pop Perfection.
 Steely_D wrote:
The current touring band (caught them thrice in a week in 2017) does this song justice. Especially the drummer, who cranks out a MOTHER of a drum part every single damn time. Strong recommendation. " target="_blank">Here's one of the shows at the Opaline.

There's a part in this where you just lay your head back, let the song surround you, and thank God you're alive. What a piece of genius (even though it's just Dr. Wu remade)

 
completely agree...seeing great musicians live is about as good as it gets!
The current touring band (caught them thrice in a week in 2017) does this song justice. Especially the drummer, who cranks out a MOTHER of a drum part every single damn time. Strong recommendation. Here's one of the shows at the Opaline.

There's a part in this where you just lay your head back, let the song surround you, and thank God you're alive. What a piece of genius (even though it's just Dr. Wu remade)
 LowPhreak wrote:
Gadd made some of their songs what they are, just like Aja here.
Well, maybe that's why they dissed him. They thought he got TOO much credit? IDK, you just don't disrespect Gadd like that and not piss most drummers off. Sure pissed me off.  
 Schmoogsley wrote:

Yes, I think we have different tastes. I'm a drummer as well (jazz mostly, so there you go). Anyway, I was EXTREMELY pissed at Fagan and Becker for not mentioning my hero Steve Gadd in their documentary. Not a single fucking mention. Unreal. They can fuck off! 

 
Yeah, if that's the case then they were pretty off track for not giving Gadd a kudos. Gadd made some of their songs what they are, just like Aja here.

IDK man, I think Walter & Don are just too full of themselves. They got used to working with so many top cats that they just toss one bunch out for a new one on the next record. Look at who played on this album after all - Purdie, Gadd, Marotta, Keltner, Shorter, Sample, Carlton, Ritenour, Scott, on and on. If you watch the Two Against Nature DVD, you can see how the backup singers hold them in some kind of awe, they kind of fuck with Cornelius Bumpus (one of the horn players), and so on which I'm sure both Dan's propagate any chance they get.

I'm sure though that Paul Motian could have kicked both of their asses. {#Bounce}
 LowPhreak wrote:

Better in what way...timing, groove/feel, meters, placement of accents, general technique? No because Lawson is as good or better there than Carlock. As a drummer, I'd say Carlock just likes to play more notes (speed) or maybe improvise more than someone like Lawson. I'm cool with the improv because I like to do that when appropriate, but with a lot of the Dan's stuff it doesn't come off so well.

Like with drum solos...which even to me as a drummer get boring as hell after 20 or 30 seconds. Most are just penis waving/showing off speed or chops and not that interesting. They're good in short doses, like in some jazz tunes when the horn does a quick solo, then the bass, then the drums. Carlock with his extended live solos in say Josie or Aja is just not needed and detract from the flow of the songs, IMO. As notoriously picky as Fagan and Becker are, I'm surprised they allowed him to do them but probably did to please Carlock's ego.

Anyway, yeah each to his own. 

 
Yes, I think we have different tastes. I'm a drummer as well (jazz mostly, so there you go). Anyway, I was EXTREMELY pissed at Fagan and Becker for not mentioning my hero Steve Gadd in their documentary. Not a single fucking mention. Unreal. They can fuck off! 
This was perhaps their best overall album for musicianship. The's alot going on with each song, in that jazz rock genre they created.

Just check out each musician's groove on this song.      
Please get me off this elevator from hell
sounds like filler music on one of those shopping tv channels.
 aspicer wrote:
Brilliant!  And blown away this comes up as 6.7 among RP listeners - what??!!!!?!  {#Stupid}

 
Criminal. People who don't get Steely Dan should not be allowed to vote - for anything. 
 Schmoogsley wrote:

Sorry, I think Keith Carlock is MUCH better than Ricky Lawson. To each his own I guess. 

 
Better in what way...timing, groove/feel, meters, placement of accents, general technique? No because Lawson is as good or better there than Carlock. As a drummer, I'd say Carlock just likes to play more notes (speed) or maybe improvise more than someone like Lawson. I'm cool with the improv because I like to do that when appropriate, but with a lot of the Dan's stuff it doesn't come off so well.

Like with drum solos...which even to me as a drummer get boring as hell after 20 or 30 seconds. Most are just penis waving/showing off speed or chops and not that interesting. They're good in short doses, like in some jazz tunes when the horn does a quick solo, then the bass, then the drums. Carlock with his extended live solos in say Josie or Aja is just not needed and detract from the flow of the songs, IMO. As notoriously picky as Fagan and Becker are, I'm surprised they allowed him to do them but probably did to please Carlock's ego.

