MCA-6102 Gaucho
Produced by Gary Katz
Released on November 21, 1980
US CHART POSITION #9 . . . GRAMMY FOR BEST ENGINEERING . . .
2x PLATINUM RECORD . . . UK CHART POSITION #27
Find it at GEMM
MCA-6102 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

T his always struck me as a pale imitation of Aja, but in the absence of anything else it’s gained some color in its cheeks with every listen. These days, I find the same rich colors, clinical precision and dripping sarcasm that were hallmarks of second-phase Steely Dan (from somewhere around Katy onward). Just another example of you don’t know what you got until you suffer through a spectral record like Kamakiriad and go running back to it with blandishments and a box of chocolates. The obvious attraction (and, honestly, nothing is obvious on Gaucho) is “Hey Nineteen,” the last really great hit they wrote. The only other lively track on here is “Time Out of Mind;” the rest of them creep along coolly in the shadows. I’d wave neophytes away from this with both hands. Gaucho is a mature, sophisticated album, which is what you say when a band that couldn’t possibly be less than interesting makes a dull album anyway. Tracks like “Glamour Profession” and “Babylon Sisters,” while excellent, require a studied, Steely ear to appreciate the subtle shifts and shades of color. Otherwise, Gaucho can seem a sere record; that’s how I first perceived it. Of course you can give them points for technical execution, but Fagen and Becker sound like they’re skating around their own legend. Even the title track is little more than “Doctor Wu” revisited. In 1981, I shrugged my shoulders and went back to listening to Aja. 25 years later, however, I find myself embracing the good Doctor in any guise. That said, the better follow-up to Aja is Fagen’s The Nightfly.

MCA-6102 back cover MCA-6102 lyric sleeve
MCA-6102 back cover MCA-6102 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. BABYLON SISTERS    5:51
  2. HEY NINETEEN    5:04
  3. GLAMOUR PROFESSION    7:28
  4. GAUCHO    5:32
  5. TIME OUT OF MIND    4;10
  6. MY RIVAL    4:30
  7. THIRD WORLD MAN    5:14

    Music and lyrics by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen.
    Rhythm arrangements by Steely Dan with Rob Mounsey, Don Grolnick and Paul Griffin.

CREDITS

WALTER BECKER -- bass, guitar, solo guitar
DONALD FAGEN -- lead vocals, electric piano, synthesizer, organ
STEVE GADD -- percussion
STEVE KHAN -- electrc guitar, acoustic guitar, solo guitar
LESLIE MILLER -- backup vocals
ROB MOUNSEY -- horn arrangements, piano, synthesizer
TOM SCOTT -- tenor sax, alto sax, clarinet, lyricon, horn arrangements
VALERIE SIMPSON -- backup vocals
Wayne Andre -- trombone
Patti Austin -- backup vocals
Crusher Bennett -- percussion
Michael Brecker -- tenor sax
Randy Brecker -- trumpet, flugelhorn
Hiram Bullock -- guitar
Larry Carlton -- solo guitar
Ronny Cuber -- baritone sax
Rick Derringer -- guitar
Victor Feldman -- percussion
Frank Floyd -- backup vocals
Diva Gray -- backup vocals
Gordon Grody -- backup vocals
Don Grolnick -- electric piano, clavinet
Lani Groves -- backup vocals
Anthony Jackson -- bass
Walter Kane -- bass clarinet
Mark Knopfler -- solo guitar
George Marge -- bass clarinet
Nicholas Marrero -- timbales
Rick Marotta -- drums
Hugh McCracken -- guitar
Michael McDonald -- backup vocals
Ralph McDonald -- percussion
Jeff Porcaro -- drums
Bernard Purdie -- drums
Chuck Rainey -- bass
Patrick Rebillot -- electric piano
Joe Sample -- electric piano
David Sanborn -- alto sax
Zack Sanders -- backup vocals
Dave Tofani -- tenor sax
Toni Wine -- backup vocals
Roger Nichols -- executive engineer, overdub, sequencing and special effects
Elliot Scheiner -- tracking, mixdown
Bill Schnee -- tracking
Jerry Garszza -- overdub
Susanne Walsh -- album design & art direction
Rene Burri -- photography

return to STEELY DAN discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/AUSL November 21, 1980 MCA LP/CS MCA-6102 lyric sleeve
UK November 1980 MCA LP/CS MCF/MCFC-3090 lyric sleeve
ITA 1980 MCA LP MCA-4114 lyric sleeve
JPN 1980 MCA LP VIM-6243  
JPN   MCA LPPRO P-11529  
US 1981 MCA LP MCA-16009 audiophile pressing
  1983 MCA 2CS MCAC2-6943 repackaged w. AJA
GER 1984 MCA CD MCD-01814  
US   MCA LP/CD/CS MCA/MCAD/MCAC-37220  
JPN 1987 MCA CD 32XD-394  
US   MCA LP/CS MCA/MCAC-1693  
US 1991 Mobile Fidelity CD UDCD-545 gold disc, original master recording
US March 3, 1999 DTS Entertainment CD DTS-1014 DTS 5.1 surround sound
JPN 2001 Universal CD UICY-3094 digital remaster
JPN 2007 Universal CD UICY-93129  
JPN 2008 Universal CD UICY-90765 super high material CD

 

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