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Reassessing Steely Dan's "Gaucho" (almost 37 years later)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by johnny 99, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. bherbert

    bherbert Forum Resident

    South Africa
    Very smooth album. Possibly their best IMO. Perfect for evening listening with a drink :)
  2. duggan

    duggan Forum Resident

    My view also.

    If I want raunch I go elsewhere, Gaucho gives me the perfection and attention to detail I so admire and appreciate from Steely Dan.
  3. kaztor

    kaztor Music is the Best

    Somehow it doesn't stick with me. I absolutely recognise the quality, the work that went into it and the duo's perfectionist touch. It's that last thing that hurts the album a bit, it's a bit too polished, too sterile. Also, it's very similar sounding.
  4. California Couple

    California Couple dislike us on facebook

    Newport Beach
    I dug Aja when it came out. But when Gaucho came out I disliked it right off. That album cover and Hey Nineteen did nothing for me. And the only other song I heard, Time Out Of Mind, seemed like old man stuff.

    But when I started getting back into the Dan I decided to take a chance on it and this time I liked it right away. It is mellow, more light jazz than rock, but it is smooth like Aja. I had to grow into it.

    It is top 5 Dan for me now.
    duggan likes this.
  5. Nightswimmer

    Nightswimmer Forum Resident

    It is a rip-off of both Steely Dan and Keith Jarrett.
  6. mbrownp1

    mbrownp1 Forum Resident

    "Time Out Of Mind" really floats my boat.
    CrawdaddySim1 and Instant Dharma like this.
  7. California Couple

    California Couple dislike us on facebook

    Newport Beach

    For me that would specifically be Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Johnnie or even Dewar’s.
    Ed Hughes likes this.
  8. mbrownp1

    mbrownp1 Forum Resident

    Kossoff is God likes this.
  9. johnny 99

    johnny 99 Down On Main Street Thread Starter

    mbrownp1 likes this.
  10. California Couple

    California Couple dislike us on facebook

    Newport Beach

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    Ed Hughes, Say It Right and mbrownp1 like this.
  11. Say It Right

    Say It Right Not for the Hearing Impaired

    Niagara Falls
    Would like to know what Steely Dan fans. The songs receive good receptions when performed live. Think a lot of this was from negative critical response from when it was new, and never really abated. Maybe some fans internalized it by thinking that they weren't supposed to like it. Not so here, as the DVD-A is terrific!
    kw21925, jsayers and kevywevy like this.
  12. kevywevy

    kevywevy Forum Resident

    The surround sound on the DVD-A is probably the best-sounding surround mix in my collection.
    VU Master and Terry like this.
  13. Terry

    Terry Senior Member

    Excellent album.
  14. Mr Sam

    Mr Sam "...don't look so good no more"

    Once again: my favorite with Katy Lied. Perfection.
    Playing the songs at the piano helped seal the deal: songwriting wise, they had reached a new level (again).

    My favorite outtakes are Kulee Baba (especially the piano version), I Can't Write Home About You and Talking 'Bout My Home: release the demos as they are!
  15. ti-triodes

    ti-triodes Forum Resident

    I was listening to both albums today and started wondering why so many people don't like Gaucho when they love Aja so much. Gaucho is easily an extension of Aja, imo. I always loved it as much as every previous Dan album.

    What is it that bothers so many people?

    Too slick?
    Not Aja II?
    Too upbeat?
    Not as "serious" as Aja?
    Minimal input from Walter?
    Too much singing from the Danettes?
    Say It Right and strummer101 like this.
  16. Fullbug

    Fullbug Forum Resident

    The Danlettes?
    "Does that mean we gotta "let" Dan?"
  17. johnny 99

    johnny 99 Down On Main Street Thread Starter

    Maybe it's because it was their first album that felt like they were treading water at the time. It was the first album they had done that seemed "boring" at the time.
    Now, one can hear it with different ears due to the passage of time.
    However, it was a very divisive album in it's day. No one that I knew at the time liked it. Everyone was disappointed with it in my circle of musical friends.

    It's funny, but nowadays you hear so much utter crapola out there in terms of 'new' music, it makes "Gaucho" sound so much better now than it seemed to in 1980.
    When you don't like any newer artists or their music, it's cool to go back to an old favourite and revisit an album you may not have been keen on when it came out.
    The results are sometimes surprising now in this day and age.
    "Gaucho" seems like a masterpiece compared to the new musical dreck that I'm exposed to on a daily basis in public (particularly in Starbucks, where the music is so awful that the coffee should be free!)
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
    zebop, duggan, ti-triodes and 2 others like this.
  18. DonnyMe

    DonnyMe Forum Resident

    This! :righton:
  19. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Forum Resident

    There's other Dan albums I'd rather hear, but I do love Hey Nineteen. Such a great tune.
  20. BrutandCharisma

    BrutandCharisma Forum Resident

    Denver, Colorado
    Not sure who said it first, but Steely Dan took a belt sander to rock's hard edges and gave a roadside sobriety test to their jazz instincts.

    Pretty much sums it up.
  21. 905

    905 Senior Member

    St. Louis
    To be honest, it's my favorite from them after it soaked in a while. No, not their best, but my favorite.
    zebop likes this.
  22. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen "Live music is better!"

    I suppose I can see how people might have been disappointed with Gaucho upon it's release: "We waited three years for this?" It was the longest gap between Steely Dan albums at that point.
  23. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    Well, it was their worst album up to that point, so it's hard not to be a little disappointed. Still, I enjoy it.

    The problem is that their subsequent albums did not evolve enough from "Gaucho".
  24. Lucidae

    Lucidae AAD

    Is that a yacht rock joke? :laugh:
  25. Moshe

    Moshe Forum Resident

    All of their music sounds this way to me.
    This is why they've always sounded west coast to me.
    I never realized why until I read your post.
    This is exactly why.

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