A multi-platinum Grammy-winner, it lingered on the Billboard charts for more than a year and spawned three hit singles. Odd, then, that it was conceived as the apotheosis of its creators' anti-rock, anti-band, anti-glamour aesthetic. Populated only by Walter Becker, Donald Fagen, and thirty-five of their closest friends - many of them jazz musicians - AJA served up modified prewar song forms, mixed meters and extended solos to a generation whose idea of pop daring was Paul letting Linda sing lead once in a while. And, impossibly, it sold.
Informed by interviews with Donald Fagan and several others who were involved in the AJA sessions, Don Breithaupt's book sheds new light on Steely Dan. Interweaving behind-the-scenes revelations with trenchant musical and lyrical analysis, Breithaupt makes a compelling case that AJA subverted the rules of pop music, and that it stands today as one of the greatest achievements of a remarkable band.