33 1/3 Volume 46: Steely Dan's Aja

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AJA was the album that made Steely Dan a commercial force on the order of contemporaries like Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles.

33 1/3: Steely Dan's Aja

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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.

Additional Information

Author Don Breithaupt
Publisher Continuum Books
Page Count 130pp
Publication Size 4.75 x 6.5
Publication Notes softcover
Publication Date 2007
ISBN 978-0826427830

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