Anyway, yeah each to his own. 
 LowPhreak wrote:


Meh. Carlock is OK, but I thought Steely Dan's rhythm section of several years ago was better, the Two Against Nature era when they had Ricky Lawson (drums) and Tom Barney (bass); a great horn section and backup singers too.

BTW, get the DVD it's pretty damned good.


Check out stuff like Gaslighting Abbie.

Black Friday/Babylon Sisters

Pretzel Logic
 
Sorry, I think Keith Carlock is MUCH better than Ricky Lawson. To each his own I guess. 
 jbuhl wrote:
 
Then Buddy wrote 
"Totally agree!  His playout during the last few minutes is an absolute clinic!"
The current touring drummer is Keith Carlock  https://www.steelydan.com/2kband.html#carlock    and I have seen SD play live with him on the kit and and let me tell folks he takes the percussion on all of their songs to a new level.  

 

Meh. Carlock is OK, but I thought Steely Dan's rhythm section of several years ago was better, the Two Against Nature era when they had Ricky Lawson (drums) and Tom Barney (bass); a great horn section and backup singers too.

BTW, get the DVD it's pretty damned good.


Check out stuff like Gaslighting Abbie.

Black Friday/Babylon Sisters

Pretzel Logic

This tune reminds me of happier times in my life.  Driving down 6th St in Austin,Tx, stoned out of my mind, and feeling no pain. I am forever blessed to have those memories. Thank you Steely Dan, you brought such a wonderful time in my life.
This song must have one of the greatest ratios of comments to song rating values on RP and no other band would more appreciate that irony.
 jbuhl wrote:
 
Then Buddy wrote 
"Totally agree!  His playout during the last few minutes is an absolute clinic!"
The current touring drummer is Keith Carlock  https://www.steelydan.com/2kband.html#carlock    and I have seen SD play live with him on the kit and and let me tell folks he takes the percussion on all of their songs to a new level.  

 

 
I'm familiar with him. I like his style. 
When this LP came out it just didn't capture the zeitgeist of the era, it created it!
Brilliant!  And blown away this comes up as 6.7 among RP listeners - what??!!!!?!  {#Stupid}
its also the special addition to salty chopped onions and avocado for kick-ass guacomole'  yum yum love Steely -D  (oh yeah, lime juice too : )
 bruz wrote:
Steely Dan is like cilantro. You either love it or you hate it. I, for one, love cilantro!

 
Me too.
 Hoosfoos wrote:
Fantastic musicians, but horrible songs and melodies.

 
Dang! what?
 Schmoogsley wrote:

And who's playing drums? The greatest drummer of all time; Steve Gadd

  
Then Buddy wrote 
"Totally agree!  His playout during the last few minutes is an absolute clinic!"


The current touring drummer is Keith Carlock  https://www.steelydan.com/2kband.html#carlock    and I have seen SD play live with him on the kit and and let me tell folks he takes the percussion on all of their songs to a new level.  

 
Fantastic musicians, but horrible songs and melodies.
 bruz wrote:
Steely Dan is like cilantro. You either love it or you hate it. I, for one, love cilantro!

 
I don't think they're quite as divisive as cilantro; there's a lot of in-between for Steely Dan, it's just not as apparent in these comment sections, where either haters or fans tend to post more frequently.  I like this album and most of what came before it - after this album: not so much.
The album is brilliant. In my top ten.
Gadd-zooks!  Awesome assemblage of artists make this gorgeous song timeless
Steely Dan is like cilantro. You either love it or you hate it. I, for one, love cilantro!
 idiot_wind wrote:

And the lyrics were always freakin cryptic. Chinese music in banyan trees? WTF?  

 
Well it's actually:

Chinese music under banyan trees
Here at the dude ranch above the sea

Not so cryptic.
 Schmoogsley wrote:

And who's playing drums? The greatest drummer of all time; Steve Gadd

 
Totally agree!  His playout during the last few minutes is an absolute clinic!

{#Drummer}
One of my Desert Island Discs. Absolutely brilliant.
 idiot_wind wrote:
Just listen to their albums. Not a bad one in the group...Gaucho was OK.

Their musicianship and song writing was simply spectacular. And they had a health respect for jazz, rock, country, raggae.

And the people they got to play with them. Unbelievable!  Who's playing tenor on this song? Wayne Shorter?

And the lyrics were always freakin cryptic. Chinese music in banyan trees? WTF?   

