Steely Dan’s Aja Returns to Vinyl

Becker and Fagen’s jazz-rock masterpiece will be reissued on wax September 29th

Aja returns to vinyl this fall (Image: UMe)

The Steely Dan vinyl reissue campaign continues with the forthcoming release of Steely Dan’s 1977 masterpiece Aja on September 29th via UMe/Geffen. 

For the first time in over four decades, the Dan’s crucial sixth LP will return to record store shelves on actual wax. The whole process was overseen by founding member Donald Fagen, as he has since the series launched in November 2022 with the group’s legendary 1972 debut, Can’t Buy A Thrill, followed by 1973’s Countdown To Ecstasy in May 2023. The band’s third album, 1974’s Pretzel Logic, was just released last month.

Aja has been meticulously remastered by Bernie Grundman from an analog, non-EQ’d, tape copy and will be pressed on 180-gram black vinyl at 33 1/3 RPM. Additionally, Aja, like all the titles, is being released as a limited edition premium 45 RPM version on Ultra High-Quality Vinyl (UHQR) from Analogue Productions, the audiophile in-house reissue label of Acoustic Sounds. Analogue Productions is also releasing this series of titles on Super Audio CD (SACD). Visit here for more details and to order.  

Steely Dan Aja, MCA 1977

Additional titles rolling out over the next year include 1975’s swing-pop perfection Katy Lied (featuring “Black Friday,” “Bad Sneakers” and “Doctor Wu,” as well as the addition of Michael McDonald on vocals); 1976’s guitar-driven The Royal Scam (“Kid Charlemagne,” “The Fez”); and Steely Dan’s final album for MCA, and last for 20 years, 1980’s brilliant Gaucho (featuring “Hey Nineteen” and “Time Out Of Mind,” with Mark Knopfler on guitar).

All albums in the series are being mastered by Bernie Grundman from the original analog tapes except for Aja and Gaucho, with the later being sourced from a 1980 analog tape copy originally EQ’d by Bob Ludwig (There’s no evidence the original tapes containing the flat mixes of Aja and Gaucho were delivered to the record label and it’s presumed the tapes no longer exist). Lacquers for UMe’s standard 33 1/3 RPM 180-gram version will be cut by Alex Abrash at his renowned AA Mastering studio from high-resolution digital files of Grundman’s new masters and pressed at Precision. They will be housed in reproductions of the original artwork.

The 45 RPM UHQR versions will be pressed at Analogue Productions’ Quality Record Pressings on 200-gram Clarity Vinyl, packaged in a deluxe box, and will include a booklet detailing the entire process of making a UHQR along with a certificate of inspection. Each UHQR is pressed, using hand-selected vinyl, with attention paid to every single detail of every single record. All of the innovations introduced by QRP that have been generating such incredible critical acclaim are applied to each UHQR. The 200-gram records feature the same flat profile that helped to make the original UHQR so desirable.

As Aja only continues to accrue renown in 2023 for its rich musicality and razor sharp storytelling, we are certainly looking forward to its most welcome return to vinyl this fall. 


Aja Track List (33 RPM Vinyl)

Side A

  1. Black Cow
  2. Aja
  3. Deacon Blues


Side B

  1. Peg
  2. Home At Last
  3. I Got The News
  4. Josie









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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

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