Morph The Cat : Revisited


I recently purchased the Donald Fagan LP Morph the Cat. Man, I believe this is the best sounding rock LP i have ever purchased (at least one of the best). I saw a post a while back in which some posters felt that the LP was a disappointment in that it had no top end to it, and that it was bass heavy. I found that with a small VTA adjustment, the top end sparkles without losing the tight, deep bass. I love every song on this LP. It is much better IMO than the recent Steely Dan LP's. Anyone else have any thoughts on the sound of this LP?
slowhand
I own the DVD-A, so I can't comment directly on the LP, but I believe the DVD-A is outstanding. I'm wondering of you also own "The Nightfly" (which I also own on DVD-A), and if so how you believe the two compare?
Not really on the sound but I do think it is better overall than the last two Dan albums.
Morph The Cat better than Everything Must Go?

Not in my opinion. Morph is however a great album.
No, I do not own Nightfly. Is the music as good as Morph the Cat?
If you have bever heard Nightfly, you owe it to yourself to try and find a copy and take a listen. I own an original copy of the LP, and would love to find a newer copy, myself.
Donald Fagen and Steely Dan have always been a favorite, and I listen to the Nightfly album frequently.
There is a DVD of the Two Against Nature tour that really shows sides of Fagen and Becker. The video is a little rough in places, but the music is fantastic.
I own Morph the Cat on CD, so I can't comment on the LP.
But I love the CD.
Enjoy!
If you have never heard Nightfly, which was Fagen's first solo effort I believe, you owe it to yourself to try and find a copy and take a listen. I own an original copy of the LP, and would love to find a newer copy, myself.
Donald Fagen and Steely Dan have always been a favorite, and I listen to the Nightfly album frequently.
There is a DVD of the Two Against Nature tour that really shows sides of Fagen and Becker. The video is a little rough in places, but the music is fantastic.
I own Morph the Cat on CD, so I can't comment on the LP.
But I love the CD.
Enjoy!
No, I do not own Nightfly. Is the music as good as Morph the Cat?
Slowhand (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers)
I prefer the music on "The Nightfly" to "Morph the Cat". While I like "Morph the Cat", I lose interest quickly, and I don't have this issue with "The Nightfly".
Morph the Cat better than Two Against Nature and Everything Must Go? Really?

Morph the Cat sounds like Fagen phoned it in. A couple of decent tracks, but nothing memorable. It's the first Steely Dan or Fagen album that I've yet bought in two or three formats, and doubt that I will.
Night Fly is a very good album and you will enjoy it., However, it was recorded at 44/16 and is forever strapped to that limiting factor.

As for sound, Morph will sound better, especially the DVD-A.
Actually, "The Nightfly" was recorded at 50/16 on a 32 track 3M digital recorder using 45ips tape. I believe it won a Grammy for best engineering and it is frequently used as a reference by engineers particularly for vocal recording.
44 or 50, it is still limited. Yes, it sounds good but by todays standards it is limited. My point was more that I wish it was recorded in the analog domain, since that was a far better medium when compared to the best digital of the time.
BTW, I don't disagree that "Morph" album can sound good if you do not reference it to the DVD-A, or even the CD. But, once you do you will notice the frquency limited, or 3-4 db's down in level starting at around 10,000hz and bloated low end, i.e., 80 hz and lower boosted 3-5 db's, the album has when compared to the other mediums.

The caveat of course is that you will need speakers that extend an extra octave below 40 hz.
my vinyl Morph is one of the best sounding lps I own, despite the digital source. blows away most of the white lable promos and first pressings that I've carefully collected over the past 45 years.
It sounds decent on the stereo - not as good as many small jazz combo CD's or albums, but decent for a rock album. Unfortunately I have to agree that the songs are forgettable. I guess I'm just fed up with the Fagan sound. It hasn't changed much ove the last 20 years. They used to be so original, but like many of us as we get older, have resolved themselves to repeating what worked before without any originality.

Bored,
Bob
Bob

It is possible that WE have changed, but I was relieved to read your comments.

Steely Dan played a huge role in the development of my audio obsession, as Peg was a new single on the radio and I listened to Aja through Pioneer headphones through my Dad's Fisher 500.

A year or so later, I chose Doctor Wu as my first demo track for the impossibly exotic Magneplanar MG-1b's, an updgrade from my Infinity Q'as and my first serious pair of speakers.

Years later, I eagerly anticipated Nightfly and loved all of it so much that I delved back into the earlier records which of course are also very good.

I will say Mr Fagen gave a fine performance in 2003 when I last saw him live.

But at least the last two CDs?

It just sounds all the same. And I am bored, too.
I believe "Nightfly" owns the distinction of being the first Digital recording in RnR history. Maybe I should revisit it but adjust the VTA cause I remember the vocals being harsh.
As someone who can recall the lyrics to at least 30 Steely Dan songs, I must admit I've spent thousands of hours enjoying their work since "Can't buy a Thrill" came out when I was in High School.

I hate to be argumentative, but several cuts off "Everything Must Go" are so damn good I fail to see how anyone who ever cared for the Dan could not love them.

"Godwhacker", "Everything Must Go", "Things I Miss The Most" are just killer tunes in my opinion.

Fagan and Becker together are FAR better than either alone, and having seen them live 3 weeks ago I can attest to the fact that they still have the magic.
Danlib1

I do agree that Godwhacker was an instant classic.

And dont get me wrong, I would still say I am a huge fan.

But most of the recent stuff does seem to lack some evolutionary dimension which has been a disappointment.
Cwlondon I would agree totally about your analysis regarding the recent output.
I just tried to listen to the red book. What is the deal? It sounds so lifeless and flat. It seems like it has the depth of a paper towel. I tried it having my Pioneer dv59avi decode it and having my Sony Da4es decode it and I dislike the sound both ways. In both cases, I listened to it in 2.0. I like Fagen and the Dan, have all the albums, been to many live shows, so it isn't that I don't like the music. I really like Everything Must Go, which I have on DVD-A and vinyl. I also like Two Against Nature, which I have on DVD-V and redbook. Anybody else have this reaction to the sound of Morph?
I was listening today to the redbook version of Morph played back on my 1992 Sony ES changer feeding a $500 Paradisea DAC. Outstanding, and anything but flat and lifeless.

Still, the DVD-A beats the redbook version hands down.
Qdrone, I believe Ry Cooder's 1979 "Bop Till You Drop" to have the distinction of being the first DDD recording prior to Fagen's 1982 "Nightfly".
Morph ain't bad, but it doesn't really have a stand-out track like the other two...kinda like the two latest SD albums...OK...I'll admit "Cousin Dupree" off "Two..." is a toe tapper...I am surprised no one mentioned Kamakiriad...it is my favorite Fagen solo project...the plucked bassline on "Tomorrow's Girl" will test your amp and speakers...also the one about a party in an A-bomb shelter is pretty cool...can't recall the name of the tune right now...you can't go wrong with The Dan, but for me, older is better...