They were a super band.     

 
And who's playing drums? The greatest drummer of all time; Steve Gadd
I have never liked Steely Dan. I want to, just don't.
 h8rhater wrote:

Maybe you took one too many shots to the head from that surfboard if you think that this is a 1.  There is no such thing as a "1".

It's fair to say that a song did not age well in your opinion.   But don't patronize by telling us that you "appreciate the musicianship" when clearly you can not.  

 
Not to mention the production.

 
Just listen to their albums. Not a bad one in the group...Gaucho was OK.

Their musicianship and song writing was simply spectacular. And they had a health respect for jazz, rock, country, raggae.

And the people they got to play with them. Unbelievable!  Who's playing tenor on this song? Wayne Shorter?

And the lyrics were always freakin cryptic. Chinese music in banyan trees? WTF?   

They were a super band.     
..... big fat 10 at least 
 SurfDoc wrote:
While I can appreciate the musicianship, I believe this song is just too deeply tied to it's time period that it came out of.  It does not transcend time like so many RP gems do.  I have to give it a 1.

 
Maybe you took one too many shots to the head from that surfboard if you think that this is a 1.  There is no such thing as a "1".

It's fair to say that a song did not age well in your opinion.   But don't patronize by telling us that you "appreciate the musicianship" when clearly you can not.  
While I can appreciate the musicianship, I believe this song is just too deeply tied to it's time period that it came out of.  It does not transcend time like so many RP gems do.  I have to give it a 1.
Saw them last summer! {#Sunny}Phenomenal!!!! {#Sunny}More Steely Dan!!!!{#Sunny}
Have always loved this.
 crogers wrote: Nice!

I'm not sure what Fagen's domestic challenges have to do with anything, but the incident you cite below certainly isn't the first time a lame duck wife has called the cops over a minor shove just to rub her soon-to-be-ex-husband's face in it.  Mind, I'm not in any way advocating his behavior, I'm sure she's a very nice person, I haven't hidden a microphone in their house and I'm not saying that you're making any particular point about it, but I am willing to bet the farm that it's a two-way street with them.  So, there's that.

In any event, "annoying" is about the last word I'd use to describe this cut.  I should know — I can be pretty annoying myself.  {#Cheesygrin}  Some of the bits in here I find to be nothing short of sublime.  There are chord progressions, bass flicks and drum work here of a style and type that I've found nowhere else on Earth and the production is well... otherworldly.  These are true artists and geniuses at work creating a wonderful patchwork of standout timbres and vivid mental imagery that can pull the listener in and skillfully manipulate their emotional state, if they choose to really listen.  Plenty of music is meant to be heard.  Others, like this, deserve to be listened-to.  I love it.

It's a rare 10 for me and if I happen to come across the beleaguered Mr. Fagen stumbling out of the precinct onto a cold, windy New York sidewalk, I will stop, offer him a drink and tell him so.

Incidentally, you might check out the documentary called "The Making of Aja", chronicling the band's efforts to pull this album together.  A must for fans and possibly informative and enlightening to those on the fence.  Enjoy!


ScottFromWyoming wrote:

That's small consolation when the song's annoying.
 
Also, some news here.



 



I'm not sure what Fagen's domestic challenges have to do with anything, but the incident you cite below certainly isn't the first time a lame duck wife has called the cops over a minor shove just to rub her soon-to-be-ex-husband's face in it.  Mind, I'm not in any way advocating his behavior, I'm sure she's a very nice person, I haven't hidden a microphone in their house and I'm not saying that you're making any particular point about it, but I am willing to bet the farm that it's a two-way street with them.  So, there's that.

In any event, "annoying" is about the last word I'd use to describe this cut.  I should know — I can be pretty annoying myself.  {#Cheesygrin}  Some of the bits in here I find to be nothing short of sublime.  There are chord progressions, bass flicks and drum work here of a style and type that I've found nowhere else on Earth and the production is well... otherworldly.  These are true artists and geniuses at work creating a wonderful patchwork of standout timbres and vivid mental imagery that can pull the listener in and skillfully manipulate their emotional state, if they choose to really listen.  Plenty of music is meant to be heard.  Others, like this, deserve to be listened-to.  I love it.

It's a rare 10 for me and if I happen to come across the beleaguered Mr. Fagen stumbling out of the precinct onto a cold, windy New York sidewalk, I will stop, offer him a drink and tell him so.

Incidentally, you might check out the documentary called "The Making of Aja", chronicling the band's efforts to pull this album together.  A must for fans and possibly informative and enlightening to those on the fence.  Enjoy!


