1980’s “Gaucho” was Steely Dan’s final album before embarking on their 20-year sabbatical from recording together again.
The recording of “Gaucho” was long & laborious, and one particularly treasured song, “The Second Arrangement,” was tragically lost, having been accidentally erased by a careless engineer. That Becker & Fagen finally finished the album despite all of the behind-the-scenes problems must be considered a great miracle. Just seven tracks long, “Gaucho” is easily the lightest, most laid-back album in Steely Dan’s catalog, but that certainly doesn’t make it bad. It’s a wonderful, handsome disc, filled with the fine quality jazz/pop & production skills that the Dan are famous for.
• Universal’s ‘Back To Black’ Series – 60th Anniversary to Vinyl!
• Premium Audiophile Pressing
• Heavyweight 180 Gram Vinyl
• All Original Packaging
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Aja was cool, relaxed, and controlled; it sounded deceptively easy. Its follow-up, Gaucho, while sonically similar, is its polar opposite: a precise and studied record, where all of the seams show. Gaucho essentially replicates the smooth jazz-pop of Aja, but with none of that record’s dark, seductive romance or elegant aura. Instead, it’s meticulous and exacting; each performance has been rehearsed so many times that it no longer has any emotional resonance. Furthermore, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen’s songs are generally labored, only occasionally reaching their past heights, like on the suave “Babylon Sisters,” “Time Out of Mind,” and “Hey Nineteen.” Still, those three songs are barely enough to make the remainder of the album’s glossy, meandering fusion worthwhile.
2. Hey Nineteen
3. Glamour Profession
2. Time Out Of Mind
3. My Rival
4. Third World Man