Steve's Steely Dan Aja

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dave, Mar 19, 2004.

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  1. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™ Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    This one just showed up on my door today and all I can say is OMG! :bigeek: This version trounces all others I've heard and by no small margin. It's a must get if you don't already have it. The "Breath Of Life" is all happening in this one.
     
  2. Tyler

    Tyler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hawaii
    A couple of questions,

    Is this an MCA disc?

    What's the catalog number?

    Where did you get it?

    How much?
     
  3. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™ Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    Tyler,

    Yes

    MCAD-37294 DIDX 55

    Ebay

    $10.00 US.
     
  4. Tyler

    Tyler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hawaii
    Thanks Dave, are there any other identifying features? Is Steve in the credits? What was the year of release?

    I promise no more questions!
     
  5. vinylrec

    vinylrec Senior Member

    Location:
    Delaware, Ohio
    Dave,
    You probably know what I'm going to say, but the DIDX 55 is identical to the (J) JVC disc...
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium

    Tyler, Steve was never entered into the credits on Aja. The pressing considered to be Steve's version is the original Japanese pressing made at the CBS/Sony plant. There is no barcode on the back insert, and the clear plastic ring on the disc has "CSR COMPACT DISC" repeating. The matrix code is "DIDX-55 21A1" or something very similar.

    For the sake of completeness, the version ascribed to the Nichols master has identical inserts. The difference is that the disc was pressed in Japan at the JVC plant. There is nothing stamped on the clear plastic ring on the disc, and the matrix code is "MCAD-37214 XXXXX," where "XXXXX" represents any of a number of combinations of letters and numbers.

    It should be noted that Grant (vinylrec) and I have both found that the two Japanese pressings look identical on EAC. I listened to the two pressings many months ago and preferred the CBS/Sony pressing. Was I biased because I thought it was the Hoffman version? Perhaps. I haven't bothered to do the comparison again.
     
  7. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™ Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    Ok, to identify this one...

    On the face of the CD it has the DIDX-55 right below the catalog number on the right-hand side to the right of the "Compact Disc" logo in smaller print. Below that says:

    Manufactured in Japan for MCA Records Inc., 70 Universal City Plaza,
    Universal City, California___U.S.A.
    WARNING. All rights reserved.
    Unauthorized duplication is a
    of applicable laws.

    PRODUCED BY GARY KATZ

    All songs composed by
    Walter Becker and
    Donald Fagen
    Published by
    ABC/Dunhill Music.
    Inc.__BMI

    P (it actually has a circle around the P) 1977 ABC
    Records Inc.

    On the furthest out-side ring before the actual data starts (still inner-ring though) it says DIDX-55 21A1. Then on the most inner-ring in the clear plastic it say Compact Disc CSR which repeats 3 times. Mine also came in it's original smooth sided jewel-case. The back-panel artwork has no binary code. The booklet is the exact same as the Nichols version. No reference to Steve at all.
     
  8. Tyler

    Tyler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hawaii
    Thank you Keith and Dave!
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    Dave, I asked this in the first-pressing thread, but which Nichols version are you comparing it to? Nichols has mastered Aja a few times.
     
  10. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    I'll be satisfied listening to my JVC-pressed (J) issue, i.e. "The Disc Formerly Known as The First Nichols Version" ;)
     
  11. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™ Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    The Nichols version that I have is not from Japan. The back artwork is identicle to the SH Japanese version, including no bar-code, except where it says DIDX-55 on the SH version, it says DIDY-55 on the Nichols version. It was made in the US. I really don't believe that for only 5000 pressings they would be switching pressing plants, but I guess there is always the possibility that they pressed at both plants at the same time
     
  12. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™ Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    I thought so too Sam......and then I heard this one. ;)
     
  13. Mike V

    Mike V New Member

    Location:
    Connecticut
    Nice score Dave! I'm still on the hunt for a minty Kevin Gray vinyl cut (and many are out there).
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    O.K., you have an early CRC version. I have this disc too. Frankly, I don't remember if I compared it to my Japanese pressings.
     
  15. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™ Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    Thanks Mike! To quote Agent 86...and loving it! :D
     
  16. tone ded freb

    tone ded freb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arizona Snowbowl
    Dave, how about those amazingly rich drum sounds about 2.5 minutes into track 2? I don't understand why anyone would replace this mastering with anything. Ever. They do pop up on ebay every now and then, just pester sellers of AJAs with questions about whether their CDs have the right features.
     
  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Dave,

    Remember, when this thing came out, CD's were new. A pressing run of 5,000 was a lot. Most people were still buying LP's, especially for "catalog" titles (4 bucks vs. whatever). A few years later it was a different story, but for that time it was considered a big pressing run..

    Glad you like my version. I haven't played it in many years...
     
  18. Beattles

    Beattles Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    Did Steve remaster any other Steely Dan titles? If so how can they be Identified? I have a Can't Buy A Thrill dated 1972 withMCAD31192 JVC 1T in the inner ring. Manufactured in the USA for MCA Records MCAD31192 on label.
     
  19. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™ Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    Yes, the drums sound fantastic freb. It's so much more though as well. It's the proper presence of the instrumentation that the Nichols version and the MFSL just don't have as well as the realism/imaging of the voicings. Unbeatable on my system.

    Steve, thanks for the info. I didn't realize that was considered a large output back then. You should give it a listen. It made me realize exactly how much I love this album and how much I was missing in the digital medium. ;)
     
  20. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™ Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    Steve also did Katy Lied. IIRC it's the same deal as Aja being the first 5000 copies.
     
  21. JoelDF

    JoelDF Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    So are all the US made versions not Steve's version?

    Besides being made in the US, my Aja has all the same features Dave listed above, insert and disc printing - wise, except for the following:
    • The jewel case is the ribbed edge.
    • The CD has DIDX-000055 printed on it under the catalog number which is MCAD-37214, not MCAD-37294.
    • The matrix number in the inner ring has only DIDX-000055 4
    • The clear hub has molded into it a "D" in a box with stars either side of it. (which plant is that, BTW?)
    • And, of course, the line "Manufactured in U.S.A. for MCA Records, Inc..." with the rest following exactly what Dave says his has.
    I'm assuming mine is the Nichols version since it's US made, but are we sure?
     
  22. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™ Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    Sorry, cat # mis-type. It's the same. No, that's the Roger Nichols mastering you have there except for mine is DIDY and not DIDX like Steve's. That's why I was initially fooled because of the no bar-code situation. I would think that the "D" refers to the Denon plant. They sure sound different to me though.
     
  23. JoelDF

    JoelDF Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Thanks for the info Dave.

    Looks like I'll be ebay hunting for the "real" version myself one day.
     
  24. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™ Thread Starter

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    My pleasure Joel. :) I searched so long and hard for this one that I totally forgot about it until about a month ago so then I searched the entire Forums here to make sure I had all of the info. I needed and then hit the old eBay and low and behold there was one that had a buy it now for $10.00. I emailed the seller requesting my info. and bang, it was mine. Good luck on your search. :thumbsup:
     
  25. Blair G.

    Blair G. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Very interesting thread, did not realize Steve had done this one.

    Just checked my copy, collecting dust for many years, and it's a Winner!

    Guess what's first into my CD player tomorrow?
     
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