Best format for SteelyDan...

I have virtually everything by "The Dan" including solo stuff on LP, CD or SACD. Hoping to find recordings that improve sonics over the pre-Aja CDs; in particular, "Pretzel Logic" "Katy Lied" & "The Royal Scam". Are the "re-masters" the way to go? Have these 3 even been re-mastered?

As an editorial comment, I don't understand why these guys don't have everything re-issued in some kind of hi-res format. If you know otherwise - please advise!
(fwiw - I'm running an upgraded Denon 2910 "universal" player). Thanks in advance for your advice. Ciao.
06eb264a e8d8 4a8b 840c d8d32093f6bcghosthouse
Scam is about to be released on SHM SACD
Gaucho is better then Aja on SHM SACD
They are pretty pricey

They did remaster all of the early Steely Dan CDs. I just got done replacing all of my original CDs with the remasters. I must say, they do sound better than the originals.

I have the SHM versions of Aja and Gaucho. They are a little better sounding, but IMHO, not worth the current asking prices. I bought mine a few years ago and only paid about half what they are going for now.
Smoke some pot.
I have heard alot of Steeley Dan recordings, and IMO Katy Lied on MFSL is the best of their recordings.
Do what Paul G said, get them on decent vinyl, and buy a record player, not in that order.
Gaucho on DVD-Audio is REALLY good!
Look for original ABC pressings.

It doesn't get any better.
Trash Can .
Do you have, You Gotta Walk It Like You Talk It ??? it's a must have for sure.
Thanks for the (mostly) helpful advice. Bill - I have SD on old vinyl...will have to pull them out. Not sure if they are original or re-issues. Ric - don't have "You Gotta Walk It...". Never heard of it but just googled and see it is the first work credited to Fagen/Becker. I will check it out further. Schubert - don't get your no doubt pithy response. "Trash Can"? - dissing the Dan or my CDP?

Thanks again.
I found it on an 8 track long ago in a goodwill, it was labeled as pre Dan.
Ric - That seems like a pretty obscure release for 8 track. Wonder how many of those got sold. Thanks for the tip.

Hey Bill - where does MCA fall in the history of SD vinyl releases? 2nd gen crap re-issues? My "Royal Scam" is ABC 1976. "Gaucho" (also have it on SACD) is a yellow or beige center label "Mftd. in the Phillipines" by Home Industries under license to MCA" Jacket says, "1980". "Katy Lied" and "Aja" are sky blue MCA center labels with a rainbow. 1975 & 1977, respectively on the jackets. Thanks in advance if you care to reply.

The original ABC pressings. However, Gaucho was released on MCA. I have vinyl, CD, (SACD, DVD-A where available) and the first pressing ABC's on vinyl beats them all.
The first 3 albums were released on black label ABC. These are excellent recordings and worth seeking.

Beginning with Katy Lied, ABC went to a yellow label and if you are able to find early pressings, these are excellent as well.

"Gaucho" first pressing is on the sky blue MCA label. An original pressing may sonically be the very best Dan recording; rivaled only by black label "Can't Buy A Thrill" and first pressing "Aja".

The MOFI "Katy Lied" sucks. Pardon my French.

All of course, IMO
I also thought the MFSL Katy Lied was terrible. All bass, no highs.
Thanks for the recommendations, folks. Hunting for old vinyl is fun.
04-19-11: Schubert
Trash Can .

HAAA!!! I thought it but did not have the heart to type it. It's a dear thing to many of the guys on here.
I think I read somewhere that Katy Lied was messed up by a faulty dbx noise compressor in the studio. I got the impression that even the master tapes aren't up to snuff because of this incident, but they didn't have the heart to re-record it.
So you may not be able to find a decent Katy Lied.
That said, I don't think the CD sounds too bad.
I've also noticed that the Countdown to Ecstasy CD is pretty good.
And Roundmoundofsound is right about the Gaucho DVD-A. That's easily the best recording I own.
I have used LPs of Pretzel Logic and Can't Buy a Thrill. They're not very good, but they may be pretty worn. Maybe if you can find the original pressing, in good condition, you'd be better off.
Achilles - I've heard the Katy Lied LP on various systems over many years dating from time of release. It always seemed muddy and compressed to me. Your comments seem to explain why. Thanks for your reply.
If you think the DVD-A of Gaucho is good you need to hear a first pressing on vinyl. It is een better.
re Katy Lied. Some interesting commentary
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G m c - Thanks for the link...informative. But talk about chutzpah!...$300 bucks for something with dodgey source? Probably not going there. I think I'll gamble on a remastered CD.
The Platinum Plus reissues on their US label have a pure analogue sound. They were the label response to Mobile Fidelity. They came out in the late 1970s and 1980s. I prefer them to everything else I have heard. Nice quiet vinyl using the original tapes. Hard to find but worthy of the investment. They did a nice job pressing these in small batches.
MFSL version of Katy Lied sounds pretty darn good even with the master recording issue of dbx versus dolby. Very expensive to get a copy on fleabay. I think I paid near $150.00 for a NM copy last month. I was also in an auction for a SS copy and it went for over $500.00. This MFSL LP is one of the 3 rareest since licensing lissues came up and the entire inventory that was not shipped was pulled from the market, hence the low number of this LP out on the street. I recently found a 1/2 speed master of Gaucho (MCA 6102 1980). It sounds the best of all versions I have heard
I find that people that knock "Hot Stampers" have either never tried it or dont have the money to afford one.... I'm just saying..... If you love the record, its worth checking out...
I find that people who buy "hot stampers" also drink kool aid and vacation at Area 51.

Hey, look up there about 12 o'clock..........did you see it?

Take a pill and chill out
Agree...orig abc recordings by far offer the best value...and since the majority of Dan fans appreciate good sound....there are plenty of clean copies for cheap...also have a few cd registers...these sound fine as well...
okay, so after the orig abc recordings, where does one hear the best Steely Dan on vinyl, or Donald Fagen, for that matter?

What about that greatest hit twofer? Boy, I sure played mine to death. How great is Cisco AJA at its price-point, for example?

How terrif or not is the Fagen trilogy on dvd/cd? Or Morph on vinyl (gawd, "The H Gang" is one of his best tunes ever, I think; up there with "Babylon Sisters" and "Home at Last," if you ask me.)