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Steely Dan - Gaucho CD (album) cover


Steely Dan


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.68 | 143 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Can't quite believe I am reviewing this album on PA.....hmm anyhow putting aside any question of classification, this is one of my absolute favourite albums and any opportunity to sing its praises is too hard to miss. It should be in any music lover's collection.

Following Aja, this - the final studio album before Fagen and Becker parted ways c1980 - (rejoining forces officially again 20 years later) - has been criticised for being without emotion and lacking the finesse of its illutrious predecessor, Aja, but for me it represents the peak of Fagen and Becker's work. Babylon Sisters has cool, smooth West coast jazz, with a hard edge - the lyrics, about a man looking for love - or rather just sex - with two women, and the effect on him. Hey Nineteen is a lament for lost youth, the narrator failing to connnect with his young conquest; Glamour Profession is my favourite and the most upbeat number - at least musically - about a basketball player indulging in a hedonsitic life-style. Gaucho the title track is for me the weakest number on the album - though that's comparitive; My Rival and Time Out of Mind pair together well, both sophisticated pop songs around the 4 minute mark with the normal 'Dan wit and bile - the former with Mark Knopfler's solo well down in the mix - Knopfler apparently did not enjoy the experience of working with the two. The album concludes with Third World Man a track contructed from scratch, merely to showcase a wonderful guitar solo from (I think) Carlton.

The recording was fraught; Becker had an accident and couldn't play guitar for part of the recording; Becker's girlfriend died of an o/d around the time, and the girls' Mother pursued him for it; and an entire track - The Second Profession - was lost when the recording engineer accidentally recorded over part of the completed song. The track was reported, by some, as tbeing he main peice on the album but was never re-recorded; presumably somewhere what's left remains...would be fascinating to hear it.

Great music. Two of the greatest songwriters ever - and as an aside, for any that doubt Becker's contribution to the partnership, listen to Circus Money just released - not a great singer, but the perhaps the main provider of the band's wit and wisdom.

Phil | 5/5 |


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