ScottFromWyoming wrote:

That's small consolation when the song's annoying.
 
Also, some news here.


 stickers11 wrote:

Just gave it an 8. Took me until my 40s to "get" Steely Dan, but I'm there now.

 
i was 23 when this album came out
when i heard it my brain liked it
but my heart still wanted to boogie
i just rated it a 8 too
As of today, I see two hundred and forty-two "1" votes for this epic tour de force.

Huh.  I had no idea there were so many Justin and Brittany fans listening to RP.  Cretins, all!

9>10      Oh.  Yeah.   {#Yes}
 flyboy50 wrote:
Judging by the ratings not a lot of jazz fusion fans. Pity.

 
Just gave it an 8. Took me until my 40s to "get" Steely Dan, but I'm there now.

Judging by the ratings there appears to be a good number of jazz fusion haters. Pity.

And now for true classic jazz....


 rpdevotee wrote:
For those who aren't a fan, you have to consider the technical skill involved in this song
 
That's small consolation when the song's annoying.
 
Also, some news here.
 rpdevotee wrote:
For those who aren't a fan, you have to consider the technical skill involved in this song—especially Steve Gadd on the drums.  This is a famous drum solo.  Steve has given drum clinics about his drum fills on this particular song (available on youtube).

{#Drummer} 

 
Amen!
For those who aren't a fan, you have to consider the technical skill involved in this song—especially Steve Gadd on the drums.  This is a famous drum solo.  Steve has given drum clinics about his drum fills on this particular song (available on youtube).

{#Drummer} 
Saw them do this this summer....completely transcendent!!
 h8rhater wrote:

Try not to think so much.  The results not impressive.

 
Whut *I* wuz thinkin'... 
You love it or you hate it. {#Cheesygrin}
 jbjnr wrote:

Does sound a bit high doesn't it. I gave it a 2 because I think it's annoying and awful.

 
Try not to think so much.  The results not impressive.
Yes its kitch, but over time it has grown on me.    Still better than some/most pseudo jazz produced today.

Incidentally I worked as an IT Manager in a 5* hotel for a few years, and installed music systems all over the lobby, restaraunt, conference and meeting rooms etc.      we didn't play any Steely Dan.    7

7
Dinner Jazz Rock 
Waiter !
Bill please  
Always liked this. One of their very best.
 Deadwing wrote:
6.7 for Aja?
 
Does sound a bit high doesn't it. I gave it a 2 because I think it's annoying and awful.
6.7 for Aja?

wut?

{#Beat} 
 idiot_wind wrote:
With songs like this one ( a freakin great one), you should list the musicians who played (freaking great and always changing) and the lyrics (freakin cryptic and hypnotic).
Who is that great guitar player? I dunno. 
Who is that great sax player? I dunno.
What do these lyrics mean?  For 40 years, I dunno! 
   
But it really doesn't matter anyway. This song is so freakin good. 
 

 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aja_%28song%29
it took 10 seconds


With songs like this one ( a freakin great one), you should list the musicians who played (freaking great and always changing) and the lyrics (freakin cryptic and hypnotic).
Who is that great guitar player? I dunno. 
Who is that great sax player? I dunno.
What do these lyrics mean?  For 40 years, I dunno! 
   
But it really doesn't matter anyway. This song is so freakin good. 
 
Great drumming on this track from Steve Gadd. One of the greatest session drummers of the last 30 years. Also did the drumming on Paul Simons 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. Has toured with the likes of James Taylor and Eric Clapton in the last 10 years and is still going strong. 
I admire the musicianship, but still, I get itches all over from the entire "Five Star Hotel Lobby Music" genre.
A natural extension of the work on Katy Lied, but with a much better production. Listen to the space between the musicians, and the ballsiness of that drumming. The neat little "all black keys" reference to Asian music.

I remember being in college when the album was released and staring at its shiny, very different cover.
And then the music... WTF? That's not rock...but it is...but...it's so much better than the radio... 
C'mon guys...6.7 is nonsense for this masterwork! {#Wink} 
(my rating is 10) 
One for my desert island pile...  sublimity defined.  A solid 9+!   Real talent and real music for grown-ups.
 
Oh man this is it. This is what the forefront of excellent music looked like back then. A hard 10. Great LP and "band". {#Music}
Great to hear real musicians at work!  10 from the Newton-le-Willows Jury - lifetime fan of Donald and Walter. {#Sunny}{#Good-vibes}{#Clap}{#Yes}